By on August 15, 2011

Santa Fe, New Mexico— The New Mexico Mining and Minerals Division has set the public hearing for Rio Grande Resources Corporation’s application to renew “Standby Status” for its Mt. Taylor Mine on Wednesday, August 17, 2011, 5 p.m. in the Cibola County Convention Center, 515 West High Street, Grants, N.M. A standby permit allows the mine operator to let the mine remain inactive without having to do any clean up. The permit lasts for 5 years.

The New Mexico Environmental Law Center and their clients, Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment and Amigos Bravos, will challenge Rio Grande Resources’ permit application. These groups insist that Rio Grande Resources must begin cleaning up the toxic waste sites at the mine rather than let those areas continue to pollute land and water for another five years. Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment and Amigos Bravos will present testimony at the hearing. The public is invited to voice their concerns as well.

Mt. Taylor, which is considered sacred by as many as 30 Indian tribes, is threatened by exploration and proposals for uranium mining. The mountain was listed among America’s 11 most endangered historic places for 2009, which is compiled by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The protected area includes nearly 540 square miles around the 11,301-foot summit of the western New Mexico mountain down to surrounding mesa tops.

The Mt. Taylor mine is located one mile northeast of the town of San Mateo, Cibola County, New Mexico, in Section 24, Township 13 North, Range 8 West. The Mt. Taylor Mine is an existing underground uranium mine that extracted uranium ore from depths of over 3,000 feet below ground surface using room-and-pillar and stope mining methods. Uranium ore was produced from the Mt. Taylor Mine from 1979 to 1982 and from 1985 to 1990. The Mine has been inactive from January 1990 to the present.

A copy of Rio Grande Resources’ application for the renewal of Standby Status is available at the City of Grants Public Library and in Santa Fe at the Mining and Minerals Division’s office. These documents are also available for viewing on the MMD website at For additional information regarding the Mt. Taylor Mine renewal of Standby Status application, contact David Ohori, Permit Lead, Mining and Minerals Division at (505) 476-3432.

What: Rio Grande Resources Corporation Public Hearing to renew “Standby Status” to operate the Mt. Taylor Mine
Where: Convention Room, Cibola County Courthouse,515 West High Street, Grants, N.M.
There is free wireless in the building but connections are limited in the Convention Room.  Journalists are encouraged to use portable satellite modems.
When: Wednesday, August 17, 2011, 5p.m.


The mission of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center is to protect New Mexico’s natural environment and communities through legal and policy advocacy, and public education. The New Mexico Environmental Law Center’s attorneys have handled over 100 critical cases in low-income and minority communities fighting pollution and environmental degradation. The Law Center charges few, if any, fees to its clients, most of whom are from Hispanic and Native American communities.

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