On Thursday, June 11, the Dolores County Commissioners unanimously rejected a proposal to mine molybdenum near the town of Rico.
Outlook Resources had submitted a 30-year proposal to mine molybdenum in the Silver Creek drainage just northeast of Rico.
Last year a Canadian company gave up plans to mine there, too. Clean up was considered too expensive.
Despite the small population of Rico, nearly half the town showed up at the meeting to voice opposition to the mine.
But for the commissioners, the reasoning was simple. They did’t oppose mining, or the applicant’s right to mine. Overall, they felt the application was just too vague. It left too many questions unanswered. The proposal, which sought to mine for 30 years, was only 12 pages long.
The promise of work for Rico residents didn’t change their minds. “Some people think mining is our future, I don’t,” said one Rico resident. Most concerns from the public regarded the pollution, environmental degradation, and increased traffic the mine would bring. Even though Rico was founded as a mining community, residents are not fond of that history. Memories of blood tests for heavy metals and reclaimed soils persist.
However, the commissioners encouraged the applicant to resubmit a more detailed proposal with an exploration plan included.
See the Daily Planet’s coverage of the meeting here: