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Open-file Report - 530
Abandoned and Inactive Coal Mines of the Gallup coal field, New Mexico

Gretchen Hoffman and Maureen Wilks



This report on the abandoned coal mines in the Gallup coal field of west-central New Mexico brings together all the known mine and coal geology maps, coal reports, and coal mine photographs in this area. The Gallup field has been a significant coal producing area since the early 1880s. Underground mining began at this time with the construction of the railroad through the area and continued until the 1950s. The earliest coal mine in the Gallup area was the Gallup (Gibson) Mine in 1882 (Noe, 1997). Beginning in the 1960s, large scale surface mining began and continues to the present. As of 2008 over 218 million short tons of coal have been produced from the Gallup area and remaining estimated resources are over 840 million st. The Gallup area has some of the best quality coal in the San Juan basin in New Mexico and although the major strip mine in the area, McKinley mine is in a shutdown phase after 47 years of production, this area still has significant coal and potential for coal development.

Today many of these old underground mines are within the Gallup city limits and underlie areas where there has been surface development of housing tracts, schools, and shopping centers. Subsidence has been a problem in this area since the 1980s.

The city of Gallup, the McKinley County seat, has a thriving population of 20,000 people and serves as a trading area for more than six times that number. As a result of past and future urban growth above these underground coal mines numerous environmental and public safety issues are now facing the city including subsidence issues, environmental concerns from underground coal mine fires, and determining the exact location of abandoned mines and mine lands in and surrounding the city. To address the specific safety and environmental concerns detailed knowledge of the underground mine workings and location of mine openings, shafts, and adits are needed by regulatory agencies, the city of Gallup, developers and concerned citizens.

The compilation presented in this DVD allows access to the raw data through an Access Database and for the georeferenced mine maps in an ARCGis Project. PDF’s of all the mine maps, mine reports, and jpeg images are accessible both within the database and ARC project and directly from folders on the DVD.

Note: If dowloading the very large DVD image is too difficult, this report may be purchased on DVD-ROM.

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Open-file Reports are available as free downloads or on CD/DVD-ROM (see below). Note that these reports are subject to frequent revisions and may be unavailable when being modified. The Last Modified date listed here reflects when a file was last saved and may not be the date this report was last revised.

File Name Size Last Modified
OFR530_Report.pdf 311 KB 01/29/2021 04:01:26 PM
DVD-ROM image: 887.75 MB 01/29/2021 03:59:41 PM

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