Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Florence copper mining sides offer different housing estimates

The debate over a proposed in situ copper project in Florence has turned to conflicting reports on the potential for home building in the area. The SanTan Valley Today paper reports that "Southwest Value Partners, the California-based real estate investment firm behind the opposition Protect Our Water Our Future effort, issued a commissioned housing study on Aug. 22 that contends Phoenix metro-area foreclosures are dipping and job creation is recovering which will lead to greater future demand for new homes in Florence and surrounding areas."

This counters a study issued by copper company Curis Resources that concluded "there will be no need for additional lot development as it projected a four-decade supply in active, dormant, future-platted and announced future subdivisions in the surrounding area."

The Curis property had been proposed for copper mining by BHP but when the proposal was dropped, real estate interests planned on building homes on it. But then the real estate-driven recession hit, development plans soured, the price of copper rose dramatically, and Curis resurrected the copper recovery plan. [right, location map of Florence Copper Project. Credit, Curis Resources]

Owners of surrounding parcels fear loss of value of their lands for residential and commercial real estate development and are fighting the copper project.

Curis calculates the project area contains an estimated 2.84 billion lbs of copper and will produce 76-86 million lbs per year in full operation.

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