DOLORES – Last week, the Bureau of Land Management’s Tres Rios Field Office posted a decision approving a potash exploration project submitted by RM Potash. The project is located approximately 15 miles north of Dove Creek and U.S. Hwy. 491 in Dolores and San Miguel counties.
Six exploratory locations and associated road upgrades for three roads were evaluated, and five were approved under this decision for a total disturbance of up to 14.7 acres, and one deferred at this time. Each location will be approximately 250’ by 250’ in size and core sample drilling will be approximately 6,500 feet deep to recover a sample. Several design features and mitigation measures will be required to ensure protection of the environment, people and wildlife.
The results of exploration will help to determine if there is a potential for future potash extraction and development. If, as a result of exploration, RM Potash can prove they have discovered a valuable deposit of potash, then they may apply for leases, at which time additional environmental analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act, would be needed to decide whether production could occur.
Potash, which is the common name for potassium, is generally found associated with salt deposits or salt brines and is one of three key ingredients in fertilizer. Potash is also used to manufacture soaps, perfumes, water softeners, ceramics, pharmaceuticals and a host of other industrial and consumer products.
For more information and to review the environmental documents go to blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_Information/nepa/TRFO_NEPA.html.