Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Copper companies take hits

Two Arizona copper companies have taken some hits in the past few days.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that Asarco's Silver Bell mine was fined by the AZ. Dept of Environmental Quality for releases of wastewater, copper leach solution, and stormwater in 2006 that contained small amounts of sulfuric acid and heavy metals. The spills did not exceed groundwater standards but Asarco agreed to improve monitoring beyond requirements for its aquifer protection permit.

Second, Phoenix-based Southern Copper is closing its Cananea mine in Mexico, saying workers on strike since 2007 have damaged the mine. The mine has a century-long history of labor problems. The company is reportedly seeking permission from the government to fire the strikers.

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