Lake Valley Mine Safeguard Projects
Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement’s 2015 National Award
The judges chose the Lake Valley projects for the National Award in 2105 for successfully meeting very challenging site conditions due to the large number of dangerous mine openings, the presence of weak subsurface soil and rock, and the presence of deteriorated cribbing and near-surface underground workings. The NM AML Program utilized creative technical solutions to address the issues at the site. Toroid tire plugs, in particular, were a very innovative use of new technology utilizing material that would normally be a waste product, and geosynthetically confined soil was an affordable engineering technique that provided a reliable closure solution.