This 1800 acre Superfund site was a former NL industries lead mine. ERT was approached by investors interested in reopening the mine to manage the environmental risk. While ERT was negotiating a Consent Order and posting financial assurance, it became clear that for the ambitious project to be successful, ERT would have to provide capital as well to fund the reclamation of millions of tons of tailings and the eventual work underground. ERT formed Missouri Cobalt (www.missouricobalt.com) and created the only cobalt mine in the United States.
Dozens of jobs have been created, a concentrate plant has been built, and is up and running. Tailings are being reclaimed and residuals capped. EPA recognized the project as a model for Superfund in 2019.
“Missouri Cobalt saw the potential of the mine and put together a plan to take it over, clean it up and get it back into productive use. This type of environmental risk transfer is a model we hope can be adopted at other sites around the country.” Remarks of EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, July 31, 2019, while visiting Madison Mine to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative.