The Bureau of Land Management issued the draft environmental assessment for a proposed magnesium/dolomite quarry mine in Luna County. The BLM will host a virtual public meeting on May 28 from 5 to 7 p.m., which will provide the public with the opportunity to learn more about the EA, discuss it with specialists, ask questions, and submit comments on the document.

In March 2019, American Magnesium, LLC submitted a plan of operation to the BLM Las Cruces District for its proposed Foothill Dolomite Mine Project. The company proposes to develop a 40-acre site as a dolomite quarry mine on BLM-managed public land located 12 miles south of Deming and estimates the mine would be operational for 20 years and employ 10 workers throughout its life.

Dolomite is a form of the mineral magnesium, which has been identified as a critical mineral by Executive Order 13817, Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals and is listed on the Department of the Interior’s Final List of Critical Minerals. “Critical minerals” are defined as minerals essential to the economic and national security of the United States, the supply chain of which is vulnerable to disruption, and that serve essential functions in the manufacturing of products. Dolomite is used for multiple applications, including in the construction, metal processing and chemical industries, and as an ingredient in the production of glass, bricks and ceramics.

The proposed action for the project consists of improvements to an existing BLM road, construction of a new mine site access road, laydown yard and temporary structures, as well as resource verification drilling, excavation and removal of dolomite resources. The meeting will provide detailed information on the total surface disturbance; phases of the mine development; dolomite blasting and removal; and site reclamation once mining is completed.