SANTA FE, N.M. — A public hearing on an ordinance to amend county’s Land Use Development Code wasn’t supposed to be about the prospect of a new mining operation north of Pecos.
But nearly all of the 18 people who spoke during the hearing at Tuesday’s County Commission meeting referenced the proposed project by Comexico LLC, a subsidiary of an Australian firm that has filed an application to conduct mineral exploration in the Santa Fe National Forest near Tererro on the eastern edge of Santa Fe County.
County officials made clear that the amendments to the ordinance covering hardrock mining weren’t specific to the Comexico project.
Yet, residents of the area, geologists, attorneys and representatives of such groups as the Upper Pecos Watershed, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and New Mexico Acequia Association all expressed opposition to renewed mining near Tererro at the former site of a mining operation dating back to the 1930s. The old mine wasn’t cleaned up and resulted in an environmental disaster decades later.