Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mines - Survey consolidation formalized today

The legal consolidation of the Arizona Dept. of Mines and Mineral Resources with the Arizona Geological Survey became effective today. It was largely a non-event. AZGS took over management of the Mines Dept. assets in January when that agency ran out of funds. The staff were hired by AZGS and maintained most of their previous duties while the Legislature and Governor approved a formal consolidation.

AZGS was directed to digitize the extensive mining and mineral resource records and files amassed by ADMMR and put them online for public access. That project is underway but still gearing up. We've been able to win Data Preservation funds from the USGS to match state funds going into this

During our temporary custodianship, we made major progress in integrating accounting and finance systems, upgrading the ADMMR computers and network, carrying out a complete inventory of ADMMR assets, and transferring remaining external contracts to AZGS.

We now want to find more suitable (and publicly accessible) offices for the combined AZGS and ADMMR staff in Phoenix to establish a full-service AZGS branch office in the Phoenix valley to better serve our customers and stakeholders.


  1. Mark B.3:54 PM

    I hope you will maintain your office in Tucson.

  2. Larry Fellows12:28 AM

    Consolidation of these two state agencies brought to an end a 70-year period during which many proposals were made to merge the agencies or eliminate the Department of Mineral Resources. The same man, Charles F. Willis, was largely responsible for creating both agencies. He prepared the enabling legislation for the AZ Bureau of Mines, administered by the University of Arizona, and served as its first director from 1915 until he resigned in 1918. In 1938 Willis organized the Arizona Small Mine Operators Association (ASMOA), with chapters in every county. In 1939, with the help of the ASMOA, he successfully led efforts to form the Department of Mineral Resources and became its first director.

    In 1941, two years after the department was formed, Governor Sidney Osborn vetoed its appropriation and proposed that its functions be transferred to the AZ Bureau of Mines at the University of Arizona. No action was taken because of strong opposition from ASMOA members.

    During the 1950s at least one proposal was made to move the AZ Bureau of Mines to Phoenix and merge it into the Department of Mineral Resources.

    In 1984 the name of the department was changed to Department of Mines and Mineral Resources (ADMMR).

    I became State Geologist in 1979. From 1985-2003 10 proposals were made to eliminate the ADMMR, reduce its budget, or merge it with the AZ Geological Survey.

    This is a very gross generalization of events that have taken place since 1939. Many readers of this blog know more of the details than I have opted to list here. Due at least in part to the extreme state revenue shortfall, the legislature acted to consolidate the two agencies.