Part Two: Copper World’s processing facilities will involve a solvent extraction and electro-winning facility (SX-EW), a sulfide concentrator, a concentrate leach facility and an acid plant. The leach solution from a copper concentrate leach facility will be combined with solution from a separate oxide leaching circuit and treated in the SX-EW facility to produce copper cathode.
The concentrate leach facility will also produce sulfur, which will be processed into sulfuric acid at the acid plant, and then used on the oxide leach pads to leach copper from oxide ore. They will also build three conventional tailings storage facilities (TSFs).
Now I’m not a chemist – but when the monsoon comes and causes the bottom of Sycamore Canyon to turn into whitewater rapids, as it does in most years, what’s it bringing down from the mountains?
All the facilities I mentioned above will need to be built. [Hudbay] is about to own, privately, a path from the mountain along the canyon’s edge to Sahuarita Road. There will be constant truck traffic during the construction of these buildings over the next few years. Dust, noise and destruction of habitat will be ongoing, 24-7. [This work] could be starting very soon.
Buying land is not illegal, but it’s harder to regulate what’s happening on private property. It just seems to me that [Hudbay] is going out of its way to avoid being regulated or having to get permits. Why?
Phase I [of the project] would be used to mine copper from only private land on both sides of the mountain range, and would require only state and local permits to operate. Phase II would extend operations onto federal land and would require additional permission from the U.S. Forest Service. [Hudbay’s Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) Technical Report] mentions it may extend Phase I, so they can keep going if permitting is a problem.
I’m not even getting into groundwater issues or their item in the report about using driver-less load haulers. What could possibly go wrong? Google “driver-less load hauler accidents.” It’s a fun reading session.
I just think it’s a bad idea to allow [this mine project] so close to a populated area. It will create jobs. But property values will plummet, people will move, and we will become a dirty, dusty mining town. Is it worth it? Think fast! – [Hudbay] is up there, blading away, while you are reading this.
Cathy McGrath, Corona de Tucson
(Note: Part I was posted to the Scenic Santa Ritas’ website on August 4, 2022.)