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FAQ – Abandoned Mine Land Program

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  3. FAQ - Abandoned Mine Land Program
How is the AML Program funded?

The AML Program is funded nationally through a reclamation fee on coal production. The fee collection has been extended until September 30, 2021, with a reduced fee structure to be phased in until that date. The current fee structure  on mined coal is eight cents per ton on lignite, 13.5 cents per ton on underground mined coal, and 28 cents per ton on surface mined coal.

How many abandoned mines are there in the State of New Mexico?

The numbers of abandoned mines in the state are so numerous that one can only guess at the quantity. Some of them are small and not considered dangerous. Others are extremely dangerous. The AML Program estimates that there are approximately 15,000 abandoned mine features throughout the state.

How does the AML Program decide which mines to work on?

The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) specifies a category structure. Basically, the more dangerous and environmentally hazardous a mine feature is, the higher the priority. After deciding on the priority of a certain mine, the AML Program is required to go through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process because of our use of federal funds. This entails among other things doing an archaeological survey, a wildlife survey and a plant survey.

How do I report a dangerous mine that I have found?

The AML Program is aware of various abandoned mines throughout the state, but there are many that the program has not located yet. If you know of a potentially dangerous abandoned mine contact Mike Tompson. If you have an abandoned mine on your property and would like the AML Program to address it, please fill out and notarize a Consent-to-Entry form.

Are there any projects coming up for bid?

The Public Meetings, Bids and RFPs page lists all projects currently out for bid.

How do contractors get on the notification list for new projects?

For almost all projects, contractors will require to have an active and valid New Mexico Contractors License appropriate for the work issued by the Regulation and Licensing Department, Construction Industries Division. Contact Meghan McDonald at (505) 629-9872 to notify us that you would like to be put on the notification list.

How do I have the AML Program list my product in its specifications?

If you think your product is better or comparable to something specified, or even if you think it is a product we should be aware of, send an e-mail to Mike Tompson or Meghan McDonald. They will evaluate your product to see if it meets the program’s needs and decide whether to incorporate it into the specifications.

Whom should I talk to with a question about mineral rights?

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is the agency responsible for administering mineral rights. Call the main New Mexico office in Santa Fe at (505) 954-2000. Further details on mineral rights and locating claims in New Mexico are provided on MMD’s Frequently Asked Questions.

Are there any old historic tourist mines that I could visit while in New Mexico?

The only historic mining districts that the AML Program feels are safe enough for the public to visit are the Cerrillos Hills State Park and Sugarite Canyon State Park. However, there are other tourist attractions in the state that were involved in the mining boom such as the Shakespeare Ghost Town in Lordsburg and Lake Valley old townsite. There is also a BLM Recreation area at Lake Valley.