The gold mine at Cheltinham in northwestern Colorado was once home to the world’s largest gold mine, but the mine closed in 2013 after the state began a $3.9 billion clean-up project.
The mine’s fate has now been decided by a judge, and the mine’s operator, SilverMine Corporation, has filed a lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, the mine was “not only one of the largest in the state, but it was also the world´s largest gold mining operation.”
Cheltunam is located in the Sierra Nevada foothills and was owned by the Cheltan Gold Corporation, a joint venture between the American Federation of Mines and the California-based Chelmint Corp. The company has said the mine operated “on a level playing field” and that it was the first gold mine on the Chelan Gold Corp.’s land.
But a 2013 report from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration found that “the risk of injury and death associated with mining operations was high.”
The report said that a 2008 survey of the mine found that there were no “any documented injuries to workers or any evidence of health and safety hazards.”
The lawsuit claims that SilverMine Corp. is responsible for failing to properly manage the mine and its mine operators and “continues to fail to monitor and supervise its mine workers and the mining operations.”
The suit also alleges that SilverMiner did not adequately inspect and monitor the mine for safety violations, including a 2008 safety alert about a “potential for human error” at the mine.
In a statement, SilverMining said it was “pleased that a federal judge has agreed to hear our claims and that we are prepared to defend our company against the allegations in this lawsuit.”