Lordsburg – The state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department has awarded a construction contract to safeguard 17 abandoned mine openings near Lordsburg.
Pioneer Industries, Inc., will construct permanent closures on the mines. Work is expected to be completed by this summer.
The Hidalgo County mines were active from 1916 to 1952. The project will protect habitat for bats that have moved into the empty mines, keeping humans out while allowing the bats to come and go.
New Mexico has a program for abandoned mines that identifies dangerous sites and curtail the hazards. The program is funded by the U.S. Interior Department.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.