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Bureau of Land Management
For Release: Friday, April 18, 2003

Hardrock Mining Awards Q&As

Phil Allard
(202) 452-5195

BLM Announces New Awards Program to Honor Accomplishments in Hardrock Mining

WASHINGTON -- Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Kathleen Clarke today announced a new annual awards program designed to recognize environmentally sound mineral development operations and acknowledge successful partnering efforts in helping ensure a safe and productive hardrock mining industry. The new program allows for two nonmonetary awards to recognize and highlight outstanding examples of responsible mineral resource development on public and private lands.

“Mining serves a critical role in the economic health and well-being of our nation,” Clarke said. “With these awards, we’ll be able to recognize individuals and organizations in mining that have strived for excellence and helped enhance our quality of life.”

The new BLM awards are similar to existing Department of Interior awards for excellence in coal mining reclamation. The hardrock mining awards will enable DOI to recognize the industrial and metallic minerals’ industry, as well as sand and gravel operators. Award winners must demonstrate a track record of sustainable development operations or of community outreach. Besides conferring recognition on successful operators, the award program will disseminate ideas and best practices throughout the minerals’ industry.

The two awards are the Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award and the Hardrock Mineral Award for Community Outreach and Economic Security.

  • The Hardrock Mineral Environmental Award recognizes effective environmental stewardship. Recipients will have a demonstrated track record of successfully meeting or exceeding federal, state or local reclamation requirements with minimal oversight.

  • The Hardrock Mineral Award for Community Outreach and Economic Security recognizes the economic benefits of mineral development, with an emphasis on successful coordination with local and regional stakeholders. Projects that enhance the quality of life or demonstrate a concern for the long-term health of the local community will be recognized in this category. Operators who use new or innovative techniques so they can operate effectively in technically challenging conditions or in critical environmental settings will also be recognized in this category.

Nominations for the awards are open to mining companies, regulatory authorities, geologists, and members of the general public. The criteria for nominations can be found on the BLM web site ( All nominations for the 2003 awards cycle must be completed by May 30, 2003, and sent to BLM (Attention: Solid Minerals) at any State Office. The BLM will notify award winners by August 18, 2003, with a presentation of the award sometime during early October in Washington, D.C.

The BLM, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior, manages more land--261 million surface acres--than any other federal agency. Most of this public land is located in 12 western States, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1.9 billion and a workforce of some 10,000 full-time, permanent employees, also administers 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing activities such as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural and other resources on the public lands.