Preston Idaho Clinoptilolite Zeolite

(406) 827-3523
Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. MST




The mine plan is to open pit an area more than 1 mile in diameter. Assuming the zeolite goes below the valley floor, a 2 to 1 slope will be utilized in sinking. Reclamation will include drifting topsoil back over the mined area.

BRZ™ pit


Although near-surface rock is easily ripped, it is more economical to drill and blast it. A Tamrock track drill is used to drill blast holes. Holes are loaded with ammonium nitrate and primed with powder and Easy-Det primers. Benches are 10 to 20 foot high, and each bench is accessed by a road. Quality control in the pit is visual.

Blast Hole Drill



Depending on the location, the zeolite is overlain by 1 to 12 feet of zeolite rich soil. On the ridges, the cover is very thin, and in the draws the soil is thicker. The overburden is stripped using a tractor dozer, currently a Caterpillar D 8 K. It is moved to the toe of the pit, and will eventually be dozed back over the pit for reclamation.

Tractor ripping ore




Loading is best performed with a Liehberr R 965 excavator with a 2 yard bucket to allow sorting of the oversize.

Loading with excavator



Alternatively, a Caterpillar 986B loader with a 6 cubic yard bucket is used. The benches are cleaned with the D8K.


Loader with a 6 cubic yard bucket



Haulage is on approximately 4000 foot of road on an uphill grade of 2.5% to the mill. On higher benches, the grade will eventually be downhill. Caterpillar  769 B rock trucks are used. The trucks haul 18 to 20 tons per load, and the cycle time is about 30 minutes including loading.

With both trucks and the other existing equipment, the mine is capable of producing 120 tons per hour.


Rock trucks




View looking in direction of plant and mine from a recreational lake. Notice neither the plant nor the mine is visible. 

Looking in direction of plant and mine






Bear River Zeolite Co.
Mine and Plant
4005 East Glendale Road
Preston, Idaho 83263

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