Friday, January 21, 2011

We have a deal - AZGS will keep mine files open to public

The Arizona Dept. of Mines & Mineral Resources (ADMMR) and the Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) finalized an agreement late this afternoon that turns over custody to AZGS of the ADMMR's extensive files and reports on mines and mineral resources. The ADMMR offices in Phoenix will open as usual on Monday morning, but under management of AZGS. We committed to keeping the ADMMR files open to the public through the end of the state fiscal year (June 30) or until the Legislature takes action on Gov. Brewer's proposal to consolidate ADMMR into AZGS.

Five of the six ADMMR staff accepted offers to transfer to AZGS and will continue to work from their offices in Phoenix. ADMMR Director Dr. Madan Singh is retiring today. The entire staff had received notices of layoffs last Friday effective today, when ADMMR was projected to run out of money.

ADMMR had been hoping for an emergency supplemental budget increase to continue operating through June but the states dire financial situation trumped that. When the Governor's budget was finalized last week, it became clear that ADMMR would not get the extra funds to stay open and would have a similar shortfall next fiscal year.

The proposed consolidation of our two small agencies should also provide some efficiencies of scale, allowing us to provide better service to our customers and stakeholders at a lower cost.

A lot of folks have been working almost around the clock the past few days to put together this agreement. I'll talk more later about how this complex deal was put together and what it means for Arizona.


  1. The staff needs both the mineral files and the mineral specimen to do their job. Now, HB 2251 must be repealed to recover the mineral specimens from the Arizona Historical Society.

  2. Lee, is there an actual scuffle over the minerals? I've seen a couple of posts to that effect. I'm an undergraduate geologist, and I agree that the minerals are far more than just pretty (and admittedly expensive and rare). They have considerable scientific value to the geologists, and they should have access to the specimens. What's the scoop?

  3. The minerals are in the Mining & Mineral Museum which was transferred last year from the dept to the Arizona Historical Society. ADMMR does not have any minerals now and there are none involved in our taking custody of the dept's resources.

    There is a bill in the Legislature that would return the Museum to ADMMR but given the change in the department's financial situation, I don't know what's going to happen.