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Old 01-27-2014, 10:24 AM
 
19 posts, read 26,954 times
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Thought it would be an interesting article to read, and find out what El Paso think about this. Hudspeth County is part of the El Paso Metro.

Reference: $8 billion worth of rare earth minerals in Sierra Blanca area mountain, company says - El Paso Times
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Stasis
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The link shows Google Street View from the I-10. Round Top mountain is on the left, Sierra Blanca on the right. From this and satellite view you can see that they've been probing and poking Round Top for years. I wish them well and hope they can compete on price with China who produces 95% of the world's 'rare earth elements'.

https://www.google.com/maps/preview/...G2Y47yCyvQ!2e0
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Isn't journalism wonderful:

Doyal said. "I can't say one way or the other about the operation. I don't know enough about it."
That's why he invited the company to make a presentation at Hudspeth County Commissioners Court on Tuesday.


In other words, let's quote somebody who doesn't know anything about it, who is going to ask someone with a lucrative self-interest to explain it to him.
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Stasis
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This is the promoters' Mountain Pass, California light rare-elements mine. They also operate heavy rare-elements mines in China.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...untainPass.jpg
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:07 PM
 
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Hey if it means a few geologist openings in the company I'm all for it.
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Old 01-27-2014, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Sacramento Mtns of NM
4,275 posts, read 7,726,782 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katzpaw View Post
The link shows Google Street View from the I-10. Round Top mountain is on the left, Sierra Blanca on the right. From this and satellite view you can see that they've been probing and poking Round Top for years. I wish them well and hope they can compete on price with China who produces 95% of the world's 'rare earth elements'.

https://www.google.com/maps/preview/...G2Y47yCyvQ!2e0
If you go to "Satellite" view and move around to the NE side of Sierra Blanca you'll see a really large earth excavation operation there that indicates more than just Round Mountain is involved. While it could simply be a gravel pit, there is no reason they would need to excavate higher up the slope of the mountain unless there is more than crushed gravel involved.

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Old 01-27-2014, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Stasis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joqua View Post
If you go to "Satellite" view and move around to the NE side of Sierra Blanca you'll see a really large earth excavation operation there that indicates more than just Round Mountain is involved. While it could simply be a gravel pit, there is no reason they would need to excavate higher up the slope of the mountain unless there is more than crushed gravel involved.

Sierra Blanca Rock Quarry
Sierra Blanca Rock Quarry
NAICS Code: 212313: Crushed and Broken Granite Mining and Quarrying
SIC Code: 1423: Crushed And Broken Granite
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Sacramento Mtns of NM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katzpaw View Post
Interesting. Wonder who the customer is for that "rock" - other than highway dept.?

Another interesting view shows a "Mile High Golf Course" with laid out fairways and residential roads just to the NW of the quarry site, which is one of the failed developments in that area. There is a cluster of very large structures that could have been intended as a clubhouse for the golf course but there is no sign of a parking lot or other activity. Here is what is available on the internet regarding Mile High Ranch and the subsequent use of the property as a "sludge dump" for sewage sludge railroaded there from New York City.

Quote:
Between 1992 and 2001, as many as 45 train cars per day brought sewage sludge from New York City to this 129,000 acre West Texas property, where it was spread out on the ground like peanut butter. The waste site is a former resort called the Mile High Ranch, and is owned by a Long Island New York company, Merco Joint Venture. The contract with New York City was terminated in June of 2001, and the sludge ranch, possibly the largest in the World, is now idle.
Apparently that land is now owned by the State of Texas and in 2007 it was under review for re-opening the sewage sludge business!

Here is a much higher resolution image of the area than is found on Google:

FRS Facility Detail Report | Envirofacts | US EPA

Assuming the railroad spur still exists, that could explain how the crushed granite is moved to markets other than local highway construction.


Last edited by joqua; 01-28-2014 at 10:03 AM..
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Stasis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joqua View Post
Interesting. Wonder who the customer is for that "rock" - other than highway dept.?
'Sierra Blanca' = 'white mountain'- so it's likely decorative white granite & rock. The mining operation is very white in the aerial.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Sacramento Mtns of NM
4,275 posts, read 7,726,782 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katzpaw View Post
'Sierra Blanca' = 'white mountain'- so it's likely decorative white granite & rock. The mining operation is very white in the aerial.
It's not naturally white on the undisturbed surface though. Here's one explanation for the origin of the name:

Quote:
The town was named for the nearby Sierra Blanca Mountain, which was named for the white poppies which grew on it
Wonder if the poppies still grow there since the sentence uses the past tense. People of El Paso know about the bright orange poppies that grow on the east foothills of the Franklin Mountains whenever there is adequate moisture in late winter.

As for the whiteness of the excavated areas as seen from the air, this could well be the usual limestone that covers much of the region - formed from old sea bed sedimentation. It's really evident when driving any of the unimproved roads in the area, ending with a vehicle covered in white dirt, more commonly called "caliche." Makes excellent sub-surfacing for pavement. I don't know about the granite though most of the peaks in the desert were formed by "intrusions" of volcanic origins into the older sedimentary layers.

Last edited by joqua; 01-28-2014 at 06:20 PM..
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