Copper mining in New Mexico requires close collaboration between local stakeholders to minimize and mitigate adverse impacts and cultivate opportunities to maximize positive impacts. Community engagement and consultation ensures that community members have input into mining programs as well as to ensure local understanding of mining operations, impacts and mitigation plans. Engagement occurs formally through open houses and regulatory processes, but more frequently, engagement occurs through community development programs.
New Mexico copper mining contributes heavily to the New Mexico state, county, and local governments and economies through wages and taxes paid as well as the goods and services purchased. The economic benefits derived from mining operations not only fuel the local economy but extend across the economic landscape of New Mexico. The Rules will end the arbitrary nature of the current groundwater protection process, allowing copper mining companies to more effectively plan and invest in new operations in the State. While more onerous than current requirements, replacing the ad hoc process with the scientifically-proven recommendations made by the NMED will provide certainty to the industry, strict guidelines for protecting groundwater and encourage additional investment and job creation.