photo from Newmont Mining, True Grit mine site, Leadville, CO

Scientists to share innovations in Leadville

Thirty mining and reclamation professionals will present talks and posters about innovations and best practices for water treatment, community collaboration, environmental restoration, and related topics in Leadville in late May. Interested community members, students, professors, and professionals are invited to attend the thirteenth annual conference, organized by watershed groups and volunteers from industry and government agencies.

The Rocky Mountain Mining and Reclamation Conference is set to unfold in the historic town of Leadville, Colorado, from May 22 to 24, 2024. This educational and networking event will bring together diverse interests in mining and reclamation under the theme, Elevating Our Impact.

“Get ready for a wide range of in-depth talks and conversations that will broaden your understanding of mining and reclamation,” said Steering Committee Volunteer Chair Morley Beckman of Schnabel Engineering. “Our speakers include representatives from diverse consulting firms, mining companies, universities, and government agencies. In addition to this fascinating schedule of talks, we have some amazing venues, meals, field trips, and networking time planned.”

Mining & Reclamation Conference Schedule, Venues, and Organizers

The kickoff event is a reception and keynote talks at the Tabor Opera House on May 22. A full day of talks include two parallel tracks in two different rooms at the Colorado Mountain College on May 23. Field trips on May 24 will go to Eagle Mine and Belden Town Site, Climax Molybdenum Mine and Irish Miners’ Memorial, Yak Water Treatment Plant and Black Cloud and Irene Mines, National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum and Tabor Opera House, Mineral Belt Trail / EPA Superfund Sites, and CJK Milling / Union Milling sites.

The event is an expansion of the San Juan Mining and Reclamation Conference, now embracing the entire Rocky Mountain region. The Steering Committee consists of the following partners: Mountain Studies Institute, Arkansas River Watershed Collaborative, Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership, Schnabel Engineering, Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining, and Safety, HDR, Tri-Hydro, USGS, and Visit Leadville-Twin Lakes. 

“As the collaborative serving the communities of the Arkansas watershed, we cannot overstate the importance of the health of the river’s headwaters around Leadville. This region has a storied mining legacy and associated history. ARWC is proud to be a part of this conference to learn more from the professional community and continue to steward our critically important water resources,” said ARWC Executive Director Jonathan Paklaian.

Mining & Reclamation Conference Plans Positive Local Impact

Expected to draw nearly 200 stakeholders, the conference aims to delve into the science and policy of preserving and restoring water quality at mine sites and mine lands remediation. The result is new partnerships on restoration and remediation projects, improved processes, and state-of-the-art best practices that foster both economic and environmental health.

The event is expected to result in more than $50,000 in economic impact in Leadville, during the relatively slow tourism period before summer begins. The conference was made possible by more than $35,000 in sponsorship support, including: Newmont, CJK Milling, Colorado Division of Mining, Reclamation and Safety, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, and HDR, plus an additional 12 sponsors that can be seen on the conference website:

Conference Highlights:

  • Location: Leadville, CO
  • Date: May 22-24, 2024
  • Theme: Elevating Our Impact
  • Objectives: Improving mining practices, addressing water quality impairments, and fostering information sharing and networking.

Event Schedule:

  • Wed., May 22, 2024: Welcoming reception and keynote talk at Tabor Opera House
  • Thu., May 23, 2024: Technical talks/sessions (see presenter list) at Colorado Mountain College, Leadville
  • Thu., May 23, 2024: Evening reception at FREIGHT
  • Fri., May 24, 2024: Field trips: Eagle Mine and Belden Town Site, Climax Molybdenum Mine and Irish Miners’ Memorial, Yak Water Treatment Plant and Black Cloud and Irene Mines, National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum and Tabor Opera House, Mineral Belt Trail / EPA Superfund Sites, Box Creek Gold Placer Mine, and CJK Milling / Union Milling sites

Registration and Ticket Prices:

With a capacity of 220 attendees and limited field trip slots, registering soon is recommended. $295 covers all conference events and several meals, including appetizers on May 22 evening, breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner on May 23, and lunch on May 24. Registration: 

To learn more about the conference, visit

For lodging options, visit

Nonprofit Organizers

Mountain Studies Institute (MSI) is an independent not-for-profit mountain research and education center established in 2002 in Silverton, Colorado. MSI develops science that people can use to address environmental issues facing the San Juan Mountains. We conduct and facilitate research, provide educational opportunities and internships, and conduct environmental monitoring. We connect scientists and stakeholders across the San Juan Mountain region to go beyond scientific inquiry to the meaningful application of knowledge that makes a difference for the quality of the environment and our communities. Info: 

The Arkansas River Watershed Collaborative (ARWC) was formed out the Arkansas River Basin Roundtable to address four core areas in the basin: Forest and Watershed Health, Water Quality/Quantity, Post-Fire Recovery, and Collaborative Development. ARWC’s multi-jurisdictional work in the headwaters of the Arkansas River near Leadville is extensive, including forest health, infrastructure improvements, and legacy mine reclamation. Info:

The Uncompahgre Watershed Partnership (UWP) exists to help protect the natural, scenic, and economic values of the Upper Uncompahgre River Watershed.  The Partnership works to inform and engage all stakeholders and solicits input from diverse interests to ensure collaborative restoration efforts in the watershed. Info: