Freeport-McMoRan Inc.

Climax Mine

Climax, Colorado, United States

Certified Gold through 2023

Project Name
Project Type
Upper Arkansas River Restoration
Wetlands & Water Bodies
Lake Irwin
Wetlands & Water Bodies
Invasive species - weed management
Invasive Species
Highway Clean-Up & Watershed Health
Awareness & Community Engagement
About the Program
Climax Mine is a Freeport McMoRan Inc. mine located in northern Colorado. The site mines molybdenum and supports the reclamation of Robinson Tailings Storage Facility (TSF) which requires the installation of 1-ft of topsoil and vegetative cover. To this end, the team exceeds regulatory requirements by actively managing the entire property for wildlife habitat, which is not required by the original regulatory reclamation plan. The Climax team continues to use the property to increase native species diversity and wildlife in grassland and wetland habitat, while providing watershed education opportunities to the local community.

Practices and Impacts
  • 15-acres of wetland habitat are monitored for vegetative cover using transect survey techniques to restore 2,000 ft of channel on the Arkansas river. From 2018-2020, 25% declination of vegetative cover was observed in the river along with a 31% declination in wetland species. However, species diversity has increased in this time representing additional species establishing in the habitat over time.
  • 9.1-acres of wetland habitat is monitored by the team as a part of a wetland mitigation project. Baseline data was collected through a water availability study to determine if this area would be viable as a wetland.¬†Results from 2020 monitoring indicate a slight positive increase in vegetation coverage and wetland species cover within vegetation plots and along vegetation transects since 2018. Visual inspection of plant establishment also showed good growth of planted stock.
  • The site manages invasive species using two treatments of plant dependent herbicide application annually. 16,480 acres-acres of land are actively controlled for invasive species, and invasive species are actively prevented. Monitoring is conducted on an annual basis to determine success of treatment protocol. Over the past five years, the team observed a 50% reduction of invasive species based on GIS data collected during treatment sessions every year.
  • The site hosts an annual highway clean-up education outreach project that reaches 40 learners annually. The team is given protective gloves and trash bags to participate in an activity that teaches how littering negatively impacts wildlife habitat, and the importance of nature conservation. Participant learning is evaluated before and after the activity to determine educational impact. Team members also evaluate and record feedback on the success of the project.