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Release Date: 04/10/14
Contacts: David Herrell, 575-234-2229    
  Shiva Achet, 575-234-5924    

BLM Releases the Ochoa Mine Project Record of Decision

Carlsbad, NM – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released the Record of Decision (ROD)   for the Ochoa Mine Project (Project).  Intercontinental Potash Corporation (IPC) proposed to develop a new underground mine in southern Lea County, New Mexico, to extract polyhalite ore for the production of sulfate of potash and sulfate of potash magnesia, a component of agricultural fertilizer.  The ROD will show that the BLM has decided on the Preferred Alternative, which was developed after comments were received on the Draft EIS and further analysis was performed by the BLM.  


The Preferred Alternative includes the same proposed mine area, mining methods, facilities in the shaft area, processing methods and water demands, well field and water pipeline, and loadout facilities as the Proposed Action.


Compared to IPC’s Proposed Action, the Preferred Alternative includes a smaller tailings stockpile, additional monitoring and reclamation requirements, more formalized coordination with stakeholders, and a dispute resolution process.  The Preferred Alternative is the alternative that best fulfills the BLM’s statutory mission and responsibilities concerning economic, environmental, technical, and other factors.


Aside from helping generate revenue for local and state governments, and provide additional employment opportunities for the local economy, the ROD has incorporated required environmental protection and other measures, including monitoring and mitigation to support adaptive management and minimize environmental impacts as the project progresses.  The ROD, along with the Monitoring Plans, is available at:  


For more information about the Project, please contact Carlsbad Field Office Hydrologist David Herrell at 575-234-2229 or Carlsbad Field Office Planning and Environmental Coordinator Shiva Achet at 575-234-5924.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Last updated: 04-10-2014