Four Corners Materials Presented with Jack Starner Award for Innovative Mining

August 11, 2016

Four Corners Materials (FCM), a leading supplier of sand, rock, ready-mixed concrete, asphalt, paving and construction service in Colorado and New Mexico, was presented with the prestigious Jack Starner Mined Land Reclamation Award for its outstanding and innovative reclamation of the Animas River near the Bar D Pit in La Plata County. The annual award presented by the Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board and the Colorado Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, recognizes superior reclamation efforts in the state of Colorado.

According to statements from the Board, “This project was used as a test design to determine whether this approach to mining in this river would be economically beneficial.” The Bar D Pit has been operating since 1977. The reclaimed section of river was originally designated as an in-stream mining area. FCM changed the mining plan in an effort to repair and improve the river banks which were unstable and eroded. It incorporated the river channel stabilization designs and rock structures of Dave Rosgen to improve and maintain the flow of the river in a more centralized channel.

Four Corners Materials increased surrounding vegetation by planting a plethora of willow saplings, grasses and forbs along the river banks and flood plains resulting in more sustainable and aesthetically-pleasing riparian corridor. The surrounding vegetation will not only create more stability along the river banks, but it will provide a safe and viable habitat for wildlife.

Excessive gravel deposits were diverted into an off-channel pond by the use of a temporary vortex tube. This allowed Four Corners Materials to extract gravel from the pond without excavation from the river channel itself. Due to the success of the vortex tube, it will be removed and placed in another area of the river upstream where capturing the gravel will be more efficient. This approach to mining is innovative, ecologically friendly and economically beneficial.

“We are quite pleased to have received this prestigious award. It is great to be recognized for improving the environment in which we live, work and play while efficiently managing the resources necessary for our business,” said Matt Carnahan, Environmental Manager, Four Corners Materials.