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Climax Mine, Colorado

Water laden with sulfuric acid, iron and other metals collects on a waste tailings impoundment at the Climax Mine. At this mine, a slurry of “tailings,” finely-ground waste rock left over from milling the ore to extract the molybdenum is piped to large impoundments that fill several square miles of the valley north of the open pit. The Climax Mine, which is on the Eagle River drainage above the city of Denver, discharges water that exceeds Colorado State water limits for molybdenum.