Trace Elements in Streams Near the Stibnite Mining Area

Science Center Objects

Mining of stibnite (antimony sulfide), tungsten, gold, silver, and mercury near the town of Stibnite in central Idaho has left a legacy of trace element contamination in the East Fork of the South Fork of the Salmon River (EFSFSR) and its tributaries. Concentrations of arsenic, antimony, and mercury frequently exceed human health criteria and may impact threatened or endangered salmonid species, including Chinook salmon, steelhead, and bull trout in the EFSFSR. The purpose of this study is to quantify contributions of select trace elements and suspended sediment from different stream reaches, assess potential toxicity to human and aquatic life, and explore the use of surrogate parameters such as specific conductance to improve estimates of concentrations and loads of select constituents.