Rio Algom Quivira Mill and Mines

Site History:

The Rio Algom mill and mines (Site) owner is Rio Algom Mining LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of BHP Billiton. The Site includes underground workings and associated facilities at nine mines and the Quivira mill facility. Uranium ore was extracted from underground mine workings and milled at the Site from 1957 through 1985. During this time, approximately 33 million tons of ore were processed at the mill.


The Site is located in northwestern New Mexico, approximately 20 miles north of Grants


State of New Mexico
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Navajo Nation


The Natural Resource Damage Trustees for the Site have established the Rio Algom Quivira Mill and Mines Trustee Council. The objective of the Trustee Council is to determine if natural resources have been injured as a result of the release of hazardous substances from the Site and to use recovered damages to restore, rehabilitate, replace, or acquire the equivalent of the injured resources to implement the appropriate resource restoration actions.

Case Status:

Natural Resource Damage Assessment Approach
The Trustees and Rio Algom Mining are developing an approach for a cooperative natural resource damage assessment and an evaluation of restoration options to compensate for any identified resource injuries and service losses caused by releases of hazardous substances at the Site.

Preassessment Screen
The ONRT has issued the Preassessment Screen and Determination: Rio Algom Mines and Quivira Mill Site (Preassessment Screen) and a Notice of Intent to perform a natural resource damage assessment. To develop the Preassessment Screen, the ONRT conducted a rapid review of readily available information. Based on this review, ONRT concluded that various operations at the Site resulted in the release of hazardous substances that have, or are likely to have, injured natural resources and that it was reasonable to proceed with a natural resource damage assessment.