They are in the southeastern part of the state, mostly, in the northern part of the Powder River Basin. Historically, coal mines around Red Lodge (in Carbon County, whence the name) and Great Falls were important.
There used to be an open pit in Butte, Montana where large amounts of copper and other minerals were mined. However, the mine was abandoned in the 80’s and subsequently filled with rain and runoff water, creating the largest and most polluted body of water in America with a pH equal to that of cola. I used to live right next to it when I was a child and it was quite a sight.
It was, of course, not a coal mine (as the question asks). And it did not fill with rain and runoff – not mostly; the vast majority of the water in the pit is groundwater, all of which is coming toward the pit. The water will be treated and will not leave the pit to contaminate anything, neither groundwater nor surface water; the treatment plant is online already and the situation will be handled in perpetuity. There is another pit still operating, producing copper and molybdenum.
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