Quantcast
Don't Miss
Home / Home news / Department of Mines and Minerals closing shop

Department of Mines and Minerals closing shop

The Department of Mines and Minerals, a state agency that’s been around since the 1930s, will shut down for good Friday due to a lack of funding, its director said.

Turning the mines and minerals department duties over to the state Geological Survey will save the state $220,000 a year, according to Gov. Jan Brewer’s executive budget summary. Brewer wants the duties moved when the new fiscal year begins in July.

After recent budget cuts the department, with its three employees and three contract workers, doesn’t have the money to remain in business until July, Director Madan Singh said.

“We would have needed supplemental funds to complete this fiscal year, and they’ve decided this is the time to close us down,” Singh told The Arizona Republic.

The people who will lose their jobs when the department closes include Singh, a mining engineer who conducts economic analyses of the industry, and a clerk who helps with data inquiries. The department also has three contract workers, including one who visits schools to talk about the economic benefits of mining in Arizona.

The move to downsize the Department of Mines and Mineral Resources began last summer when state lawmakers moved the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum from the department to the state Historical Society.

The department was created in 1939 to help Arizona promote mining. According to the governor’s executive budget summary, the department provided 410 customers with information about mines and minerals in 2010.

“The people that normally come to us are the smaller companies that don’t have a lot of information in their own files,” Singh said. “We tell them where some past deposits have been explored and help them dealing with various agencies like (the Department of Environmental Quality) and Water Resources.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

4 comments

  1. “The department also has three contract workers, including one who visits schools to talk about the economic benefits of mining in Arizona.”

    Why are taxpayers paying for industry propagandizing? Is anyone informing students of the toxic legacy left by the uranium mining industry in our state and the fact that taxpayers are now footing the $1 billion bill to clean up the toxic waste left alongside the Colorado River after the Atlas uranium mill went bankrupt? This is simply industry welfare provided by hypocritical politicians.

  2. The funding for the education outreach position is entirely funded with grant funds from a private foundation. No taxpayer funds are spent on the program.

    The school programs talk about mining and mineral resources in Arizona and help students understand its history and its impact in the state. Arizona is regularly the #1 or #2 mining state in the nation. There are many issues that Arizonans should understand about mining and this program helps provide that information.

    Lee Allison, State Geologist & Director, Arizona Geological Survey, Tucson

  3. The Arizona Geological Survey took custodianship of the massive mining files of the AZ Dept. of Mines & Mineral Resources (DMMR) and is keeping them open and available to the public through the end of the fiscal year (June 30) pending the Legislature’s decision on Gov. Brewer’s proposal to consolidate the two agencies or other action.

    DMMR holds the state’s most extensive collection of historical and technical mine and mineral resource files, including many from now-defunct companies or personal libraries. They are irreplaceable.

    These files are invaluable to the small-mine operator as newspaper reports have emphasized, but they are also heavily used by other government agencies, by the bigger companies that have not worked in Arizona, and a variety of land owners, among others.

    DMMR works with the Arizona Corporation Commission and the Attorney General to provide them with solid engineering and economic evaluations on the issuance and sale of mining securities. Selling phony mining stock has been a favorite of scammers and con artists for years.

    DMMR’s customers are also other state and federal agencies, who need reliable information about mining projects across the state to understand the economic, planning, and environmental impacts that need to be dealt with. ADMMR, like AZGS, participates as a cooperating agency in numerous federal EIS processes, bringing their mining engineering expertise to bear.

    Lee Allison, State Geologist & Director, Arizona Geological Survey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 

Scroll To Top