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From Sahuarita and Green Valley, take a look at the northwestern view of the Santa Rita Mountains these days to see what Canadian-based Hudbay Minerals Inc. is exploring on its mining claims, putting in access roads that already are changing the water flow and wildlife corridors there.
Yes, Arizona is a mining state, but the impacts of this preliminary plan for this 44-year copper mining complex includes seven open pit mines in the first 16 years, removing much of the ridgelines of Weigles and Hart buttes.
Another crucial impact: the Copper World Mine Complex will increase precious water consumption by 400 percent compared to the original Rosemont-only plan. According to Save the Scenic Santa Rita Association, all the water would be pumped from Hudbay’s well field in Sahuarita and be sent by a pipeline to the Hudbay mine facilities off of Santa Rita Road on the northwest side of the mountain.
In late 2019, Hudbay suspended the Well Protection Program Master Agreement it inherited from Augusta Resources, which provided some well maintenance coverage for the 313 families and 144 residential wells in East Sahuarita. To date, Hudbay has not resumed that coverage. Most of these residential wells are less than 400 feet deep, while two Hudbay wells are 1,227 and 1,307 feet deep. Will Hudbay keep its agreement or ignore the longtime Sahuarita Heights residents as its mine complex relies entirely on that groundwater?
Save the Scenic Santa Ritas in October requested a public hearing with the office of the Arizona State Mine Inspector, alleging it improperly approved Hudbay’s Rosemont/Copper World Mine Complex.