ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Mining and Minerals Division is holding a public hearing today in Grants on the Rio Grande Resources Corp.’s application to renew “standby status” for its Mount Taylor Mine, the Cibola Beacon reported.
A standby permit allows the mine operator to let the mine remain inactive without having to do any cleanup, according to the Beacon. The permit is good for five years.
The Mount Taylor Mine is located 1 mile northeast of San Mateo and is an existing underground uranium mine that extracted uranium ore from depths of more than 3,000 feet below ground using room-and-pillar and stope mining methods, the Beacon said.
Uranium ore was produced from the mine from 1979 to 1982 and from 1985 to 1990, the paper reported. The mine has been inactive since January 1990.
The New Mexico Environmental Law Center and its clients, Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment and Amigos Bravos, said in a news release that the groups plan to challenge the permit application and will present testimony at today’s hearing, which is being held at 5 p.m. at the Cibola County Convention Center, 515 West High Street, Grants.
The environmental groups say Rio Grande Res0urces should begin cleaning up the toxic waste sites at the mine rather than “continue to pollute land and water for another five years,” according to the release.