New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting
April 13, 2018

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Inventory and Characterization of Inactive/abandoned Mine (aml) Features in New Mexico

Marcus E Silva2, Virginia T. McLemore1 and Navid Mojtabai2

1New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM, 87801
2New Mexico Tech, Mineral Engineering, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM, New Mexico, 87801

Abandoned mine lands (AML) are lands that were mined and left un-reclaimed where no individual or company has reclamation responsibility and there is no closure plan in effect. These may consist of excavations, either caved-in or sealed, that have been deserted and where further mining is not intended in the future. The New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR) and the Mineral Engineering Department at New Mexico Tech in cooperation with the New Mexico AML program is conducting research to develop a better procedure to inventory and characterize legacy, inactive, or abandoned mine features in New Mexico. Fieldwork involves completion of mine inventory forms which detail location, lithology, feature condition, vegetation, and potential environmental and physical hazards. Laboratory work on these samples includes geochemistry from a professional lab as well as in-house petrography, x-ray diffraction, electron microprobe, paste pH, and particle size analysis. Some sites have the potential to contaminate surface water, groundwater and air quality many of which also feature open shafts and adits and pose serious physical risks to nearby communities. The results of this study will prioritize the mine features in selected mining districts in New Mexico for safeguarding and remediation.


Abandoned Mine Lands, Remediation, Environmental Hazards, Legacy Issues

pp. 68

2018 New Mexico Geological Society Annual Spring Meeting
April 13, 2018, Macey Center, New Mexico Tech campus, Socorro, NM