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Karst Asbestos Mine

Gallatin County, MT

This state CECRA site is situated about seven miles northeast of Big Sky, just west of the Gallatin River and U.S. Highway 191. The Karst Mine is inactive. The asbestos is anthophyllite.

Production at the mine peaked in 1938 at 1,800 tons. It reportedly operated through World War II, then saw no significant production until the mid-1970s, when owners tried to market the asbestos and considered building a mill. Four-hundred tons of ore were packed in barrels and shipped to a plant in Quebec. Soon after, the project was abandoned.

The Karst Mine is on Gallatin National Forest land. The U.S. Forest Service has been contacted about discussing the future of the mine site. DEQ is waiting to hear from a Gallatin Forest representative.

Asbestos from the mine found its way to three sites in Gallatin County. The largest deposit was north of Gallatin Gateway at a former railroad loading site. The other two sites were in Bozeman. The Gallatin Gateway and one of the Bozeman sites have been cleaned up.

Asbestos from a variety of sources, including possibly from the Karst Mines, have also been identified in the Livingston area.

Courtesy of The Montana Department of Environmental Quality

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