Saturday, July 12, 2008

Copper mining jobs increase 25%; more likely

Jobs in the copper mining industry increased by 25% in 2007 according to the annual report of the Arizona Mining Association, from 8,200 to 10,300 . A summary in the Arizona Daily Star also listed a direct economic impact of copper mining to Arizona of $3.2 billion. The average salary is $40,000, probably the highest industry average in the state. [right, Morenci mine, Arizona's largest copper mine]

Other projects could dramatically increase copper mining in the region: the Resolution mine near Superior, the Rosemont mine south of Tucson, reopening the Lavender pit at Bisbee, and the imminent reopening of the Johnson Camp mine between Benson and Willcox.

There's an interesting opinion piece by Steve Emerine in yesterday's Inside Tucson Business, entitled, "Pima County should butt out of Rosemont mine controversy." Emerine asked two questions,

1. Why is a Democratic-controlled Board of Supervisors, which claims to support high-paying jobs and stronger unions, working so hard to kill a high-paying project on private land on the other side of the Santa Rita Mountains?

2. And why do all five supervisors contend that extending the Central Arizona Project pipeline to Sahuarita is an evil plot if Augusta pays for it but wonderful if we taxpayers fund it?

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