Silver City – The Bureau of Land Management has proposed selling land near the Gila National Forest to Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Co., which wants to expand operations in southwestern New Mexico.
The BLM says Freeport-McMoRan has claims on six BLM parcels and proposes to eventually expand mining operations there.
The BLM would change its designation of the 1,348 acres from "retention" to "disposal," allowing the land to be exchanged or sold.
It says much of the land has been mined for decades.
It says the land has moderate to high mining value but only minor value for wildlife and recreation.
The agency says it then would acquire land with a higher resource value to the public.
The BLM has done an environmental assessment and is taking comments through March 30.
Information from: Silver City Daily Press, http://www.scdailypress.com
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.