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Mining Issues

UPDATE: As of April 21, 2016, we at Global Community Communications Alliance continue to actively participate in the fight to stop the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine in the Santa Rita Mountains.

In February 2016, Hudbay Minerals Inc. (the current owner of the Rosemont Mine project) announced that construction of the proposed Rosemont copper mine will be delayed until the depressed copper market improves, but that it still intends to build the $1.5 billion project. We have seen major lay-offs of employees on other local copper mining operations. Asarco and Freeport-McMoran have released hundreds of employees at the Hayden concentrator and the Sierrita Mina respectively.

Mining economists agree that Hudbay is likely to open Rosemont when and if it gets permitted, even if the prices stay low.

Hudbay Minerals Inc. has yet to secure all nine permits necessary to open the Rosemont Mine. The final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), from the Forest Service, is inadequate and may have to be revised or supplemented. The EIS does not properly address issues pertaining to impacts on water pollution, migratory species, and endangered species from the proposed mine.

Multiple photos of the only known jaguar in the United States, and an ocelot near the site of the proposed mine, indicate that the project impacts on endangered species is much more serious than previously anticipated.

The 404 Permit from the Army Corp of Engineers (for compliance with the Clean Water Act) is not anywhere near secured. The EPA has strongly and repeatedly stated that the Rosemont Mine does not meet with their approval and the EPA has the authority to overturn a 404 permit issued by the Army Corp of Engineers.

The air pollution permit for Rosemont Mine was originally rejected by Pima County. The owners of Rosemont Mine then appealed to Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) who approved the permit. Save the Scenic Santa Rita's filed a lawsuit and won, thus overturning the permit. Judge Crane McClennon of the Arizona Superior Court ruled that the decision to issue the permit was "arbitrary and capricious" an "abuse of discretion" and "not supported by substantial evidence". This ruling means that ADEQ will have to re-evaluate the air pollution permit in light of additional data and analysis presented by Save the Scenic Santa Rita's showing that the mine would violate State air and health standards.

To find out more about the Rosemont Mine see: http://www.scenicsantaritas.org/

To view excellent documentaries about the real story behind the Canadian-based companies who own the project see: http://www.investigativemedia.com/rosemont-mine/

Global Community Communications Alliance members have had several opportunities in 2009 to support the groups "Save the Scenic Santa Rita's" and "The Empire-Fagan Mine Coalition". These groups are working to protect the Davidson Canyon area from mining operations that threaten pristine wetland and canyon regions of the Santa Rita Mountains.

Global Community Communications Alliance has continued to closely monitor the process and proposals for more corporate mining projects in Southern Arizona, especially the infamous Rosemont Copper Mine proposal in the Santa Rita Mountains. Many individual members of Global Community Communications Alliance have been personally involved in writing letters to the United Stated Forest Service and other agencies involved in gathering public input and issuing permits for the Rosemont Mine, as well as volunteering for tabling with Save the Scenic Santa Rita's to assist in educating people about local mining issues.

On March 2, 2013 Blue Evening Star attended a workshop hosted by the ParaWatchdogs in Patagonia, AZ on advocacy training for protection of the Patagonia Mountains from new mining operations.