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Rock & Coal Archive


Rock and Coal: 2018


Your Contribution to CMA's Political Committees is Important to the Future of Mining in Colorado

In case you haven’t noticed, the 2018 Colorado election season is in full swing! CMA needs your help in electing candidates to the Colorado General Assembly that support mining in Colorado.

Colorado will be electing a new Governor and Attorney General this fall, as well as a number of new legislators to the Colorado House and Senate. The candidates for Governor and Attorney General have already expressed starkly differing views of their vision for Colorado’s energy future. Jared Polis, Democratic candidate for Governor, promises that by 2040 Colorado will generate 100% of its electricity from renewable sources.

Mining for Colorado’s Future (CMA’s Political Action Committee) and the Colorado Mining Association Small Donor Committee are two ways you can financially support candidates who support Colorado’s mining industry. Your contribution of $50 to the Colorado Mining Association Small Donor Committee combined with other member contributions allows CMA to contribute up to $2,000 to a legislative candidate. Mining for Colorado’s Future can accept up to $575 per election cycle from both corporations and individuals. Candidates running for the General Assembly can accept $400 ($200 for the primary election and $200 for the general election).

During the last two legislative sessions, Republicans in the State Senate defeated bills passed by House Democrats, which prohibited new hardrock mining in Colorado, prematurely closed coal fired electric power plants and imposed new carbon reduction goals.

National environmental leader Tom Steyer, who has spent millions of dollars in past elections, and organizations such as Conservation Colorado have big plans to deploy massive resources in Colorado in order to seize control of the Colorado Senate for Democrats who will pass anti-mining legislation for Jared Polis to sign if elected Governor.

It is imperative that CMA members support candidates who support mining in Colorado by contributing to the Colorado Mining Association’s Small Donor Committee or Mining for Colorado’s Future. If Jared Polis is elected Governor along with a legislature completely controlled by legislators who endorse environmental policy recommendations developed by Conservation Colorado, mining in Colorado will face a difficult future.

Please make your contribution to either of CMA’s committees by completing the appropriate form:

Mining for Colorado’s Future Political Committee, LLC

Colorado Mining Association Small Donor Committee


Federal and State Government News

Hold onto your hats (and wallets)—campaigns are underway!

If you have been watching your mailbox and observing the young people standing around grocery stores holding clipboards, you have probably figured out that we are entering an election cycle. The 2018 General Election will be held November 6 to elect a new Governor, State Treasurer, Secretary of State, Attorney General, members of the Colorado House of Representatives (all 65), half of the state Senate, and assorted other state and local officials. 

Candidates are seeking financial contributions to run their campaigns and votes from registered electors in their respective districts. The June 26 primary election weeded out several potential candidates to determine who would be the face of the two major political parties on the November ballot. In addition, in several districts minor party candidates such as Libertarian, Green Party, and Independent candidates (not affiliated with a party) will also appear.

CMA has participated with other statewide business organizations in interviewing candidates to identify those who support mining or are open to learning more about our industry.  We will continue to talk with these candidates prior to the election and work with them (should they win) to provide a better appreciation for the role mining plays in Colorado’s economy.   

Newly-elected legislators will get a look at the Capitol and preview their new offices on November 9 when they begin orientation. Phase 2 of that process is scheduled for Dec. 3-5 and Phase 3 takes place Dec. 17-18. SURPRISE! This year the legislative session convene Friday, January 4, a departure from previous years with a later mid-week start date.


Ballot Initiatives Matter


In addition to a lengthy list of candidates, the ballot may see several proposed changes (both statutory and constitutional amendments). 

Two competing initiatives address transportation funding. Initiative #153 calls for an increase in the state’s sales and use tax from 2.9% to 3.52% for a period of 20 years. Initiative 167 (Fix our damn roads) requires CDOT to issue transportation bonds to construct and maintain roads and bridges (no transit) without increasing taxes.

Oil and gas issues also present competing measures. Initiative #97 requires a 2500-foot setback for all new oil/gas facilities from occupied structures and “vulnerable areas”, effectively sterilizing more than three quarters of private land in the state. Initiative 108 amends the state constitution to require compensation for any diminution in fair market value resulting from governmental action. Initiatives #178-181 basically restate existing law with regard to property rights and local government authority over oil/gas operations.  Initiative #97 is drawing the most attention (and concern) because of the potentially devastating effect on Colorado’s economy both in terms of lost jobs and revenues to state and local governments. Controversy also surrounds one firm circulating petitions that has reportedly left the state over disputed bill payments. Learn more.


Legislators Looking to the Future


Although it seems that the legislature just adjourned, in fact it has been eleven weeks and plans are underway for the 2019 session. With the question of which political party controls the two chambers and the Governor’s office up in the air until November 6 (and maybe a few days afterward), draft legislation is being formulated by interest groups, interim legislative committees, and stakeholders. 

The Water Resources Review Committee has begun its cycle of interim meetings to receive briefings on a wide range of topics related to water rights, water quality, and watershed protection. Meetings are scheduled for August 6-7 at the Capitol and again August 23 at the fall Colorado Water Congress conference in Vail. 

An interim committee devoted to studying alternatives to the Gallagher Amendment (property tax ratio) met at the Capitol and in Glenwood Springs, and is planning additional meetings in Pueblo (Aug. 17), and at the Capitol August 21 and Oct. 3.  The committee is exploring potential solutions to the loss of revenue for local governments and special districts resulting from a disproportionate ratio between residential and non-residential real property. Little can be done absent constitutional amendment.
Individual legislators who are returning (for example, Senators who are not up for re-election) are also meeting with stakeholders to discuss issues of particular interest such as health care.


New Regulations Coming Out of State Agencies


CDPHE held the first stakeholder meeting to plan for TENORM regulations on July 11. Future meetings are being delayed until a contractor is hired by the department to work with the rule development, likely in September. Initial efforts will be focused on receiving public comment concerning areas of discussion set forth in authorizing statute including setting an exempt level; setting regulatory limits for landfill disposal; setting regulatory limits for beneficial reuse; setting regulatory limits for radioactive materials licensing; implementing limits/levels; other issues identified by the stakeholders. Public comment is being accepted from August 1 through Oct. 31. Comments should be sent to Jennifer Opila.


The Air Quality Control Commission anticipates a request for proposed rulemaking on California Vehicle Standards (low emission vehicle) requirements for Colorado at is August meeting. At the July meeting Tesla representatives touted Zero Emission Vehicles (zev) as well.  The Commission has discussed the issue during the past couple of years, but the Governor’s recent Executive Order gave new strength to the Commission’s desire to move toward a California-type program.


Washington News


Changes proposed for Endangered Species.  At the US Fish and Wildlife Serivce (FWS) three proposed rules published in the July 25 Federal Register address procedures and criteria for listing species as threatened or endangered, for designating critical habitat and the procedures for inter-agency (Section 7) consultation, among others. A 60-day public comment period will end September 24, 2018.


Safety Improvement Technologies for Mobile Equipment at Surface Mines, and for Belt Conveyors at Surface and Underground Mines

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revision of the Regulations for Listing Species and Designating Critical Habitat

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revision of the Regulations for Prohibitions to Threatened Wildlife and Plants


In Congress, Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) has introduced H.R. 6344 to amend the Endangered Species Act to allow the federal government to work with private landowners on voluntary conservation measures and reimburse them for their costs.

Also in the July 25 Federal Register, MSHA announced six public stakeholder meetings concerning Safety Improvement Technologies for Mobile Equipment at Surface Mines and for Belt Conveyors at Surface and Underground Mines. The location closest to Colorado is Reno, Nevada with a meeting scheduled at 9 am August 21. MSHA will also host a webinar August 16. Comments will be received by the agency until December 24, 2018. Learn more.

Update from the Coal, Hardrock and Uranium Committees

CMA’s Coal, Hardrock and Uranium Committees meet monthly in a combined committee meeting. During those meetings we receive updates from the Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety covering both the coal and hardrock mining programs. At the July meeting, the Division updated members about recent revisions being considered to Reclamation Cost Estimates and electronic permitting.

Steven Lange of Knight Piesold presented a summary of reclamation activities near Silverton conducted by Sunnyside Gold Corporation. Sunnyside Gold Corporation engaged in more than 30 years of reclamation and remediation in the Silverton Caldera. Actions included removal of mine waste from owned and area mines, treatment of water discharged from mine portals, seasonal treatment of the flow in Cement Creek, installation of bulkheads in mine workings and stabilization of tailings deposits. Learn more.

Committee meetings also allow member companies to inform other CMA members of activities at their mines, and we had an excellent update from Kathy Welt of Mountain Coal Company who updated the committee about the tour the company conducted as a part of a petition filed by Wild Earth Guardians challenging aspects of the mine’s reclamation efforts. 

Jennifer Opila of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment updated CMA members about the Department’s stakeholder process convened for the purpose of gathering input into promulgation of rules and regulations pertaining to Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (TENORM). Senate Bill 245, passed in the last legislative session, provides authority to the Department to adopt rules covering TENORM. The stakeholder process can be followed here. CMA will be participating in the stakeholder process with the intent of limiting the types of mining related activities covered by the rules. Dianna Orf provided CMA members a complete summary of this issue in her Governmental Affairs Report.


Update from the Water Quality Committee

View the summary from committee chair, Jimmy Boswell, here.

CMA Career Center

Connecting highly qualified mining talent with career opportunities
CMA is proud to announce our new Career Center—the premier resource to connect career opportunities with highly qualified mining talent. To access the CMA Career Center, visit here. 


Manage Your Career:

  • Search and apply to the best mining jobs at institutions that value your credentials
  • Upload your anonymous resume so employers can contact you, but you maintain control of your information and choose to whom you release your information.
  • Receive an alert every time a job becomes available that matches your personal profile, skills, interests, and preferred location(s).
  • Access career resources and job searching tips and tools. 

Recruit for Open Positions:

  • Post jobs where the most qualified mining professionals will find and apply to them.
  • Email your jobs directly to CMA job seekers via our exclusive Job Flash email.
  • Search the resume database and contact qualified candidates proactively.


Questions? Feedback? If you need assistance about this service call us at 860-437-5700 or email customer service.

All About Mining’s 2018 Summer Course for K-12 Teachers: A Rock-Solid Success!

The Colorado Mining Association Education Foundation (CMAEF) annual All About Mining course took place in June, providing 16 teachers with eight spectacular days of information-packed classes and tours to various Colorado sites.

This annual program, which was originally launched back in 1968, begins with a refresher of lectures on the Colorado School of Mines campus, with a few local tours such as Hazen Research Laboratory, CSM’s Geology Museum and the Earth Mechanics Institute.  The third day features a trip to CSM’s Edgar Mine in Idaho Springs, where teachers learn about mine safety and take their first trip into a mine.  On the fourth day, we board a bus and begin a five-day adventure visiting an aggregate mine, a steel facility, an open pit gold mine, an open pit molybdenum mine, a wall board facility and mine, an in-situ nacolite mine, an open pit coal mine and generation facility and an underground coal mine.  It is an amazing tour that gives the teachers a chance to see first hand what makes a mine or mill facility work, to ask questions of the operators and get the real story, and most importantly, come away with a true and insightful understanding of the industry that they can share with their students.  Comments from this year’s teachers included:



“This opened my eyes to how much we use and need minerals every day!”

“A once in a lifetime experience”

“The Tours were amazing, the instruction great. I wish more people could experience this opportunity, I learned so much!”

“I was impressed with the technology involved - much more than I expected”


All About Mining is a one of a kind course that culminates with six hours of continuing education credits from CSM that enables upward mobility for the teacher.  It is also 100% supported by industry and people like you.  We hope that you will consider a donation to CMAEF’s All About Mining course and help us continue this good work!


Shannon Mann

Course Coordinator


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