Land reclamation efforts in Jefferson County will help public safety issues

For more information: 573-751-1010
Volume 37-318 For Immediate Release: Sept. 9, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources will oversee land reclamation efforts in Jefferson County to help eliminate potential public safety issues. The De Soto Reclamation Project will reclaim 14 vertical shaft openings and a horizontal mine opening also known as an adit. These shafts, located near De Soto in Jefferson County, were mined from the turn of the century until around 1938.

The proposed project calls for excavation of vertical mine shafts, construction and placement of steel reinforced concrete plug, plugging vertical mine shafts with polyurethane foam, backfilling over the plugs, and construction of a steel gate on the adit to eliminate the public safety threat and allow for bat habitat. By not completely sealing off the entrance, the steel gate will allow bats the ability to live in the adit (cave) and exit to feed on insects at night.

The reclamation site is located on private property and poses a safety hazard to the landowner, their guests and hunters that frequent the property. The site is located approximately 5 ½ miles southwest of De Soto. The shaft will be accessed by two separate locations, one on Big River Heights Road and the other on Mammoth Road.

The Department and the Land Reclamation Commission recently awarded a $105,000 construction contract to Jericho Demolition & Land Rehabilitation LLC located in Henley to perform the reclamation. The expected completion date for the project is on or prior to Dec. 21.

Funds for this project come from a surcharge on each ton of coal mined in the United States, as authorized by the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. Funds are collected by the U.S. Department of Interior's Office of Surface Mining and are disbursed to state and tribal abandoned mine land programs.

For more information on this or other land reclamation issues, contact the Department's Land Reclamation Program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-4041 or visit the Web at