Comexico's proposed mining activities cannot begin without approval from the federal, state, and local government.
Read the documents associated with Comexico’s federal application here.
- In 2019, Comexico submitted a proposed plan of operations and sought approval for exploratory drilling in the Santa Fe National Forest.
- In 2019-2020, the Forest Service put the proposal out for scoping, a public comment period, and a public meeting.
- Based on public input, the Forest Service decided to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate the impacts of the project.
- In 2022, issuance of the EA was delayed by the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon fires and post-fire recovery efforts.
- Multiple organizations have requested that the Forest Service provide a 60-day public comment period and a public meeting on the draft EA, once issued. It is unclear whether the Forest Service will grant these requests for meaningful public participation.
- Although the Forest Service cannot deny an application to conduct mineral exploration that meets basic legal requirements, the Forest Service must place necessary conditions on the project to protect natural and cultural resources.
Read the documents associated with Comexico’s state application here.
- In 2019, Comexico applied for an exploratory drilling permit with the Mining and Minerals Division (MMD) of the N.M. Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department.
- Before making a decision on the permit application, MMD must determine whether Comexico has obtained the required approval from the Forest Service and has met the requirements in the New Mexico Mining Act.
- MMD has granted a request to conduct a formal public hearing before making a decision. MMD has not yet issued the public notice announcing the date, time, and location for the hearing.
- If a permit is granted, MMD must place conditions on the permit to ensure compliance with state law, including the requirement to provide sufficient financial assurance to remediate the lands disturbed by the exploration activities.
- Public comments on the project may be submitted to MMD vial email at any time: EMNRD.MMD2@emnrd.nm.gov
Santa Fe County
- Both Santa Fe County and San Miguel County have ordinances that require a conditional use permit for hardrock mining activity within the county. View the ordinances here and here.
- Although the current exploration proposal is located fully within Santa Fe County, some of Comexico’s additional claims are located within San Miguel County.
- Before issuing a conditional use permit for exploratory drilling, Santa Fe County will require Comexico to submit an application to the county commission and will conduct a public hearing.
- Santa Fe County will not grant a conditional use permit unless Comexico has obtained required federal and state permits and provided sufficient financial assurance.