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.
Fierro, New Mexico: Memories of a Mining Town The year was 1997. Hear the voices of the people from the mining town of Fierro who were concerned about the impacts from Cobre Mining Co.’s proposal to take down Hanover Mountain and expand the mine. Now more than ever, these community perspectives are important […]
PUBLIC MEETING NEW Chino 9 Waste Rock Stockpile Proposal Thursday, February 21, 2019 Bayard Community Center – Time TBA Freeport-McMoRan Chino Mines, NM Mining and Minerals Division (MMD), and New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) will hold a public meeting on Chino Mine’s application to construct a new 9 Waste Rock Stockpile (9WRS). Chino proposes to […]
Two urgent actions are needed TODAY on House Bill 220 and House Bill 255 to protect our community, our water quality and environment from the impacts of copper mining. ACTION #1 – CALL YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE IN SUPPORT OF HB255. THE BILL IS SCHEDULED FOR A FLOOR VOTE 2/20/19. HB255 would phase out corporate guarantees […]
Read or download the 20th Anniversary Issue of Get A GRIP Looking Back on 20 Years of Advocacy Sally Smith, GRIP President As I think about GRIP’s accomplishments over the past two decades, my thoughts keep returning to Margaret Mead’s sage advice to “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change […]
Inactive since 1998, Freeport-McMoRan’s Cobre Mine resumed operations in July after completion of the bridge and tunnel over Highway 152. Hanover Mountain will disappear from the landscape within 4 – 7 years as the company mines its ore and hauls it to Chino’s Lampbright Stockpile for leaching using the new 3.6-mile haul road that connects […]
Update on GRIP’s Responsible Mining Program – Fall 2018 In April, GRIP signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Freeport-McMoRan to resolve permitting issues related to reopening the Cobre Mine and the unacceptable delays in renewals for closure/closeout permits at all three of the company’s Grant County mines. In addition to resolving our speciﬁc concerns […]
Freeport-McMoRan (FMI) began interim cleanup of Hanover/Whitewater Creek in late October as part of the 1994 Chino Administrative Order on Consent, a legally- binding agreement with NMED to remediate historical mine contamination caused by Chino Mine. GRIP has participated in the AOC’s Community Work Group since its inception and advocates for timely cleanup that is […]
State regulators will be holding hearings on the Copper Flat Mine, located in Hillsboro, NM. New Mexico Copper Corporation has applied for a groundwater discharge permit from the NM Environment Department and a mining permit from the NM Mining and Minerals Division. The New Mexico Environment Department public hearing will begin at 9:00 a.m. on September […]
New Mexico Supreme Court Upholds Water Sacrifice Zones March 9, 2018 SANTA FE, N.M.—The New Mexico Supreme Court issued a stunning and puzzling decision in its long-awaited review of the Copper Rule. The case could set precedent for how the State of New Mexico protects water at all industrial sites. “We are very disappointed with […]
Martinez Administration wants to weaken water quality rules GRIP, Amigos Bravos, & NMELC challenge harmful rollbacks The New Mexico Environment Department has proposed amendments to the state’s water quality regulations that will weaken protections for our surface and groundwater. GRIP and Amigos Bravos, represented by the NM Environmental Law Center, have challenged these proposed changes, […]