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Tri-state Mining Area

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The Kansas portion of the Tri-State lead and zinc district was studied in order to compile on maps and report on the location and extent of past-mining activities and the resulting hazardous surface effects of mining. Three maps of the study area have been prepared which show: (1) extent of underground workings and mine shafts; (2) hazardous mine openings, including open mine shafts and mine collapses; and (3) waste piles and tailings ponds. In addition, tabulations are included for all mine hazards as well as hazardous tailings ponds and large waste piles. Information was acquired from old mine maps, reports, personal interviews, aerial photo interpretation, and field work. In all, hundreds of waste piles and tailings ponds have been mapped, 104 have been tabulated; hundreds of mines have been mapped along with over 3500 shafts; 910 hazardous mine openings have been found, field checked, mapped, and tabulated, including 6 adits, 8 open pits, 307 mine collapses, and 589 hazardous shafts. Approximately two-thirds of these hazards occur in and near Galena, Kansas. Many of these features have been photographed and examples are included in the report. Finally, recommendations are made for alleviating mine hazards. These include fencing, filling, and plugging.


The contributions of Carolyn LaFrance, who assisted in the field work; Esther Price, who typed the manuscript; and Darrell Drew, who drafted and scribed the plates and figures, and researched the many mine maps used in this study, are greatly appreciated.

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Kansas Geological Survey, Tri-state Mining Area
Comments to
Web version May 2004. Report from January 1983.