No, not at the present time (2013), although Montana Resources did ‘mine’ the Pit water in the past.

From February 2004 until February 2013, approximately 13 million gallons of water per day were been pumped out of the Berkeley Pit and up to a precipitation plant. The water was collected at various depths, and was pumped up and around the south and east walls of the Pit to the precipitation plant northeast of the Pit.

The precipitation plant used a centuries-old technology where the acidic (pH of about 2.5) and copper-rich water flowed through piles or “cells” of recycled scrap iron. The process is known as “cementation.” The iron in the cells and the copper in the water trade places through a replacement reaction. The iron-rich water was returned to the Pit, creating the waterfall previously seen on the north rim near the Horseshoe Bend Plant. The product, containing about 70% copper, was dried through a filter press and then sent to an off-site smelter.watch full Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait 2017 film

For more on the topic of mining the water, click here.

2 Responses so far.

  1. Dave Etienne says:

    With metal prices up some, could the operation be cost effective? And could other metals also be extracted from the water too? Can the water be treated to be meet clean water spec’s? Thanks

  2. Jake Hanson says:

    Who owns the mineral rights on the ground water in Butte and its surrounding areas?

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