A Clash Over Mining and Water

ImageThis article is about the plans of creating a copper mine in arid southern Arizona. Many disputes have been taking place about this construction because some believe that this creation will destroy an area of outstanding ecological importance and threaten the amount of water in the area. The subsidiary of Augusta Resource, a Candian company, named Rosemont Copper, hope that the U.S. regulators will allow them to build the open-pit mine and mineral processing facilities that will be 30 miles away in southeast of Tucson in Pima Country. The vice president of all the environmental and regulatory affairs, Kathy Arnold has very big plans for the comany to do. Kathy planned to process 75,000 tons of ore per day, producing more than 600,000 pounds, or 270,000 kilograms, of copper per day, as well as molybdenum and some silver, and creating about 400 local jobs. Rosemont belived that copper is very important for a clean-energy economy. Mining uses a lot of water and Rosemont says the technology that is being planned to use would require only half as much water as a conventional mine. This new pit would be one of the nation’s largest copper producers. Ms. Arnold states, “and, yet, it will have one of the smallest footprints of any of the currently operating open-pit mines in the United States.” Many other techniques that are planned to be used are going to be sustainable methods that will be beneficial to the environment and to the community. On the contrary, many other civilians and leaders are still looking down on this idea. Some objections that people have brought up that this project might increase truck traffic and the effects on views, air quality, and tourism. But the most important issue is the risk to water. Rosemont hopes to be able to start digging by the end of this year but many other people hope this project does not progress.

-Sofia Guerra

Topic and category: Soil and Geology (mining/mining impacts)


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