Basin Watershed

  • Basin mining district Superfund site
  • 300 abandoned hard rock mine sites in 77-square-mile watershed
  • The Bullion and Crystal Mines are the two major threats to surface-water quality

This map shows locations of active projects; please scroll down for more information about each project.

Bullion Crystal minewatershed
Program Information

Ted Duaime Hydrogeologist—Assistant Professor
(406) 496-4157 | Email

Gary Icopini Hydrogeologist—Professor
(406) 496-4841 | Email

Steve McGrath Geochemist—Assistant Professor
(406) 496-4157 | Email

Jackson Quarles Hydrogeologist—Professional Scientist

John Roitz Water Resource Specialist

Matthew Vitale Hydrogeologist—Professional Scientist

Office locations in Butte and Billings

Bullion Mine Site

  • 1897–1974 mining of gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc
  • Mined on three levels; the main adit extended about 4,500 ft to the east along the mineralized structure
  • Surface water and groundwater infiltrate through the fractured bedrock into the mine workings
  • Acid mine drainage (lower adit) is the main source of impact on Jack Creek, which is a tributary to Basin Creek
  • Elevated arsenic and metals are found in sediment at the discharge to Jack Creek

Crystal Mine Site

  • Located at the head of Uncle Sam Gulch within the Cataract Creek drainage
  • 1883–1984 Mining of copper, lead, and zinc ore, which was generally shipped to Basin or East Helena for processing
  • Waste rock, tailings, and sediment are sources of arsenic and metals to Uncle Sam Gulch Creek
  • Surface water and groundwater infiltrate into mine workings and create about 25-40 gpm of acid mine drainage