Map courtesy of the Idaho Geologic Survey, a resource for teachers, students, industry, lawmakers and anyone interested in Idaho mining.
Learn more about mines in Idaho
Modern prospecting begins with a field study conducted by the Idaho Geological Survey. Thousands of core samples are drilled and tested and engineers develop a computer model of the site.
The average cost of one of these studies is $250,000.00. Before a single shovel of dirt is moved, environmental and engineering studies are conducted. An Environmental Impact Statement, state and federal permits and a period for public comment are also required.
In a surface mining operation, topsoil and non-mineral rock is removed and stockpiled for future reclamation. Benches or steps are cut on the sides of the pit to stabilize surrounding rock and minimize erosion.
In underground mines, vertical shafts and horizontal tunnels are bored to reach the mineral vein. Some silver mines in Idaho are over a mile deep. It’s important work for the future of Idaho and of our nation. Some of the fastest growing industries in America—including high tech, automotive manufacturing and renewable energy—rely on minerals to operate.
In a December 2011 PricewaterhouseCoopers study , 67 percent of respondents—senior executives in these industries worldwide—said they expect their companies to be affected by minerals and metals supply scarcity in the next five years.
List of active mines in Idaho – Idaho State University
Interactive map of Idaho mines – Idaho Geological Survey
Google Maps of Idaho mines – iTouch Maps
History and photos of Idaho mines – MiningArtifacts.org
Types of mines in our state – Idaho State University
Idaho’s Mining History – State Historical Society
Mines of Idaho – Environmental Protection Agency