This Master Plan is mandated by § 34-1-301, et seq., C.R.S. (see Appendix A). Populous counties (counties with populations of 65,000 or more) were directed to make themselves aware of their local resources and to develop a plan outlining the following:
- Map the location of resources;
- Propose regulations permitting exploration and extraction to proceed in an orderly manner;
- Protect known commercial mineral deposits from being covered by surface development so that extraction potential is maximized;
- Encourage multiple-sequential use of property to be mined so that resource areas can contribute to the community before, during and after mining; and
- Take into account the quality of life of the residents in and around areas that contain commercial mineral deposits.
State legislation specifically limited the scope of the Master Plan to limestone used for construction purposes, coal, sand, gravel, and quarry aggregate. Adams County’s original Mineral Extraction Master Plan was adopted in 1983. Although there are only a small number of sand and gravel and quarry aggregate deposits left to be mined along the mineral rich South Platte River valley, this plan has been updated to ensure mining and reclamation efforts in Adams County meet current regulations and utilize the latest industry techniques and procedures.
Chapter II describes the known mineral resources of the County for the five minerals covered by the State statute. A body of background information has been assembled for each mineral to show where the resources are likely to be located and typical extraction techniques.
Chapter III sets forth the existing and proposed County procedures for regulating mineral extraction. These procedures include control of mining operations themselves and protection of commercial mineral deposits from overlying surface development that would preclude eventual extraction, subject to the exemptions provided by law.
Chapter IV covers certification and adoption of the Plan and provides for periodic revision and amendments to be made. Additional requirements and guidelines regarding minimizing negative impacts of mining and reclamation standards can also be found in this chapter.