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Plan to build country's third largest copper mine in Arizona sparks controversy - Report

Mining News - Published on Thu, 23 May 2019

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Fox News reported that the San Rita Mountains, nestled in the Coronado National Forest, is home to Juniper trees, a variety of birds and even wildcats like ocelots and jaguars. But soon, it may also be the site of the third largest copper mine in the country. The fully-permitted project will excavate a roughly 6,500-foot-wide and 2,900-foot-deep pit, in addition to an on-site facility. Officials at Hudbay, a Toronto-based mining company that plans to develop the mine, say the structure could “fundamentally change mining,” with its dry stack tailing technology to significantly reduce water usage.

Kathy Arnold, environment director for Hudbay, told Fox News, “We've participated in this project for the last 12 years and we've listened to the community and we've changed our designs. We've modified the work that we're going to do and we've used the latest technologies to make sure that we can protect the environment.” But the proposed mine is facing lawsuits and a large wave of opposition.

For more than a decade, environmentalists and local tribes have been pushing back on the development of the mine, arguing it would destroy sacred lands, pollute the region's water supply and have adverse effects on wildlife.

Mr Steve Brown, a member of the Save the Scenic Santa Ritas (SSSR), an organization suing Hudbay, said that “This is about the sacred nature of this whole ecosystem. You're going to say, ‘well, not my backyard.’ But this is the backyard for the ocelot, for the jaguar, for the mountain lions, for the deer, for everything that holds us together.”

According to the Washington Post, the USD 1.9 billion Rosemont Mine project would generate an average of 500 new jobs and inject USD 16 billion into the local and regional economy, the company said. Copper is huge in Arizona -- the state produces about two-thirds of the country's supply for wiring and electronics.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Thu, 23 May 2019
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