The decades-long battle over a CEMEX aggregates operation in the Santa Clarita Valley in California is far from over, even though the company’s second 10-year mining contract officially expires on July 31.
CEMEX requested a one-year extension of the mining contract at Soloedad Canyon, a request that was denied by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), according to the City of Santa Clarita.
CEMEX is proposing a 56 million net ton sand and gravel mine near the junction of Agua Dulce Canyon Road and Soledad Canyon Road. The mine would encompass 490 acres with a split estate.
The BLM said that CEMEX did not show that the delay in removing mineral materials was beyond their control and referenced the company’s failure to, “complete steps necessary to begin mining” and “make in lieu payments on the contract,” according to the city.
“CEMEX is disappointed by the decisions from the Interior Board of Land Appeals,” the company said in a statement. “As part of vigorously pursuing all of its rights with respect to the Soledad Canyon Project, CEMEX previously filed suit in the Federal District Court in Washington, D.C., to reverse the BLM’s unlawful determinations with respect to the CEMEX contracts and have the contracts reinstated. CEMEX has been successful in defeating prior legal challenges to the project. CEMEX believes the process in Federal Court will also be successful, which will allow the development of the Soledad Canyon Project as has been approved by numerous environmental reviews. The Soledad Canyon Project is important to the development and infrastructure of California, providing a local source of high-quality aggregate reserves to help meet the high demand of sand and gravel in a rapidly-growing part of the state.”