Campus News - September 4, 2001
OCA wins contract for mine project
The UNM Office of Contract Archeology (OCA) has been awarded a contract from
the Phoenix-based Salt River Project (SRP) to conduct a historical overview
of historic properties within the proposed Fence Lake Coal Mine Project 14 miles
north of Quemado in western New Mexico.
SRP plans to dig about 80 million tons of low-sulfur coal during the next 50
years. The area covers 18,000 acres in a permit area that covers both Catron
and Cibola counties.
Dr. Patrick Hogan, OCA senior research scientist, will direct the historical
overview project. Hogan has extensive experience in prehistoric and historic
cultural resource projects, including previous work at the proposed Fence Lake
Project manager Bob Barnard said the Fence Lake Mine will bring more than 200
new jobs -- more than 100 of those during the construction of the mine and the
43-mile railroad line that will transport the coal to SRPs Coronado Generating
Station near St. Johns, Ariz. He said New Mexico will receive about $60 million
in taxes paid and $60-70 million in royalties from the new mine.
The royalties will go directly to the New Mexico Education Trust Fund, Barnard
The Associated Press reports that Zuni Pueblo leaders fear the proposed mine
will dry up the Zuni Salt Lake, a sacred site on pueblo land about 12 miles
from the proposed site.
Established in 1973, the OCA plays a leading role in cultural resource studies
in New Mexico and neighboring states.
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