MISSION: Southwest Research and Information Center is a multi-cultural organization working to promote the health of people and communities, protect natural resources, ensure citizen participation, and secure environmental and social justice now and for future generations

Southwest Research Co-hosts Statewide Mining Workshop

In coordination with Amigos Bravos, Gila Regional Information Project, and Mineral Policy Center, Southwest Research convened a seminar to development cooperative strategies to address mining policy and environmental impacts in New Mexico. Held September 12-14 at the University of New Mexico, the workshop focussed on:

  1. Development of effective community-based reclamation goals and plans.
  2. Identification of mechanisms for support of the locally-led effort to implement effective reclamation at the major existing mines in the State — in particular the Phelps-Dodge operations in Grant County and the Molycorp operations in Taos County.
This statewide citizens' mining meeting followed adoption, in August 1999, of revisions of the New Mexico Mining Act Rules requiring the major existing mines to adopt schedules to provide for completion of closeout (reclamation) plans and full financial assurance to guarantee that reclamation will be done by December 31, 2001. The meeting established a strong foundation for cooperative work among the participant organizations towards the goal of assuring that full and effective reclamation programs are established for the major existing mines in New Mexico. Effective enforcement of the New Mexico Mining Act has important implications for mining states throughout the country, as the Act is the first in the nation to require reclamation and financial assurance for mines operating at the time of passage of the law.

Seminar participants included representatives from the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, Western Environmental Law Center, Santa Fe Group of the Sierra Club, Border Ecology Project, Center for Science in Public Participation, and the convening organizations.

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