Superfund Site: ELIZABETH MINE
Superfund Site Profile
Institutional controls are required for this site.
This site requires ICs because a decision document, such as a Record of Decision, has documented some level of contamination and/or remedy component at the site that would restrict use of the site. These ICs are required to help ensure the site is used in an appropriate way and that activities at the site do not damage the cleanup components. These ICs will remain in place for as long as the contamination and/or cleanup components stay on site. The site contacts should be consulted if there are questions on the ICs for this site.
The Elizabeth Mine is an abandoned copper mine located on Mine Road in the village of South Strafford, which is part of the town of Strafford in Orange County, Vermont. The area consists of two mine tailings piles, one area of waste rock and heap leach piles, two open-cut mines, several adits (horizontal mine entrances), underground shafts and tunnels, ventilation shafts, and several former ore processing buildings as well as other on-site structures. Following site investigations, cleanup and environmental monitoring are ongoing. Deposits at the Elizabeth Mine were discovered in 1793. The mine operated from the early 1800s until its closure in 1958. The ore was initially valued for its iron content, and then its pyrrhotite content from which copperas (iron sulfate) was produced. Circa 1830, the deposit was primarily exploited for its copper content based upon the recognition that a significant amount of chalcopyrite (copper iron sulfide) was disseminated in the pyrrhotite. For nearly a century, intermittent production came from the open-cut mine as underground work did not begin until 1886. During early mining operations, several copper smelters were built on the site. Between 1830 and 1930, about 250,000 tons of ore were mined, from which about 10.5 million pounds of copper were produced. From 1943 to 1958, three million tons of ore were mined, producing more than 90 million pounds of copper. All mining operations ceased in February 1958.