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River Tested For Traces Of Cyanide After Leak

Forest Service officials are waiting for the results from water testing to determine if there is any contamination from a leak at a cyanide solution holding pond near the Yankee Fork of the Salmon River.

The Forest Service said Saturday an estimated 20,000 gallons of a cyanide solution used to leach silver and gold from ore leaked into the ground at Preacher’s Cove Mill.

That’s seven miles above the Sunbeam Dam on the Yankee Fork.

Kent Fuellenbach, forest information officer, said slits were discovered Thursday in the fabric liner of one of three ponds holding a cyanide solution.

He said a technician checked the pond after discovering a very low water level.

Fuellenbach said the ponds have been storing solutions used the last time the mill operated, two years ago.

The owner of the mill, U.S. Antimony, pumped the solution from the leaky pond into the two other holding ponds.

The slits were repaired.

The cause of the slits was under investigation, but they might have been caused by ice.

Water samples were taken from nearby sampling wells and the Yankee Fork.