Funds To Safeguard Old Mines

New Mexico – The Bureau of Land Management and the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department are teaming up to address abandoned mines around the state.

The BLM recently granted $988,000 to the state's abandoned mine land program to safeguard and remediate abandoned mines.

The state plans to use the money to develop an inventory of abandoned uranium mine sites. It also will be used for remedial reclamation of abandoned uranium mine sites in the Poison Canyon area northwest of Grants, and for safeguarding mines in the Cookes Peak area north of Deming.

The BLM's deputy state director for minerals, Tony Herrell, says working together allows the problem to be studied and addressed across land ownership boundaries.

It's estimated there are more than 15,000 abandoned mine hazards scattered throughout New Mexico.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.