McLaughlin Mine Project
Homestake Mining Company of California
The McLaughlin Mine operated between 1985 and 2002, producing 3.5 million ounces of gold over its 17-year life. Napa, Lake, and Yolo Counties, along with the BLM, approved the McLaughlin Mine Plan of Operations and the Reclamation Plan in the early 1980s. In Lake County, Homestake placed approximately 38 million tons of mill tailings from its gold processing facilities into a Tailings Impoundment Facility (TIF), extending to a maximum depth of approximately 145 feet.
The approved reclamation plan called for a minimum of 3 feet of composite cover material over the tailings and establishment of shallow-rooted grassland. A diversion channel would be removed, and a cut in the tailings embankment would be excavated to facilitate the reestablishment of surface runoff from the surrounding watershed through the TIF and back into the native watercourses. Completion of closure was not envisioned for approximately 50 years.