Brief History

Black Mesa

Black Mesa is a female deity to the Dine’ (Navajo) people. To the East lies the Chuska Mountains, her male counterpart. Together the male and female create balance that is necessary in the Dinetah (lit. “among the Dine'”) Black Mesa is held up in a traditional Dine’ basket. In this basket lies out precious water, the songs, prayers, sacred stones, medicines which sustain all life. Offerings are made to the springs so that harmony and balance can be maintained.

Peabody Western Coal Company

  • Peabody Coal Company (PCC) mine operates coal 2 coal mines on Black Mesa. It is it the largest strip mine in the country.
  • Far more than 30 years PCC has mined and used a pipeline to slurry crush coal to Mohave Generating Station, 273 miles away in Nevada.
  • PCC mines some 4.7 million tons of coal each year on Black Mesa using approximately 4,400 acre foot of water from the N-Aquifer each year to slurry coal (1 a/f is approximately 326, gallons). That is equivalent to 120,000 gallons a day or 55 gallons per second.

“The lifeblood of Black Mesa”

Water known as Navajo Aquifer (N-Aquifer) is groundwater that lies beneath the Black Mesa region. N-Aquifer provides the sole source of water for the people of Black Mesa and surrounding communities.
For Dine’ on Black Mesa all is born of water and all life is sustained by water. Water is essential to the spiritual, cultural and physical health of the people. For Dine’ the power and sacredness of water cannot be overstated.

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