New Mexico - Otero Mesa - Mining

State: New Mexico
Region: near Las Cruces, New Mexico
Description: Otero Mesa, located in rural southern New Mexico, is the largest and wildest Chihuahan Desert grassland left on public lands in the U.S. Conservation groups have worked successfully to safeguard Otero Mesa from oil and gas development for over a decade, but there is a new and even more volatile threat to this wild desert grassland - hardrock mining.

 

In August 2011, Denver-based Geovic Mining Corporation started exploratory drilling on Wind Mountain, the most iconic peak in Otero Mesa. A 2010 USGS study indicates that the region contains deposits of rare earth minerals, used in the electronics, medical imaging, high tech and even green industries.

 


View Otero in a larger map

 


View Otero in a larger map