Freeport-McMoRan, owner and operator of the Chino and Tyrone copper mines, continues to move forward with expansion projects, while the Malone Bronco Creek exploration project is delayed. GRIP submitted its public comments on the draft discharge permit renewal and modification for expansion of the Little Rock Mine, an open pit copper mine that is part […]
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.
In October, Freeport-McMoRan submitted applications to the state for permits for a new mine unit at the Tyrone Mine. Located on the southeast side of Tyrone just to the west of Highway 90, the Emma Project will cover approximately 400 acres of disturbance, including construction of an open pit 600 feet deep. The project will […]
With the availability of COVID vaccines and the positive outlook for copper, Chino mine reopened in early 2021 and Tyrone pushed forward with its expansion plans at Little Rock and the new Emma Project this past year. Proposals to explore for copper and other minerals in the area are moving forward in response to the […]
The New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, Mining and Minerals Division (MMD) will hold a virtual public hearing on the application by Freeport‐McMoRan Tyrone Operations (Tyrone) for a proposed expansion of the Little Rock Mine, located just west of the Tyrone Mine, approximately ten miles south of Silver City. How to access the Public Hearing […]
GRIP and its partners submitted scoping comments to the Gila National Forest on the Bronco Creek Exploration proposal for exploratory drilling in the Malone Mining District in the Burro Mountains. Drilling for copper, lead, zinc, gold and silver is proposed to take place on the west side of Knight Peak, a popular recreation area between […]
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has told a Federal Court in New Mexico that it “intends to withdraw” its decision to allow the development of a Dolomite mine on public land in the Florida Mountains south of Deming, New Mexico. A Motion for Stay of All Proceedings in Case Number 2:20-cv-00924, filed January 11, 2021, […]
After years of perseverance, Chino mine is now required to treat mine effluent at closure rather than diluting it to meet water quality standards, saving thousands of acre-feet per year of Grant County’s precious groundwater. This victory was a long-time in coming and the result of years of pressure by GRIP and community members on […]
Along with companies, communities and other civil society groups, GRIP has joined the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) to demonstrate support for socially and environmentally responsible mining and to encourage New Mexico mining operations to conduct IRMA mine assessments. With increased customer awareness, companies in the auto, jewellry, building and electronics industries are demanding […]
Deming, NM. – A coalition of conservation groups are suing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to reverse the agency’s approval of an extensive mining exploration and development project in the Florida Mountains by American Magnesium, LLC. The lawsuit focuses on violations of the Administrative Procedures Act, Federal Land Management Policy Act, and the National Environmental […]
After an online public meeting in August, GRIP submitted comments on the revised Tyrone Mine Reclamation Plan that is more than a decade out of date. Our public comments focused on the ineffectiveness of the online public meeting format to address the public’s concerns with how Freeport-McMoRan intends to reclaim the mine site once operations […]