The hardrock mining industry owns gold, silver, and other precious metals and minerals beneath an estimated 170,231 acres of U.S. public land in New Mexico, resources worth millions of dollars a year, acquired for as little as $0.84 per acre and held in perpetuity for a yearly rental fee as low as $0.62 an acre. Under a 132-year-old law originally intended to spur development of the West, an industry dominated by a handful of multinational corporations pays no federal royalties, and leaves behind a landscape of dramatically diminished value, scarred with tunnels, pits, and toxic waste piles.
|Quick facts about mining claims in New Mexico|
Total number of claim-holders: 895
Acres of public land claimed by the mining industry, estimated: 170,231 (7.5 times Santa Fe (23872 acres))
Dollars paid for each acre: as little as $0.84, and as little as $0.62 yearly rental fee
Reimbursement to the federal government for gold, silver and other precious metals taken from public land: $0
Companies owning minerals on at least 10,000 public acres: 1
Land area ever claimed by the mining industry nationally, estimated: 79 million acres (the size of New Mexico)
EWG analysis of data compiled by the Bureau of Land Management.
Companies have been consolidated to account for subsidiaries. View this table without consolidation.
|Company/Individual||Headquarters||Number of Claims||Acreage Claimed||Date(s) Filed|
|1||Phelps Dodge Mining Co||Phoenix, AZ||1,397||28,275||1906 to 2000|
|2||Robert L Rector||Amarillo, TX||198||7,920||2001|
|3||Thomas E Frisbie||Amarillo, TX||198||7,920||2001|
|4||Kathleen R Gabriella||Gunnison, CO||163||6,307||1958 to 1997|
|5||Northstar 1991 Trust||Carson City, NV||162||6,306||1958 to 1997|
|6||Molycorp Inc||Brea, CA||243||5,020||1928 to 1995|
|7||Kelly Armstrong||Espanola, NM||88||4,620||1988 to 1996|
|8||Richard P Cook||Espanola, NM||80||4,464||1988 to 1999|
|9||Shirley A Cook||Espanola, NM||74||4,340||1988 to 1994|
|10||Debbie Cantrup||Espanola, NM||54||4,320||1988 to 1990|
|See all claim holders in New Mexico|
Some of the claimants in this table may be in partnership with other individuals or companies with a claim to the same land.
|County||Number of Claims||Estimated Acreage|
|4||Rio Arriba County||305||12,653||details||map|
|See all counties|
|Name of Mine||Location of Mine||Mine Status||Metal Mined||Owner or Parent Company of Owner|
|Tyrone Copper (sx-ew) Mine||Grant County, NM||Open||Copper Ore||Phelps Dodge|
|Crownpoint||Mckinley County, NM||Proposed||Uranium||Hydro Resources|
|Chino Copper Mine||Grant County, NM||Suspended||Copper Ore||Phelps Dodge|
|Continental||Grant County, NM||Suspended||Copper Ore||Phelps Dodge|
|Questa Molybdenum Mine||Taos County, NM||Open||Molybdenum||Molycorp|
Source: EWG analysis.