THEMAC Resources Group Limited, via its wholly owned subsidiary New Mexico Copper Corporation (NMCC), has announced two noteworthy and positive regulatory decisions for its Copper Flat Mine Project located in Sierra County, New Mexico.
BLM Issues Decision on the Copper Flat Mine Project FEIS
The project is acknowledged as a good example of working together with the State of New Mexico, industry, and local communities to sustainably create public land resources.
On August 22nd, 2019, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a positive decision on the Copper Flat Copper Mine Project.
The BLM decision supports a mine alternative from the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) that meets plans used for permit applications registered with the State. The FEIS was prepared along with a number of cooperating state agencies comprising: the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish; the New Mexico Environment Department; the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department; and the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer.
The FEIS, publicized in April 2019 following almost eight years of study, examined the potential environmental effects for a number of different alternatives.
The BLM decision favors open pit mining and 30,000 tons per day mineral processing by sulfide flotation at the company’s Copper Flat Property in Sierra County, New Mexico. Through the FEIS, the BLM established that execution of the accepted alternative together with company commitments to environmental monitoring and protection measures will not cause needless or unwarranted degradation of public lands, and the Agency has established that the decision is steady with other applicable legal necessities.
In declaring the decision, the BLM understood that the Copper Flat Mine will improve economic development by generating jobs and allowing community growth.
Copper Flat Mine Groundwater Discharge Permit Upheld After Two-Day Appeal Hearing
Decision castoffs first-ever appeals of a discharge permit since Copper Rule adopted in 2013.
The New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) has revealed a decision to uphold the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) issuance of a groundwater discharge permit for the Copper Flat Mine Project.
On August 13th, the WQCC heard opinions and responses to Commission questioning from attorneys with New Mexico Copper Corporation and NMED and also from two petitioners opposed to the groundwater discharge permit for the Copper Flat Mine Project
The petitioners filed two administrative appeals asking the WQCC to appraise the groundwater discharge permit (DP-1840) granted by NMED for the Copper Flat Mine Project in Sierra County. The petitioners debated six separate points and demanded a reversal of the permit or a remand to the Environment Department to either reject the permit or impose extra conditions.
But, after the hearing, the Commission passed a motion unanimously preserving Copper Flat’s discharge permit without any alteration. All 13 members of the Commission present at the hearing voted in support of the positions progressed by NMED and NMCC in defending against the two appeals.
Based on this decision, the WQCC disallowed what was the first ever appeals of a complete discharge permit issued for new copper mining facilities under the Commission’s comprehensive and technically rigorous Copper Rule that was implemented in 2013.
We are very happy with this pair of decisions. These actions, taken by two independent agencies at the federal and state level, show that our commitment to protection of the environment is real. We have prepared our plans and permit applications with great care and followed the rigorous requirements of federal and state rules, including the New Mexico Copper Rule that provides significant groundwater protection.
Jeff Smith, Chief Operating Officer, THEMAC Resources Group Limited and New Mexico Copper Corporation