Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Foreign miners continue to probe public lands

Comexico, an American subsidiary of Australian company New World Cobalt, wants to drill test holes into the Sangre de Cristo mountain range on the Santa Fe National Forest in the Jones Hill area north of Pecos, New Mexico.
Federal mining regulations and laws, including the General Mining Law of 1872, as amended, require the Forest Service to allow mineral exploration and development on National Forest System lands. The surface-disturbing drilling activities proposed in Comexico’s plan of operations require analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Forest Service can add mitigation measures and modifications to Comexico’s plan of operations to minimize potential environmental impacts. The project area is within designated critical habitat for the Mexican spotted owl, a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, and the endangered Holy Ghost ipomopsis as well as habitat for the goshawk, peregrine falcon and Rio Grande cutthroat trout. [press release, Santa Fe National Forest]
The US Forest Service is often powerless to stop the extractive industry from permanently altering sensitive watersheds because of the 1872 law. Repeal or even reform of the 1872 statute has been thwarted repeatedly by the earth hating Republican Party.

In September we motored to Oracle, Patagonia, Bisbee and Morenci from Santa Fe and were shocked by the ravages of surface mining in SE Arizona where operations owned by Morenci and Miami are ravaging water supplies and reducing entire mountain ranges to piles of waste rock.

1 comment:

larry kurtz said...

"Pecos villagers made it clear Thursday night that they remain opposed to a proposed mining project in their valley. “I don’t think we want this thing here,” said Pecos resident Nina Rabstock during a community meeting on the issue hosted by Santa Fe National Forest officials at Pecos High School. Her comment drew applause from the roughly 250 people in attendance. And when another resident asked how many people would take part in peaceful, nonviolent actions to stop the operation — even if it led to jail — about three-fourths of the crowd stood up." Pecos residents protest mine proposal