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Magnesium a safe boost to economy

The proposed dolomite quarry and magnesium complex proposed for Deming is a great opportunity to create the right balance between economic development and environmental protection – and everyone wins.

This project has virtually no environmental hazards: no lined pits, no toxic chemicals and none of the environmental problems classically associated with mining.

This is a clean project that will provide good paying jobs to the people of the Deming area. In short, this is exactly the kind of project that both business and the environmental community should get behind.

Here’s the project as planned: Just south of Deming, there is a small foothill of the Florida Mountains with a dolomite reserve containing enough magnesium to provide U.S. domestic needs for 40 years.

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Magnesium is used in metal alloys to build cars and planes. Magnesium is one third lighter than aluminum. Since lighter cars use less gas, it’s a great way to lessen the greenhouse gases in the U.S.

The dolomite would be quarried at the site with minimal noise and little disruption to the town several miles away.

The dolomite would then be moved by conveyor to the site of an empty business park in the town of Deming that is zoned for industrial use to be processed. This would mean few traffic problems or damage to the roads.

The project would create up to 5,000 good paying jobs for the area.

In short, this project represents something both sides should embrace – better jobs in an economically challenged area with virtually no environmental impact.

In an Albuquerque Journal op-ed of July 6, titled “Proposed magnesium complex raises serious questions,” several legitimate questions were raised and should be addressed.

The author asked how much water would be needed for this project.

The process of creating magnesium uses a minimum amount of water, approximately 55 acre-feet per 30,000 tons of magnesium metal produced annually and a small amount at the quarry for dust control.

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Another question had to do with an “acidic solution” used to make magnesium.

Let me assure you that no acid is used in this process at all. Natural gas heats the rock and extracts the magnesium as a vapor and then reconstitutes it. At no time is an acidic solution used in the processes at the complex.

Lastly, the question was asked about if the Deming area could support 5,000 workers who would work in the facility.

The answer is a resounding yes.

Many, if not most, of the workers would come from the Deming area and would be glad to work at a higher-paying job.

This project would transform the area and give it an economic boost for decades to come. A rising tide lifts all boats, as they say.

The new magnesium complex would be a much-needed shot in the arm for economic development for Southwest New Mexico.

Here is a project that is an environmentally sound way to drive economic development in the area and for our state.

That is the type of project that we should all embrace.

American Magnesium is the company proposing the magnesium project near Deming.

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