(NOTE: This article is intended for subscribers to the Daily Star.)
Terry Rambler, Tribal Chairman of the San Carlos Apache Nation, shares his views on the relative value of copper, citing current United States Geological Survey (USGS) data.
Arizona Republic Opinion Letter (April 12, 2022)
As you know, Rosemont’s activities on the western side of the Santa Rita Mountains facing Green Valley and Sahuarita are getting a lot of attention right now. After a year of exploratory drilling (bulldozing roads and drill pads), Rosemont’s Canadian owners, Hudbay Minerals have announced that they have identified copper deposits that may prove worthy of mining.
Hudbay recently released what they call a “Reclamation Plan” for their proposed “Copper World” open-pit mine on the west side of the Santa Ritas. It is an extraordinary document in that it talks about what they will do after they have finished mining, yet they don’t even have a mining plan.
Also, the so-called Reclamation Plan is simply put, a sham. It fails to address any of the issues resulting from their mining activities. These include, for example: What do they plan to do about acid drainage? What do they plan to do about the possibility of toxic waste leaking into the groundwater?
Because the Arizona Mine Inspector’s Office is a relic of a previous era, the Hudbay/Rosemont Reclamation Plan was approved without so much as a public hearing. But it doesn’t mean much. It is just an example of Hudbay going after “low-hanging fruit.” In other words, they can now check off the “Reclamation Plan box,” presumably to impress investors, even though they have a very long way to go before there is any possibility of mining.
There remain many unanswered questions about Hudbay/Rosemont’s plan for the western flank of the Santa Rita Mountains. For example, their so-called Reclamation Plan indicates that they are thinking of running an underground pipeline through Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land – thus requiring an analysis of environmental impacts pursuant to federal law. Also, Canadian financial regulations require that they publish an economic feasibility analysis, which will likely shed more light on their plans.
You can be assured we are staying on top of these issues and are prepared, with your help, to challenge them every step of the way.
What’s Happening on the East side of the Santa Ritas?
While we wait for a decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on our legal challenge that has stopped them from proceeding with construction of the Rosemont Mine, there is still activity occurring.
Hudbay has bulldozed new roads and drill pads on this side of the mountain range, which are prominent eyesores from Scenic Highway 83. Fortunately, these will disappear over time. Mother Nature will take care of them.
We continue to work hard to prevent mining in the Santa Ritas. And, we think we will prevail. As always, thank you all for your long-term support.
Gayle Hartmann, President