Case Work: Water
Ortiz Mountains Gold Mine Reclamation
LOCATION: Santa Fe County
OPPOSING PARTIES: LAC Minerals, (which was purchased by Barrick Gold Corp. Pegasus Gold was the original mine operator.)
INITIATION DATE: October 1992
CLIENTS/PARTNERS: Friends of Santa Fe County
ATTORNEYS: Douglas Meiklejohn
The Law Center and its client, Friends of Santa Fe County, are monitoring the reclamation of the LAC gold mine to ensure that the site is reclaimed. Under a negotiated settlement, LAC Minerals was required to clean up a plume of groundwater contaminated with nitrates and cyanide (used in the heap-leach method of gold mining). It continues to reclaim the ecosystem and remediate contamination at the site.
Also under the settlement, 1,350 acres of the mine were donated to the Santa Fe Botanical Garden for the Ortiz Mountain Educational Preserve.
July 2009 – We are continuing to monitor the settlement.