Thursday, August 18, 2011

Developers vs miners in Florence

The debate over a proposed in situ copper mine in Florence, Arizona has been characterized as being over environmental concerns of using a vinegar-strength acid solution underground below the groundwater aquifer, to remove copper. [right, Florence copper project location map. Credit, Curis Resources]

But newspaper stories increasingly describe real estate developers as being the primary opponents to Curis Resources mining plans. The reason is repeatedly stated as fears of reducing the value of properties near the mine site.

An article from Arizona Guardian says representatives from Southwest Value Partners, "an investment group owned by Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarve," are meeting with the Governor's staff to urge her to oppose the mine over their fears of financial impacts to their housing and commercial developments.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:36 AM

    I am a resident in the Anthem community, located in Florence, Arizona and I (among many) oppose this mining proposal. It is a fact that this mining operation will be less than 1.5 miles away from homes in our community. Please note, this is a multi-generational community, with a K-8 school that educates aproximately 1,000 students. I am against in-situ leaching as research and past practices conclude that it is 1) not controllable 2) inherently unsafe 3) unlikely to meet "strict environmental controls" and 4) not an environmentally benign method of mining. Restoration of ground water is a continual probe. Any escape of these solutions outside the ore zone is considered an exclusion and can lead to contamination of surrounding ground water systems. Some of the most common causes of excursions, identified by international operations in the United States and acros Europe, can be through old exploration holes that were not plugged adequately, plugging or blocking off the aquafir causing excess water pressure build up and breaks in pores, and failures of injection/extraction of pumps. In addition, recent EPA studies indicate that in-situ mining can enhance naturally occurng radioactive materials. This is not why we moved to a master planned community in 2006. Many families, including ours, moved here as it is a haven away from all of the hustle and bustle. When we moved here we knew that we would be commuting 30 minutes or more to and from our jobs. However, our community is amazing, filled with a k-8 school, shopping and amenities that more than meet the needs of our families. With a hospital currently being built in the community, more businesses will follow suit. The majority of our community strongly believes if this mining operation is approved, businesses will not want to come due to the possible adverse effects of the mining operation. It is a known fact that in-situ leaching problems are not as visible as in an open-pit mining, as problems can go undected for years. I find it upsetting that you so soon forget the 2009 ASARCO incident 1.8 billion dollar settlement for clean-up of 80 toxic sites in 19 states as part of the largest environmental settlement in U.S. history. On 5-19-11 Governor Brewer approved $30 million in ASARCO settlements to clean up former mine sites and compensate AZ for natural resource damages. The fact is families who live in the community are against the project due to many valid concerns. Among them are a few: 1)Acidification of groundwaters 2) Mobilisation of potentially hazardous heavy metals 3) Disturbance of the groundwater table, mixing of groundwater aquafirs and general disturbance of land atop the ore body 4) Potential spills of acidic and metal bearing or salt bearing leachates upon te surface 5) radiation risk (as recent EPA studies indicate that in-situ mining can enhance naturally occuring radioactive materials.) There is another planning and rezoning meeting for the Town of Florence on October 6, 2011. In addition, I strongly encourage all who live in the community/oppose this project to contact our legislative officials, the State Land Commission: Maria Baier, the EPA, and your Town Council/Commission. This project is unacceptable and poses serious risks for the community members. I noticed at the meeting the majority of the people who spoke on behalf of the mining operation lived in locations such as: Scottsdale, Munds Park, Apache Junction, etc. Hmmmmmm.....