A quarter-ton of dynamite and a 30-pound bag of potentially explosive ammonium nitrate were stolen last week from a small gold-mining operation on forestland near Big Bear City, authorities said Tuesday.
Gold Mountain Mine Co. reported that 686 dynamite sticks weighing about 500 pounds were stolen, along with the ammonium nitrate, fuel oil and mining equipment, according to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Ammonium nitrate and fuel oil can be combined to make an explosive material.
"The obvious concern is someone stole it, and what are they going to do with it?" said bureau spokesman John D'Angelo. "This is a quantity of explosives that could do significant damage. We need to recover these items."
It appears several people entered the site, which is accessed by a dirt road, between May 1 and May 3, D'Angelo said.