There are 22,000 abandoned mines in Colorado


DENVER — Given Thursday’s incident involving a teenager falling into an abandoned mine in Golden, the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety updated us on the number of inactive mines in our state.

According to Bill York-Feirn, the Director of Mine Safety Program, inventory from 1980 shows there are 22,000 abandoned mines in Colorado; about 10,000 of them have been closed off.

“We just want to make sure the public knows you really need to stay out of these mines. Particularly folks that have teenagers or people who live around [them],” said York-Feirn.

Each year the state closes more and more abandoned mines. Last year it closed about 200.

There's an old state statute that prohibits people from entering mines in Colorado, but it’s never really been enforced.