Santa Fe man’s Southern New Mexico garnet mine could transform market
Santa Fe businessman Daniel Burrell at the Orogrande mine site in November. Bruce Krasnow/The New Mexican
Andradite garnet from the Orogrande site is captured in a strainer by geologists, who sample the drilling area in 5-foot intervals. Courtesy Arnand Van Heerden/Tetra Tech
Geologist Arnand Van Heerden of Tetra Tech Mining & Minerals surveys the Orogrande area just before his firm started sample drilling there in November. Courtesy Arnand Van Heerden/Tetra Tech
Tetra Tech’s Mackenzie Fernald, right, captures garnet cuttings from a reverse-circulation rig. The samples are laid in sequence and left to dry before they are analyzed and placed in trays. Courtesy Arnand Van Heerden/Tetra Tech
- Orogrande mine and growth
Here are the possible economic development impacts from the Orogrande mine, according to Daniel Burrell:
Phase 1 development, 50 jobs, all with benefits:
• 10 executive management positions
• 10 engineering, plant and mine site supervisory positions
• 30 manufacturing jobs
These numbers double in a Phase 2 of the project
Direct investment (2014)
• $25 million invested in equipment, materials and buildings at the processing facility in Anthony and at the mine site in Orogrande.
This investment nearly doubles in Phase 2.
Economic multiplier effect
• Burrell said the company is using New Mexico businesses for legal services, accounting and tax services, as well as for on-the-ground drilling rigs, water transportation, core testing, survey and title work, sales and contracting.
Renewed interest in mineral exploration
• The garnet reserve is the largest in the United States, and given that it is a hard rock deposit versus a beach sand deposit, it is one of the more unique concentrations of the mineral globally. Burrell hopes this will renew interest in the Orogrande area by precious metals and minerals companies, leading to further development.
On the Web
• Read about Otero County mining history here.
• Listen to the interview with Katherine Jetter about her opal jewelry here.
• Learn about Daniel Burrell at Santa Fe’s Rosemont Realty here.
- Timeline of Orogrande Garnet Mine
Late 1990s: Garnet deposit first discovered in field observations by gold mine company.
2005: The El Paso mining and cattle family does some geological work.
September 2012: The project comes to attention of Daniel Burrell and John Jetter as possible investors.
April 2013: Burrell commissions full study of Orogrande garnet deposits.
August-September 2013: Burrell Western Resources acquires 2,400 acres of unimproved land controlled by 117 mining claims. Burrell resigns from Rosemont Realty.
November-December 2013: Burrell Western Resources files operations notice with the Bureau of Land Management, further exploratory drilling takes place.
2014: Plant construction and product marketing campaign scheduled to begin.
2015: Mine expected to be fully operational.
Posted: Friday, December 13, 2013 12:30 pm
Updated: 11:33 am, Mon Dec 16, 2013.
OROGRANDE — Driving through this stark landscape south of Alamogordo, it’s easy to miss Orogrande with its one convenience store, post office and a closed-up mining museum.
Still, there are enough relics and beaten-down structures that one can picture the boom years of the 1900s, when men flooded the area, living in tents to seek out gold and turquoise. By 1905, the year after a 6 1/2-ounce gold nugget was discovered in a dry wash, the rush had spawned a railroad, a smelter, a 16-person real estate office, a barbershop, a hotel and nine saloons. “Rich ore poured out of the mines by the trainload,” reads an Otero County history blog.
Or, use your
Friday, December 13, 2013 12:30 pm.
Updated: 11:33 am.