Geology and production of humate and weathered coal in New Mexico
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 1987
Humate mining in New Mexico is a small industry [455 m3 (16,079 cu yd) valued at $395,894 for 1983] with three mines active in 1985. Either humate (carbonaceous claystones rich in organic matter) or weathered coal ("leonardite") high in humic acid are mined. The humic acid content needed to meet consumer specifications determines which type is mined. The humate and "leonardite" now mined in New Mexico are used primarily as soil conditioners or as drilling mud additives. The potential resource for both are very extensive within the coal-bearing formations of the San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico.