Stricter Mining Rules Debated in New Mexico

July 2, 2015


Stricter mining rules could be coming to New Mexico. A one-year moratorium on new mining permits in the Santa Fe area is about to expire.


This is the backdrop that has commissioners considering changes in how the area handles applications for landfills, junkyards, sand mines and gravel mines.


A draft ordinance has been presented to commissioners that would impose regulations similar to those that were used for oil and gas ventures in the area.


The proposal that would be tied to mining would classify the developments as having the potential to "affect the environment and public health, safety and welfare beyond the impacts of immediately neighboring properties."


This is all part of an ongoing power struggle between developers who want to mine for basalt on 50 acres of land south of Santa Fe and local mining opponents.


In November 2013, a landowner and a mining operation applied to strip-mine in the area. The moratorium put a halt to that proposed project. For now.


The landowner says the stopping of the project violated federal antitrust laws. At some point, a judge is going to have something to say about the matter.


One of the ways mining has become less intrusive is through reliable mining equipment. The right equipment is crucial to an effective mining operation.