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The state’s roughly 240 “active registered” mines, 83 percent of them producing aggregate and stone, employed 5,156 people in 2009, paid them $287 million, and produced minerals worth about $1.8 billion – good for a ranking of 20th nationally without counting oil and gas.
The big value numbers come from coal ($736 million in 2009), potash ($491 million), and copper ($290 million and hiring again).
Except for potash and salt mines around Carlsbad, the mines are located in the southwest quadrant and in a broad and mostly rural northern arc that starts at Raton, swings south to include Belen and Albuquerque, edges north and west to Grants and then goes to the Arizona.
Finding information about mining in New Mexico in one place, coherently presented, isn’t easy. The good stuff here comes from a PowerPoint presentation (yes, a useful PowerPoint!) titled “Mining Issues Facing New Mexico” and summarizing the state’s wealth of mineral resources.
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