Thursday, July 06, 2017

BLM invites comments on ‘pozzolan’ mine in Skull Valley, central Arizona

Kirkland, AZ, pozzolan quarry (Courtesy Al Burch)

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Hassayampa Field Office recently received a Draft Mining and Reclamation Plan of Operations from Kirkland Mining Company for developing a high quality pozzolan* mine on approximately 76 acres of public lands and for constructing support facilities on four acres of private land owned by Kirkland within an approximately 160 acre project area.  The project area is located north of Kirkland, in Yavapai County, Arizona. 

BLM has scheduled a public open house-style meeting on 11 July, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Skull Valley Community Center, 3150 Old Skull Valley Rd., in Skull Valley to hear comments on the Draft Mining and Reclamation Plan. The open house kicks off at 6:15 p.m. with a presentation by BLM staff.  Staff from the BLM, Kirkland, and consultants will be available with maps of the proposed facilities for review. 

In the meantime, BLM has opened a 30-day public scoping period from 26 June until 25 July 2017.  “Stakeholders are encouraged to submit their comments for the record through the BLM online land use planning tool, ePlanning, at the following Internet address:“ 

BLM recommends that those attending the open house review the information on-line and identify relevant issues and the means to minimize their potential effects.

You can address written comments to Geologist Shelby Cave at the Hassayampa Field Office, 21605 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix, Arizona 85027, faxed to (623) 580-5580, or emailed to”

 *Pozzolan is a geologic material – a volcanic tuff or ash – that when admixed with water, lime, sand and gravel makes a superior and long-lived concrete. Pozzolan is named for the town of Pozzuoli in Italy. Two thousand years ago, the Romans mined pozzolan near Pozzuoli to enhance concrete of new buildings and pillars. 

Background on the Kirkland Property (Source BLM) ‘Kirkland began mineral exploration in the area in 2016. The company now proposes to develop the pozzolan deposit on its unpatented 160-acre Capital association placer mining claim in Section 28, Township 13 North, Range 4 west, Gila and Salt River Meridian, Yavapai County, Arizona (east of Iron Springs Road, south of Skull Valley and one mile north of Kirkland, Arizona). The variety of pozzolan in the area is valued as a cost-effective replacement for a portion of Portland cement and for formulating concrete.’

‘In order for the BLM to process the Mining and Reclamation Plan of Operations, the BLM will need to complete an environmental assessment (EA).  The upcoming EA will consider public comments received during this scoping period in the analysis of the direct, indirect and cumulative effects from the mine.’

Reposted with new image on 7/7/2017


  1. Anonymous5:31 PM

    I am a part-time resident of the Iron Spring Outing Club located at 6001 Iron Springs Road. I support mining in general, but am worried that the proposed increased truck traffic on Skull Valley and Iron Springs Roads will result in noise and H&S issues that is not compatible with the recreational and residential use of the area. There are numerous residences along the proposed haul rout, as well as frequent cyclist using the roadways, and the additional truck use will present a danger. This rout is also a scenic rout used by tourist and motorcycle enthusiast, which will be negatively impacted by the truck traffic. I suggest that the mine use the existing rail line to haul the ore rather than surface streets.

  2. Anonymous5:30 PM

    Good afternoon, as a resident and taxpayer in lower Skull Valley, residing in the vicinity of Windmill Road, I appreciate this opportunity to enter a specific concern on the associated public scoping record.

    It is a fact that the "kitty litter" mine has a history involving many years. Over these years since it's inception, numerous citizens have decided to make the southernmost Skull Valley area their home, either through purchase or rent. With time, the number of residents has dramatically increased, many of whom are families with children, or are retired and elderly, bringing with them age-related health issues.

    Drawing information from the website "Purebase Raw Pozzolan Safety Data Sheet", I have entered portions of that information as follows: Raw Pozzolan is identified as "a cream to tan colored diatomaceous earth in various sizes, ranging from 2 1/2" to powder. Do not mix, pour or work with this product in enclosed areas. Stay upwind when using outside". Continuing, "This product contains more than 2% by weight of crystalline silica (quartz) and Cristobilite. Prolonged exposure to respirable crystalline silica has the potential to cause silicosis, a scarring of the lungs, which may be disabling". Further, "Crystalline Silica": Crystalline silica is classified by the International Agency for Research of Cancer (IARC) as a substance which may reasonably be anticipated to be a carcinogen. Acute silicosis may occur with exposures to very high concentrations of respirible silica over a short period of time. Symptoms are shortness of breath, cough and weight loss. Acute silicosis is fatal".

    Fact: The Skull Valley area is consistently windy!
    Fact: Disturbance of the old mine property WILL generate significant pozzolan silica dust.
    Fact: The silica dust WILL become airborne.
    Fact: The airborne silica WILL be carried by the prevailing winds to residential areas.

    I understand and fully support Capitalism and the Constitutional rights of those pursuing this mining venture, however, if ultimately approved, I recommend stipulations be firmly in place to protect the innocent public from the toxic nature of the resulting silica dust that will be produced at this proposed facility.

    Thank you!