A copper mine above Potomac?

December 23, 2014

A copper mine above Potomac?

Near the old mining ghost town of Garnet, at the headwaters of Union Creek above the lush, rural Potomac valley, there’s an outcrop of rock stained blue and green with copper minerals.

That colorful cliff has inspired numerous attempts to see if there’s ore where that color came from, and the most recent explorer is Kennecott Exploration Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the multinational Rio Tinto Group, which has been sporadically investigating this area since 2005.

drilling at Copper Cliffs
Exploratory drilling at Copper Cliffs

Kennecott conducted geophysical surveys in 2012 and followed that up by drilling a number test holes in 2013 and 2014 to see if there’s enough copper worth mining.

Will this exploration lead to a mine?  Apparently they don’t know yet, and have yet to decide whether they’ll continue to explore in 2015.

Kennecott recently sent out an announcement to interested parties (available here: Kennecott Update 12.18.14).  Look for a public meeting to be held in mid-late February. Meanwhile, we’ll keep you updated at clarkfork.org and in our eBlasts (sign up on our homepage).

– by Chris Brick, Science Director

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