Senator Ben D. Altamirano was elected as a Senator in the New Mexico Legislature in 1971 and served in this capacity for more than three decades.  During his tenure, he held key leadership positions, including State Senate President Pro Tempore, and served on numerous legislative committees.  His service to the State of New Mexico was exceptional and his dedication to issues important to New Mexico’s mining industry was a constant.

In honor of Senator Altamirano and his commitment to public service and the mining industry, the New Mexico Mining Association in 2005 established the Senator Ben D. Altamirano Award for Legislative Excellence.  The award is to be given each year at the Association’s Annual Legislative Reception and Dinner to an outstanding elected official who has made significant contributions to New Mexico and its mining industry.  Because this award is intended for outstanding public service and dedication to the mining industry over an extended period, this award is given to a qualified elected official only once I a lifetime.

The first award was given in 2006 and the recipient was, of course, Senator Ben D. Altamirano.

2006 – Senator Ben D. Altamirano

2007 – Senator Joe Fidel

2008 – Senator Carlos Cisneros

2009 – State Representative John Heaton

2010 – Senator Richard Martinez

2011-  Senator Clinton D. Harden, Jr.

2012 – Senator David Ulibarri

2013 – State Representative Kiki Saavedra

2014 – Senator John Arthur Smith

2015 – State Representative Candy Spence Ezzell

2016 –  State Representative James R. J. Sticker

2017 –  State Senator Stuart Ingle

2017 – State Representative Jim Trujillo