Royal John Mine and Mill Environmental Cleanup Phase 2 to begin Spring 2020

Silver City, NM, November 21, 2019 - For Immediate Release.  The second and final phase of the environmental cleanup at the Royal John Mine and Mill is expected to be begin in mid-April of 2020 and be completed by June.  The mine site is east of San Lorenzo in Grant County, New Mexico on the western slopes of the Black Range of the Mimbres Mountains in the Silver City Ranger District, Gila National Forest.

The work planned for next spring includes the physical closure of dangerous shafts and adits to protect the public.  Bat-friendly grates will be installed at seven adits to keep good bat habitat available for use by bats.  The largest adit is approximately eighteen feet wide and fourteen feet high.  Ten other mine openings that do not provide good bat habitat will be permanently closed off using polyurethane foam and rock.  The USDA Forest Service has awarded a contract to perform this work for $391,866 to Engineering/Remediation Resources Group, Inc.  Royal John Road will remain open to the public during construction.

Past lead and zinc mining activities left an estimated 90,000 cubic yards of tailings and waste rock material along the upper reaches of Cold Springs Creek.  The USDA Forest Service completed the first phase of a two-part environmental cleanup to remove waste with elevated levels of lead in August.  Contaminated tailings alongside the creek and waste rock material from the hillsides were removed to an on-site consolidation cell where the waste was permanently capped.  This will provide a long-term reduction in direct exposure of people and wildlife to the contaminated material and will decrease the potential for the contaminants to move from the tailings and waste rock material into the surrounding environment.

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