Santa Fe man’s mine could transform garnet market

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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.

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  • Linda Garrido posted at 2:54 pm on Sat, Dec 21, 2013.

    Linda Garrido Posts: 13

    Of particular concern is WATER used in the processing. Will it be recycled? Reused? Or will the mine just be abusing a precious commodity. Water - more precious than garnet.

  • Catherine Clinger posted at 5:53 pm on Thu, Dec 19, 2013.

    colmar3 Posts: 3


  • Greg Mello posted at 7:19 am on Sun, Dec 15, 2013.

    Greg Mello Posts: 17

    This article gives the mistaken impression that this mine was going to be good for New Mexico. The available literature, and common sense, say otherwise.
    When ALL available (301!) quantitative studies of rural mining communities in the U.S. were analyzed by Freu and Wilson (“Mining the Data: Analyzing the Economic Implications of Mining for Nonmetropolitan Regions.” Sociological Inquiry. 72(4): 549, of which I have only read the abstract), the authors found that mining had generally negative effects on communities, as far as poverty rates and unemployment were concerned. Yet this article is extremely laudatory -- gushing even. Why weren't specialists in rural economic development consulted, such as the folks at Headwaters Economics, who have recently found some negative social effects from rural oil and gas development?

    There are many other problems: the water, the few jobs involved, the necessity to compete with India (and Indian wages), and the inevitable environmental destruction.

    Worse still, the article seemed to fawn over these wealthy people, approvingly citing their practice of hoarding money during The Great Recession, when so many people were and are out of work. It seems that because their portfolio value increased, they are "successful."

    These values, and this ignorance, are wrecking New Mexico. I cannot but plead with the management of the New Mexican to reconsider the nature of the public narratives which the paper promotes. Stop catering to narcissism, please, and support the obligation for true noblesse oblige, for everybody.


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