Rural southwestern New Mexico is a special place with a storied history of mining and mineral development. The long-shuttered mines of the classic American mining district at Mogollon in Catron County once contributed greatly to the region’s prosperity while producing precious metals important to New Mexico and the nation.
On Oct. 30, Bob Moore placed an op-ed in this paper that misjudges Summa Silver and our work near Mogollon. Although we respect his opinion, we welcome the opportunity to set the record straight.
Summa Silver is conducting exploratory drilling in the Mogollon area exclusively on private property where after rigorous review, permits were granted by state authorities. We have conducted the prerequisite wildlife and archaeological surveys, as well as additional scientific survey work above and beyond the regulatory requirements. Furthermore, we have posted an obligatory reclamation bond to guarantee our current 1.35-acre work area will be environmentally stewarded and reclaimed to a pre-exploration state.
To be clear, our work is conducted in a manner centered around the pillars of environmental stewardship, community engagement, meeting or exceeding the requirements of the state’s permitting process and maximizing economic benefits for the people of the region.
The Mogollon mining district is home to significant underground mine workings, a testament to a robust mineral resource developed into the early 1940s. As is the nature of underground mines, the silver and gold deposits in the Mogollon area have small footprints. Should our exploration work prove successful, it is anticipated underground mining with a very small footprint would be the extraction method of choice.
Moore also suggests there is a choice between either economic development or environmental protection. That’s a false choice, and mineral development is not a zero-sum proposition. Summa Silver uses modern processes and technologies that protect the environment, create opportunities for our communities, as well as provide economic benefits at the local, regional and state levels – all while advancing the development of minerals to both sustain and improve our quality of life.
Did you know silver is a vital metal in the transition to a greener economy? For example, the International Energy Agency estimates that by 2030, silver demand for solar panels could triple, potentially using roughly 300 million ounces annually, or 30% of global supply. In fact, solar is becoming the lowest-cost option for new electricity generation in most of the world.
Sadly, many of the minerals used in our smart phones, computers and cars are largely sourced from Third World countries where child labor issues are deeply troubling, local people receive little to no benefit, and environmental protections are non-existent. Conversely, in this country we have some of the world’s strongest regulations that result in health, safety and environmental protections widely respected around the world.
New Mexico is blessed with mineral resources, strong labor standards and the highest degrees of environmental protections. At Summa Silver, we look forward to continuing exploration work under these regulations at our promising project near Mogollon. Most importantly, it is our goal that one day the silver deposits we discover will help bring renewed prosperity to this extraordinary part of New Mexico.