Elizabeth Mine

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Elizabeth Mine
Elizabeth Mine is located in Vermont
Elizabeth Mine
Elizabeth Mine
LocationStrafford / Thetford, Orange County
CountryUnited States
Coordinates43°48′46″N 72°20′06″W / 43.8128532°N 72.335100°W / 43.8128532; -72.335100Coordinates: 43°48′46″N 72°20′06″W / 43.8128532°N 72.335100°W / 43.8128532; -72.335100
Typeopen-pit, underground
Opened1809 (1809)
Superfund site
ContaminantsMine tailings, metals, sulfides.
List of Superfund sites
View of tailing and waste rock capped storage and barren ground next to the north cut.

The Elizabeth Mine was a copper mine located on the town line between the Town of Strafford and the Town of Thetford, in Orange County, Vermont.

The ore deposit was discovered in 1793, but mining did not start until 1809. Open pit mining and from 1886 underground mining was conducted. The mine produced up to 8,500,000 lbs. of copper (1954) and was closed in 1957.

Due to acid mine drainage the west branch of the Ompompanoosuc River was polluted. Since 2000 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources have been developing a plan to clean up the area.[1][2]


The ore deposits at the Elizabeth Mine represent classic examples of sedimentary exhalative type deposition where hydrothermal fluids enter the marine environment and precipitate out minerals in a strataform ore body.[3][4][5] The ores are hosted in the strongly deformed Lower Devonian Guile Mountain Formation (a grey to dark grey mica schist). The ore body at the Elizabeth Mine is a massive sulfide deposit consisting primarily of pyrrhotite and chalcopyrite.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hammarstrom, J.M., Seal, R.R., II, Ouimetter, A.P., and Foster, S.A., 2001b, Sources of metals and acidity at the Elizabeth and Ely mines: Society of Economic Geologists guidebook Series, v. 35, p. 213-248.
  2. ^ Seal, R.R., II, Hammarstrom, J.M., Slack, J.F., Hathaway, E.M., Lovely, W.P., and Kierstead, M.A., 2001a, Introduction: environmental geochemistry and mining history of massive sulfide deposits in the Vermont copper belt: Society of Economic Geologists Guidebook Series, v. 35, p. 115-117.
  3. ^ Deb, M., 2004, Sediment Hosted Lead-Zinc Sulphide Deposits., CRC Press, 367 pages.
  4. ^ Slack, J.F., Offield, T.W., Woodruff, L.G., and Shanks, W.C., III, 2001, Geology and geochemistry of Besshi-type massive sulfide deposits of the Vermont copper belt: Society of Economic Geologists Guidebook Series, v. 35, p. 193-211.
  5. ^ Offield, T.W., and Slack, J.F., 1993, Structure and origin of the Ely copper deposit, east- central Vermont: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 2039, p. 59-68.

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