DEATH VALLEY, Calif., May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Death Valley Conservancy ("DVC") today announced the transfer of ownership of the historic Ryan Camp from the global mining company, Rio Tinto, to the DVC. In addition to the land and property, Rio Tinto will contribute $750,000 in financial support to the DVC in the first year, with further support scaling up over time to $18 million. The money will be used to address deferred maintenance and provide an endowment to help keep the site protected into the future. Rio Tinto's financial support will allow the DVC to preserve and restore Ryan Camp, as well as promote research and education centered on historic preservation and archaeology. As a very large owner of property in the United States, Rio Tinto's focus on land stewardship and respect for historic legacies is exemplified by the Ryan Camp transfer.
Ryan Camp traces its roots to the Pacific Coast Borax Company (later U.S. Borax and now Rio Tinto), which built the camp in 1913 to mine borax. After mining stopped in 1927, Pacific Coast Borax retooled Ryan into a hotel and tourist attraction. U.S. Borax played a role in not only fostering the traditions of Ryan but also the long-term relationship with the surrounding region including Death Valley National Park. It was Stephen Mather, a Borax company executive, who went on to create the National Park Service itself, and it is in that spirit of partnership that the DVC looks to provide sustained support for its future. "Ryan is a rich cultural and archeological asset that must be protected. The DVC is equally honored and excited to be given that responsibility. We look forward to working with our partners in the area surrounding Death Valley," said Preston Chiaro, President of the Death Valley Conservancy. "The DVC would like to thank Rio Tinto for their generosity, and recognize the law firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher for their ongoing support and legal advice."
Xiaoling Liu, President and CEO of Rio Tinto Minerals, the Rio Tinto business unit that operates California's largest open pit mine in Boron, California, said: "This transfer ensures that Ryan Camp, a jewel of our mining history, can be preserved for generations to come."
With over 1,000,000 national and international visitors every year, Death Valley is a remarkable venue in which to manifest and sustain the proud traditions of its mining heritage. DVC is a recognized "park partner" and remains committed to working with the Death Valley National Park and others who share these values to preserve the importance of the human history of Death Valley.
The DVC is a nonprofit charity committed to providing support and private funding for projects that preserve, protect or enhance Death Valley National Park and surrounding areas by improving the Death Valley area's natural, cultural and historic resources as well as the visitor experience.
SOURCE The Death Valley Conservancy