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Mine Closure Planning & Permitting

M3 completed the Definitive Closure / Closeout Plans for Tyrone, Chino and Cobre mines in southwestern New Mexico. As the prime author of these plans, M3 led a team of over 20 environmental consultants in the development of technical investigations including cover alternatives, seepage and ground water models, water treatment options, surface water management systems and post-closure monitoring.

The ultimate purposes of these plans were to satisfy State and Federal requirements, calculate the associated financial assurance for bonding purposes and obtain closure permits. The reclamation is intended to result in the establishment of a self-sustaining ecosystem for wildlife, protect the facilities from wind and water erosion, and reduce infiltration through the cover.

The closure plans allowed the client to meet all regulatory requirements and manage reclamation closure bonding in an economically viable manner. Following the successful completion of the closure plans, M3 was engaged as the Project Manager and Engineer of Record for the design and implementation of the Tyrone Tailing Dams and Waste & Leach Stockpile Reclamation.

Stockpile Reclamation

The Waste Rock and Leach Stockpile reclamation and closure at Tyrone Mine, New Mexico is an ongoing effort involving several separate areas and presenting unique challenges such as steep initial slope angles with toe constraints, and restoration of a historic wash.

In our continuing role as Engineer of Record, M3 has developed and implemented advanced reclamation design and construction practices utilizing machine control technology to construct complex natural landform shapes for the same cost as traditional designs.

Reclamation of the No.1 Stockpile blends into the surrounding native environment, representing the success of the collaborative process between all the stakeholders that has been and continues to be a cornerstone of M3’s operational approach.

Tailings Dam Reclamation

M3 embarked on one of the largest scale reclamation projects in the copper mining industry. At the Tyrone Mine, New Mexico, 2,600 acres of Tailings Dams were designed and reclaimed by 2008 to satisfy agreements with the state’s regulatory agencies and conform to permit requirements.

As Project Manager and Engineer of Record, M3 provided the interface between the client and state agencies as well as managing and directing the efforts of various environmental and engineering consultants. This collaborative effort reduced conflict, shortened review times, and facilitated bond release.

Today, the successfully reclaimed dams are meeting the permit requirements by providing a self-sustaining ecosystem for wildlife. The tailing dams were successfully closed and removed from the Office of the State Engineer’s jurisdiction.