Colorado reaches settlement deal for 2015 mine spill

Colorado miner Sunnyside Gold reportedly came to an agreement in December with the state of Colorado over damage to natural resources that occurred in a mine spill in 2015.

According to the Associated Press, the mining company agreed to pay Colorado $1.6 million to resolve its liability following the Gold King mine spill that contaminated Colorado, New Mexico and Utah rivers.

Settlements with the other states were made earlier in 2021.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sunnyside admitted no fault.

The AP reported that Sunnyside had operated a mine neighboring Gold King, which is located near Silverton and closed in 1991. A probe by federal regulators revealed bulkheads to plug that mine led to a buildup of water from Gold King that contained heavy metals; while mitigating the buildup, a contractor for the EPA triggered the spill.

“[Sunnyside] never owned or operated the Gold King mine and was not at fault for the August 2015 EPA-caused spill,” the miner’s reclamation operations director told the AP in December.

“We are pleased to resolve this matter and to see funds going toward further efforts to improve water quality rather than protracted potential litigation.”