Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Resolution Copper: "It's crunch time"

The Resolution Copper mine project just east of the town of Superior, will start laying off people in March unless they have some assurances that the proposed land exchange will move forward, according to company president John Rickus. Rickus spoke to about 50 members of the Arizona Geological Society at the groups monthly dinner meeting in Tucson last night on the subject of "Sustainability in Mining." His remarks came near the end of his presentation, when he described the plans and challenges in developing what would become the largest copper producing mine in the U.S. [right: John Rickus]

Rickus said that frustration is creeping in among the local communities over the failure to resolve the land exchange. He said without that issue being clarified, the company is unwilling to risk spending $300 million on the main exploration shaft. That will cause the loss of 52 jobs in March and more as the project winds down. [drill rig in Resolution copper mine area, near Superior AZ]

The proposed mine would produce up to 600,000 tons of copper annually for 40 years, equal to 20% of the total U.S. demand.

The land exchange would trade 5500 acres of conservation lands acquired by the company in a number of locations in Arizona for 3025 acres of federal land needed by the company for the mine. Resolution Copper would replace the existing Oak Flat Campground facilities within the Tonto National Forest that would be within the new mine area, and convey a conservation easement on the escarpment above the Town of Superior known as Apache Leap.

No comments:

Post a Comment