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Wyomingites looking to build cautioned about abandoned mines

(Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s Abandoned Mine Land Division reminded landowners on Friday, July 10 that they should be aware of the possible presence of abandoned mines beneath land upon which they plan to build structures.

“In recent years, a few landowners have discovered some interesting history on their property that could damage future planned structures,” the Abandoned Land Mine Division said. “Around and in several Wyoming communities, underground historical abandoned mines are present but unknown to most residents.”

“However, through the years these underground workings can collapse and make their way up to the surface, leaving a sinkhole or a subsidence feature.”

The division has a database of all known abandoned mines in Wyoming which is updates as more abandoned mines are discovered. People looking to build structures can contact the division to check whether there may be a known abandoned mine below that could be cause for concern.

“Mine subsidence can cause major damage to a building or structure if it is not quickly addressed,” said Alan Edwards, AML Division Administrator. “Additionally, these can pose a serious hazard to the public.”

The Abandoned Mine Land Division also offers subsidence insurance for property owners that live near or above known abandoned mines.

“For more information, please contact Dave Pendleton, AML Program Manager, at 307-335-6945 or at  david.pendleton@wyo.gov,” the release concludes.