Rosemont Copper Mine

In July 2007, Rosemont Copper submitted a preliminary mining plan of operations (MPO) to the Coronado National Forest requesting approval to construct, operate, reclaim, and close an open-pit mine on and adjacent to National Forest Service (NFS) lands for development of the Rosemont ore deposit.

The project area is located about 30 miles south of Tucson, Arizona. It is on approximately 995 acres of private land owned by Rosemont Copper Company, 3,670 acres of Forest Service System lands, and 75 acres of Arizona State Land Department lands.

The Rosemont Copper Project consists of the development of an open-pit mine, ore processing plant, waste disposal facilities, access roads and utility corridors. The operation would produce concentrates of copper, molybdenum, and silver. The life of the operation, including construction, operation, reclamation and closure, is approximately 25 to 30 years.

Two Federal agencies have authority regarding the preliminary MPO approval and permitting process: the Forest Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The Forest Service is the lead agency conducting the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review of the MPO, and the Forest Supervisor of the Coronado is the responsible official for this environmental impact statement (EIS).

On December 31, 2013 a legal notice was published in the newspaper of record, the Arizona Daily Star. This initiates the 45-day objection period beginning January 1, 2014 and ending February 14, 2014. There are 17 cooperating Federal, State, and local agencies with jurisdiction or special expertise related to aspects of the preliminary MPO, including the USACE.

Economic Impact in the Area
A report, An Assessment of the Economic Impacts of the Rosemont Copper Project on the Economies of the Cochise/Pima/Santa Cruz Counties Study Area, Arizona, and the United States concludes that just during the construction phase alone the project will:

  • Generate an average annual increase of $96 million in economic activity in the study area over a four year engineering/construction period;

  • Provide a total of 3,600 person-years of employment for local workers;

  • Provide an average of $38 million per year in additional income to area residents;

  • Generate almost $5 million per year in revenues for local governments in the study area; and

  • Provide $385 million in additional demand for goods and services from suppliers in the study area.

AZAGC Position
Provided the operation meets federal, state and local environmental regulations, the General Mining Act of 1872, the Multiple-Use Mining Act of 1955 and Forest Service mining regulations allow Rosemont Copper to pursue locatable minerals on public lands and, under valid existing mining claims, conduct mining activities. AZAGC supports the Rosemont Copper Mine and urges the process for the final decision to move forward.

Download the Policy Paper [CLICK HERE]