Mineral Park Mine requests amendment

KINGMAN - Things may be changing at Mineral Park Mine.

According to information from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, the mine wants to expand its molybdenum and copper recovery operations. It is looking to expand its open pit mine, constructing a froth floatation mill, deposit more tailings onto its tailings storage facility, expand its piles of waste rock, expand its leach dumps and construct a new storm water impoundment pond.

In order to do so, the mine filed for an amendment to its Aquifer Protection Permit on April 18, 2007. The amendment, if approved, would last the life of the mine, even if the mine closed.

The amendment would also update the aquifer quality limits and alert levels, which monitor the amount of pollutants in the groundwater.

According to ADEQ, the water quality in the vicinity of the mine has improved. The department is recommending that the data collected on the mine between 1995 and 1998 be declared outdated and the level of certain pollutants be recalculated using data collected from 2004 to 2006.

Mercator Minerals purchased Mineral Park Mine from Cyprus Mineral in 2003. Cyprus Minerals shut the mine down in 1995. Mercator restarted the mine in 2004.

According to ADEQ, some of the data collected between 1995 and 1998 was overestimated, and it did not include the mining of molybdenum.

ADEQ will hold a public meeting about the proposed amendment at 6 p.m. on Feb. 4 at the County Administration Building, 700 W. Beale Street.