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The Bonanza Mine is an abandoned mercury mine located near the small town of Nonpareil, 6 miles east of Sutherlin, in Douglas County. The mine operated from1865-1960 and at one time was reported to be the second largest producer of quicksilver in the United States. The mine had 12 adits (openings) and more than 3 miles of subterranean mine shafts, with a smelter in the main adit.
In 2000 the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) conducted a removal action to reduce residents' exposures to mercury and arsenic in soil near the former mill. However, neither the site owner, nor DEQ had the funding to remediate the site to meet Oregon's residential standards for mercury or arsenic levels in soil. DEQ put a lien on the property, but in 2009 the site owner and a state representative requested DEQ remove the property's lien so that the owner and her family could live on the mine site.
EHAP is currently evaluating the site.
Read more at the DEQ Environmental Cleanup Site Information (ESCI) database.
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