Resolution Copper Mining, LLC (Resolution Copper) was formed in 2004 to evaluate, design, permit, construct and operate an underground block cave copper mine located just east of Superior, Arizona and is owned jointly between Rio Tinto (55%) and BHP Billiton (45%).
The copper resource that has been identified is approximately 1.6 billion metric tons and is one of the largest undeveloped copper resources in the world. At currently designed production rates, it will produce the equivalent of more than 25 percent of the annual US copper demand for 40 years.
Resolution Copper Land Exchange Legislation
United States Senator John McCain, United States Congressman Paul Gosar and United States Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick collaborated and succeed in supporting Arizona's leadership in copper production worldwide.
On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed legislation that will help advance the Resolution Copper project with access to 2,400 acres of public land owned by the federal government.
This law, signed by President Barack Obama, December 19, 2014, will exchange 2,400 acres of federally owned land for 5,300 acres owned by Resolution Copper composed of valuable and highly sought recreational, conservation and cultural land throughout Arizona.
The 5,300 acres of important Arizona lands were selected in consultation with leading national conservation groups, with additional input by local, state and federal officials. These lands will be placed under federal stewardship after a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is issued by the United States Forest Service (USFS). More information is available on Resolution Copper website, www.resolutioncopper.com/media.
Passage of the land exchange is an important step to unlocking the value of the Resolution Copper deposit, but there is much more work to be done before commercial mining can begin. Resolution Copper will now focus on the comprehensive environmental and regulatory review process required under than U.S. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). That process will include public input, government-to-government consultation with Arizona Native American tribes and a U.S. Federal government appraisal.
A recent economic impact study conducted by Pollack & Associates concluded that the billions of dollars of private investment to construct and operate the mine would create the following:
- 1,400 direct jobs and 23 indirect jobs (3,700 total jobs) throughout the 40 – year mine life;
- 3,000 construction jobs (average) during the construction phase of the project;
- $220 million in annual wages;
- $61 billion in economic impact to the state of Arizona; and
- $19 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue ($16 billion allocated to federal)
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