BLM To Study Sierra County Copper Mining Proposal

Hillsboro, New Mexico – HILLSBORO, N.M. (KRWG) The Bureau of Land Management says it plans to prepare an environmental impact statement for a proposed copper mine in south-central New Mexico.

The agency's decision comes nearly a year after New Mexico Copper Corp. first announced plans to reopen a mine near Hillsboro that had been shuttered for nearly three decades.

As part of the process, the BLM plans to hold scoping meetings in the area in the coming months.

New Mexico Copper began exploring the extent of the deposit at Copper Flat in 2010, when copper prices began to rebound. Company officials believe there's still plenty of ore to be mined from the site.

If state and federal regulators approve the company's plans, the operation could mean some 500 construction jobs and another 200 permanent jobs.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. KRWG