Grant County is home to two of the nation’s five largest open-pit copper mines, responsible for ongoing groundwater contamination, aquifer depletion, bird deaths, and the destruction of preciouis riparian areas.
Since 1998, GRIP has raised awareness of these issues and mobilized residents to voice their opinions at hearings and in letters to newspapers and decisionmakers. By hiring a national expert in mine reclamation, we have also educated regulators and the mines about industry best practices.
As a result of these efforts and the support of environmental groups statewide, the Tyrone and Chino mines have two of the nation’s best reclamation plans, backed by over $500 million in financial assurance.
As a partner in the New Mexico Mining Act Network, GRIP continues to defend the NM Mining Act and Water Quality Act from industry rollback attempts, such as with the latest water quality regulation for copper mining. Ongoing activities include monitoring the environmental impacts of the mines under operational permits, oversight of permitting for a proposed new haul road at the Cobre mine and permitting of a new mine near Hillsboro.
Given Freeport-McMoRan’s deteriorating financial situation and failure to pass the Mining Act Financial Soundness Test, the Mining and Minerals Division (MMD) has requested that Freeport reduce its third-party guarantee to cover the company’s financial assurance obligations at the Chino mine. In a letter dated August 12, MMD requested a “Certificate of Face Amount Adjustment to […]
NMED’s draft rules limit public participation and expand polluters’ ability to discharge above water quality standards Send in your comments to NMED by August 17 The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) is in the process of revising statewide surface water and groundwater quality regulations for the state. Our colleagues at the NM Environmental Law Center have […]
Freeport-McMoRan fails financial soundness test Company must meet financial assurance rules or start reclamation By Harry Browne, GRIP Treasurer/Secretary On March 18, New Mexico’s Mining and Minerals Division (MMD) sent Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) a shocking letter. “Unless the Third-Party Guarantee(s) are adjusted to meet the financial soundness test,” the division’s director, Fernando Martinez, wrote, “or (are) […]
The latest issue of GRIP’s newsletter, GetAGRIP, is now available for download. If you are a GRIP member expect your copy in your mailbox soon. In this issue: Freeport-McMoRan fails financial soundness test NM Attorney General determines NM CAP Entity violated Open Meetings Act in Gila diversion discussions Back to square one: NM CAP Entity […]
Guest Column by Allyson Siwik, Executive Director, Gila Resources Information Project Download Guest Column We watched in horror and sadness the images of an orange, heavy metal-laden plume of mine wastewater flow down the Animas River from an accidental release at the inactive Gold King Mine in Colorado, impacting communities, farmers, wildlife, and recreation along […]
Water Quality Advocates File Brief with NM Supreme Court to Repeal Copper Rule and Protect Groundwater
October 22, 2015 On Monday, advocates for water quality filed their Brief in Chief with the New Mexico Supreme Court on the state’s Copper Rule. The brief outlines why the Court should set aside the Rule, which regulates the discharge of copper mining pollution into groundwater. The state Court of Appeals upheld the regulation in May, even […]
There is no limit to how far global mining giant Freeport-McMoRan will go to get its way to legally pollute New Mexico’s groundwater. And the Martinez administration has proved that it is more than willing to help go after state officials like Attorney General Hector Balderas who are trying to protect New Mexico’s water supplies. […]
Download the latest issue of GetAGRIP and find out more about the Little Rock Mine expansion, Freeport-McMoRan’s financial situation, Tyrone mine layoffs and the status on the Copper Rule. You’ll also get a preview of the 11th Annual Gila River Festival and the latest on the Arizona Water Settlements Act, Boston Hill […]
Freeport-McMoRan to Expand Little Rock Mine Tell the Mining and Minerals Division to Strictly Enforce the NM Mining Act to Protect Water Quality and Wildlife! SIGN THE PETITION Global mining giant Freeport-McMoRan has submitted an application to the New Mexico Mining and Minerals Division for a permit to expand the Little Rock mine and update […]
By Allyson Siwik / Executive Director, Gila Resources Information Project, & Rachel Conn / Executive Director, Amigos Bravos Albuquerque Journal PUBLISHED: Monday, August 24, 2015 at 12:02 am We have watched in horror and sadness as images of an orange, heavy metal-laden plume of mine wastewater flow down the Animas River from an accidental release […]