December Mining Alliance Meeting
Published January 29, 2019

12/9/18 Guest Editorial to the Arizona Daily Star

Published January 29, 2019

Guest Editorial: Re: Edward Manuel and Richard Elias Special to the Arizona Daily Star December 9, 2018; “Rosemont mine would bring devastation to Southern Arizona.”

The headline begins with a very unfitting and disingenuous representation of the Rosemont Copper project being developed by Hudbay Minerals. There is no sound scientific evidence being presented by the authors to support their inflammatory rhetoric.

Let’s look at the facts about the need for copper and this project. The population of the world has increased form 2.5 billion in 1950 to 7.7 billion in December of 2018 and technology and the uses of copper have increased at a significantly higher rate especially since 1990. Copper has to be mined where the ore body exists, period! This is why the Rosemont Copper project is here.

Rosemont meets or exceeds environmental, air and water quality standards along with addressing other related concerns set by the federal government. In fact, over 17 state and federal agencies’ have reviewed and provided constructive feedback regarding the enhancements needed for the development of this project. Their years of processing the permits only stress to reiterate their commitment to protecting the health and environmental standards set forth in law. Neither the U.S. Forest Service in their Record of Decision (ROD), in May 2017, nor the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality would have authorized this project without the scientific evidence to support their approvals. And, the pending Clean Water Act 404 permit is in the process of finishing their review with the same due diligence and professionalism needed to ensure the safety of the water issues.

Chairman Manuel’s position regarding the Tohono O’odham Nation’s ancestral inhabitance and burial site concerns are very clearly addressed in the U.S. Forest Service’s (ROD). Mitigation and preservation has long been a part of the process to respect and provide responsible recovery of the ancestral remains of the Native Americans found on the site and less than 2% of the Santa Rita mountain region will be disturbed by the development of the mine. This area is described as sacred, but what about the future of the Native Americans? This project along with jobs and businesses in the supporting industries can provide significant economic opportunity to this constituency, which will give younger Tribal members greater opportunity.

The Rosemont project will contribute over $350 in new tax revenue for the tri-county area (Pima, Santa Cruz and Cochise County) that will support roads, education and the ever increasing needs of the citizens over the life of the project, which is projected to be 19 years. The Rosemont mine will employ 500 direct jobs and over 2000 in indirect jobs at peak development. The people of this great industry and their suppliers are good and humble citizens that contribute their time and money to the over 2000 non-profits and education organizations throughout Southern Arizona. Rosemont has already contributed over $1 million of dollars to these valued efforts over the last 12 years and their current 40 employees donate their personal time and financial support adding to this total.

The real devastation here is the unqualified representation of the “facts” and the disrespect to the people who will work with the commitment and passion to do everything they can to ensure the protection of all the natural and human resources throughout the region.

The Southern Arizona Business Coalition (SABC) was formed to support the responsible development of new, expanding and relocating industries with an emphasis on mining and related technology here in Southern Arizona and around the state.

Submitted by

Bill Assenmacher, President

Southern Arizona Business Coalition

Rick Grinnell, Vice President

Southern Arizona Business Coalition