Excellence in Reclamation Award Program

Before: The debris flow from a gob blowout in the historic coal mining town of Madrid, NM, across the driveway and onto the Mining Museum property. After: Precast architectural blocks for stormwater control.

The Excellence in Reclamation Award program was initiated in 1996 to recognize excellence in coal, hard rock and aggregate mine reclamation and abandoned mine land reclamation projects. EMNRD presents the awards at the annual New Mexico Mining Association Conference.

Examples of appropriate nomination topics include, but are not limited to: 1) advancing reclamation science through studies at the mine site, using the scientific method; 2) applying state-of-the-art, innovative reclamation techniques which mitigate mining-related impacts to people and/or the environment (surface water, ground water, livestock, wildlife habitat, plants, soils, or cultural resources); 3) developing state-of-the art, innovative post-mine land use applications to reclaimed portions of the mine site; 4) voluntary reclamation of a mine by an operator that is not required by any regulatory program; 5) increasing public awareness of mining issues through open public processes (e.g., stakeholder meetings, voluntary public meetings, publications etc.); or 6) other related efforts or initiatives deserving special recognition.

Nomination criteria:
1) Eligible nominees include any entity involved in the reclamation of a mine site or portion of a mine site in New Mexico; or other related efforts or initiatives deserving recognition.
2) Not eligible nominees include those currently in violation of any state or federal environmental law.
3) Nominations can be for a site that is either an active or inactive mining operation in the state, regardless of whether they are under MMD's jurisdiction.
4) Nominations can include reclamation or safeguarding on abandoned mine land.
5) Nominations for awards may be made by any interested person, group or company including: consulting groups, environmental groups, the owner or operator of the mine, government agencies, or the contractor performing the reclamation.

Past award winners and details of their projects are listed below.

2020 Press Release Awards will be presented at the 2021 New Mexico Mining Association's annual convention
  Picuris Pueblo U.S. Hill Mine reclamation project to provide access to important spiritual sites and traditional sources of materials collected by Picuris pot makers for many generations
  The Española Mercantile Company, and Matt Lane Erosion correction projects at Las Conchas and El Cajete pumice mines using adaptive and creative approaches in reclamation of particularly challenging sites
2019 Press Release Presentation
  Navajo Transitional Energy Company, and North American Coal Corporation – Bisti Fuels Company

Navajo Mine – Powering the Navajo Nation through Education

Dedication to cultivate interest in mining, reclamation, and STEM-related careers through education, outreach, and community service to help students and residents from the Navajo Nation and surrounding communities


Freeport McMoRan Chino Mines, Borderlands Restoration Network, Gila Watershed Partnership, and

Bat Conservation International

Agave Roundup in Grant County

Salvaging more than 750 agave plants for use in mine reclamation areas and non-mining areas for the benefit of improved bat habitat and environmental awareness

2018 Miocene, LLC Small mine operation reclamation, Section 2 Mine
2017 Press Release Presentation
  Rangeland Hands, Inc.
Ruverbend Engineering, LLC
Madrid Low Impact Stormwater Project (this project also received the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement's 2017 Western Region Award, presented at the National Association of Abandoned Mine Lands Programs' annual conference - read the announcement)
2016 Press Release Presentation
  Oxbow Ecological Engineering, LLC, and Duran Bokich Enterprises, LLC Grants Uranium-Spencer Mine Safeguard and Reclamation Project
Awards presented for innovative landforming design, and for meeting high standards of construction excellence.
2015 Press Release Presentation

Bureau of Land Management Las Cruces District Office

Abandoned mine safeguarding projects in the Cerrillos, Lemitar, and Florida mining districts; and significant field reconnaissance and data collection on abandoned mines in New Mexico
2014 Press Release Presentation
  Duran Bokich Enterprises, LLC
Bradley Group Mine Safeguard Project - Phase I
  Peabody Natural Resources Company El Segundo Coal Mine Contemporaneous Reclamation
2013 Press Release Presentation
  Ames Construction, Inc.
River Source, Inc.
La Plata Transportation Corridor Project
Education and Community Outreach - Swastika Mine
2012 Press Release Presentation
  Kiewit New Mexico Company
814 Solutions LLC
Water and Earth Technologies Inc.
Habitat Management Inc.
Swastika Mine and Dutchman Canyon Project
  Trihydro Corporation
Dillon Land Company
York Canyon Complex Reclamation Maintenance
  Freeport-McMoRan Tyrone Inc. Tyrone Tailing Dam Reclamation
2011 Larry M. Coons, P.E. Velarde Mill
Runyan Construction Harding Pegmatite Mine
2010 INTERA Incorporated JJ No. 1 Mine
2009 St. Cloud Mining Company Yankee Mine Reclamation Project
Rangeland Hands, Inc. Yankee Stream Maintenance
2008 Chevron Mining, Inc. McKinley Mine
Cobre Mining Company Hanover Empire Zinc, Zinc Hill and Shaft/Adit Closures on Cobre Property
St. Cloud Mining Company, Inc. Lake Valley Mine Safeguard Project Phase II
2007 San Juan Coal Company San Juan, La Plata and Black Diamond Mines
Pueblo of Sandia ARP North Aggregate Mine
Waycor Materials, Inc. ARP North Aggregate Mine
2006 GCC Rio Grande, Inc. Tijeras Mine and Mill
Samcon, Inc. Sugarite Gob Reclamation - Phase V
2005 Molycorp, Inc. Questa Mine, Goat Hill North Rockpile Mitigation
St. Cloud Mining Company Lake Valley Mine Safeguard Project Phase I
2004 No awards were presented. Presentations were made on the AML Cerrillos South project and the award-winning reclamation of the San Juan Coal Cottonwood Pit.
2003 Yampa Mining Company De-Na-Zin Mine
2002 St. Cloud Mining Company Orogrande Mine Safeguard Project
2001 San Juan Coal Company La Plata Mine
Vulcan Materials Bernalillo / State Lands Project
2000 Phelps Dodge Mining Company Pinos Altos Mine
Smith Construction Company Abandoned mines near Abermarle and Bland
St. Cloud Mining Company San Pedro Mine
1999 St. Cloud Mining Company Carthage Abandoned Mine Project
Salt River Project Fence Lake No. 1 Surface Coal Mine
1998 Carbon Coal Company Mentmore and Carbon II Mines
Cyprus Amax Minerals El Molino Operations Unit, Terrero Mine
LAC Minerals (USA) Inc. Cunningham Hill Mine
1997 Homestake Mining Company of California Grants Mill Site, Soil Removal Area
San Juan Coal Company San Juan Mine
The Lordsburg Mining Company Westar Leaching Facility
Union Oil - Molycorp Questa Division Questa Mine and Tailings Facility
1996 Atlantic Richfield Company and
Homestake Mining Company of California
F-33 Underground Mine
LAC Minerals (USA) Inc., and
Pegasus Gold Corporation
Cunningham Hill Mine
Phelps Dodge Mining Company and ASARCO Incorporated Black Hawk Tailings Facility
Pittsburg and Midway Coal Mine Company McKinley Mine
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