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Current Status of Copper World Project

Current Status of Copper World Project

Read the latest about what's going on with mining activities in the Santa Rita Mountains and the Copper World project

  • ADEQ's draft Copper World Air Permit:

    • We are expecting Hudbay's Air Permit application to ADEQ to be opened for public comment any day now. There will be an informal public meeting and a formal, legally required public hearing. SSSR will prepare comments in response and advise the community of opportunities to gather as well as talking points to support your comments.

    • Review Hudbay’s Air Permit Application and supporting documents here >>

  • ADEQ's Aquifer Protection Permit:

    • ADEQ is currently reviewing public comments, and will likely release the final Aquifer Protection Permit for Copper World. We are expecting results in Summer 2024, and will respond accordingly

    • The public comment period on the draft Aquifer Protection Permit for Copper World closed on April 10, 2024. Learn more about the permit application here >>

    • On April 7, 2024, comments by SSSR and 13 other groups were submitted in response to the application. These comments include reports by four expert scientists who reviewed the APP in detail, as well as a copy of Pima County's comments.

    • On March 5, 2024. ADEQ held a formal public hearing on the proposed Copper World Aquifer Protection Permit. Members of the public asked questions and made comments, although ADEQ staff was not permitted to answer. Based on answers provided by ADEQ staff at the February 20 meeting, prior to the March 5 meeting SSSR staff provided an updated list of technical questions to our members in advance of the meeting.

    • On February 20, 2024. ADEQ held an informal public meeting where ADEQ staff answered questions from the public. With our technical consultants, SSSR developed a list of technical questions for the public to ask ADEQ staff at the meeting.

  • Arizona State Land Auction:

    • Hudbay has asked the Arizona State Land Department to auction off two parcels of state trust land so that they can more easily dump their mine tailings and waste rock produced by their proposed Copper World and Rosemont mines.

      These dumps of millions or even billions of tons of contaminated rock will be less than a mile from homes and an elementary school in the Ocotillo Rim Trail neighborhood.

  • Lawsuit with Arizona State Land Department's Board of Appeals:

    • In January 2024, SSSR and Farmers Investment Company, a Sahuarita pecan farming operation filed a lawsuit alleging that the Arizona State Land Department's Board of Appeals violated the state’s Open Meeting Law in connection with granting Hudbay a right-of-way to pipe toxic tailings across the state's pristine Santa Rita Experimental Range. The right-of-way also covered a high voltage power line, communications line, and an access road. None of the infrastructure has been installed. As of 5/24/2024, all documents have been filed and we are waiting possible oral arguments and the judge's decisions.

  • Rosemont Mine (Proposed Operations on East Side):

    • In May 2022, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a 2019 ruling by a federal judge in Tucson, who ruled that the Forest Service had improperly approved Rosemont Copper's plans for dumping waste rock and tailings on Forest Service land where it did not have valid mining claims. Primary operations have since shifted to the north and west sides of the Santa Rita mountains and is now referred to as the Copper World Project. See location below.


Hudbay's Copper World Fact Sheet

Last updated March 2024

For additional details and expanded talking points regarding the proposed mining project, see our comprehensive fact sheet.



Watch Rob Peters, SSSR Executive Director, present on the latest Copper World developments

Current as of April 30, 2024

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