- Associated Press - Saturday, April 29, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A gemstone mine that was once billed as a big potential job creator in a rural area of New Mexico has yet to get off the ground despite projections that it was supposed to be open by 2016.

The proposed Orogrande garnet mine was expected bring $160 million in economic development to Otero County and Alamogordo.

Businessman Daniel Burrell said Friday that the project was simply halted, and not abandoned as the Alamogordo mayor had thought, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported (https://bit.ly/2qgGLHM). Market issues related to the price of garnet forced the setback, he said.

“We’ve made a very substantial investment in the project thus far,” Burrell said. “We’re moving slower than anticipated because we think that’s the appropriate thing to do.”

County commissioners held a meeting mid-April to get an update on the mine, but the minutes of the meeting were not been released as of last Sunday. Commissioner Janet White declined to comment on the meeting.

Burrell said communication with Otero County leaders has been lacking.

Burrell said he plans on giving public officials an update in the near future. “I am going to be reaching out to any number of folks to ensure the communication is appropriate, that we have not abandoned the project in any way,” he said.

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Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, https://www.sfnewmexican.com

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