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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Royal Gorge Field Office is seeking public comments on a draft Environmental Assessment considering the proposed mine road realignment and expansion of the Hard Rock Main Pit aggregate mine south of Salida. The draft Environmental Assessment analyzed the effect of the proposal on communities and natural resources in the area.

Royal Gorge Field Manager Keith Berger explained, “The range of alternatives presented in this preliminary environmental assessment takes many of the community’s concerns voiced during public scoping into consideration, including potential impacts to nearby trails, the local economy, and the viewshed. We look forward to hearing the public’s input on the preliminary document.”

Image courtesy of No Mining on Methodist Mountain.

Hard Rock Paving & Redi-Mix, Inc. (Hard Rock) has requested to expand reserves onto an additional 62.8 acres of BLM managed lands. These lands are located adjacent to their currently authorized 46-acre mining operation, on private, split-estate, and BLM lands.

Hard Rock proposed the development of the additional BLM acreage to increase reserves and subsequently extend mine life for an additional 40 to 50 years. Production rates, truck traffic, and frequency of active mining and processing would remain similar to current levels.

The company says expansion would provide access up to 6.2 million net tons of federal minerals (aggregate) and would realign the mine access road for safety purposes. Aggregate accessed by the expansion would be used in the production of asphalt and concrete. The BLM reserves would help sustain supplies of aggregate to help meet future demands in Chaffee County and surrounding areas.

The preliminary Environmental Assessment and other documents, including maps, are available on the BLM website here.

Public comments can be submitted through the BLM ePlanning site or mailed to “Hard Rock Mine Expansion,” 3028 East Main Street, Cañon City, CO 81212. Comments must be received by August 14, 2021.

Before including address, phone number, e-mail address, or any other personal identifying information in your comments, be advised that your entire comment, including personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While individuals may request the BLM to withhold personal identifying information from public view, the BLM cannot guarantee it will be able to do so.