Research continues on Pit Water

The unique environment of the Berkeley Pit and the surrounding Butte area has created numerous avenues for scientific exploration, both by local scientists and by researchers around the globe. The research potential of the site is tremendous, and may represent a real renaissance for a geographic area characterized by years of mining, milling, and smelting waste. Research efforts have been […]

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The Past Butte’s Memory Book tells the story of Jim Ledford, a miner who lived in a log cabin below the famed Anaconda Mine. Alongside his cabin was an old dump containing scrap iron and tin cans. Mine water ran downhill through the dump, and Ledford noticed a heavy sludge formation. Out of curiosity, he had the sludge assayed and […]

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Two aquifers feed into the Pit

Aquifers are places where water is found in permeable rocks and soils underground. The area around the Berkeley Pit contains two main underground aquifers – the alluvial aquifer and the bedrock aquifer. The alluvial aquifer is closer to the surface. Water flows freely through the layer of ground called the alluvium, a porous mixture of sands, gravels, and clays. Near […]

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What started off as small experiments in the laboratory studying Berkeley Pit water in small flasks, has transformed into a much larger, bench-scale field experiment using the Berkeley Pit lake as the laboratory and limnocorrals as giant test tubes suspended in the contaminated water. For most of the past decade, Dr. Grant Mitman, a Montana Tech biology professor, has been […]

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The search for valuable natural products from a most unnatural world
 by Andrea and Don Stierle Most people think of the Berkeley Pit as a large toxic waste lake, an unfortunate relic of Butte’s proud mining heritage. Don and Andrea Stierle, however, see the Pit as something more. Like most of their Natural Products Chemistry colleagues, the Stierles could be […]

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