Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mining Permit Issued For Socorro

By John Larson

A mining company has been given the green light to initiate an exploratory project in Socorro County to extract beryllium.
A permit has been issued to BE Resources, Inc. by the Mining and Minerals Division of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department to allow the company to conduct exploration activities for bertrandite on privately-owned lands 12 miles north of Monticello in Socorro County.
Bertrandite and beryl are the two main sources of beryllium, a lightweight metal with high thermal conductivity.
According to Virginia McLemore, geologist at New Mexico Tech, beryllium is used in the defense, aerospace, automotive electronics (modules for engine control computers, motors), medical, and telecommunications industries, in the cooling systems for nuclear reactors, and as a shield in nuclear reactors.
The company owns the rights to mineral leases and mining claims covering about 33,000 acres in Socorro and Sierra counties - known as the New Mexico Beryllium Project.
The company acquired the majority of its property -- consisting of a lease from private landowners, three state leases, and unpatented mining claims -- from Great Western Exploration LLC in 2007.
“This has been one of the most detailed exploration permit reviews conducted, despite the small scope,” said Bill Brancard, Acting Director of the Mining and Minerals Division in a press release. “The Mining and Minerals Division conducted a lengthy public hearing, received and reviewed comments from more than a thousand citizens, and consulted with a number of federal and state agencies and tribal governments in the review of the application. The division considered potential impacts to wetlands, ground water, cultural resources and special status wildlife species in preparing the permit.”
The permit will allow BE Resources to drill up to five bore holes, each five to ten inches in diameter, and up to 1,000 feet in total depth.

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