Rosemont Mine back on, but Fiercely Contested

The Rosemont Copper Mine would turn a biologically rich portion of Arizona into a gaping hole in the ground, not unlike the one pictured here. Cobar Copper Mine and Beyond by Tim J Keegan. CC BY-SA 2.0

The Rosemont Copper Mine would be a massive, open-pit mine in the middle of a biologically rich area in southern Arizona. I have written about the mine before, which would threaten countless species and vital water supplies, but it previously looked like the mine might not be built. Now, however, the fight is back on.

In 2016, the Army Corps of Engineers recommended not granting the Rosemont mine a critical Clean Water Permit that it would’ve needed for construction to go forward. The reason was obvious: the mine would’ve seriously harmed water supplies in an arid region.

The Rosemont mine would use massive amounts of water, about 5 million gallons a day, and convert a vital aquifer into a toxic lake.

Unfortunately, the political climate has shifted in the United States following the election of Donald Trump. The Army Corps of Engineers reversed its decision without any explanation and granted Hudbay Minerals – the Canadian company that would build the mine – the Clean Water Permit that it needed.

Now, according to this great article from National Geographic, Hudbay is ready to begin constructing the mine. But environmental groups and other advocates have vowed to resist until the end.

This story by Douglas Main for National Geographic tells the story of the mine – and those who are determined to fight it – in detail. Chris Bugbee of Conservation CATalyst is a central character, as is Randy Serraglio of the Center for Biological Diversity.

Main’s article is too thorough for me to adequately summarize here. Therefore, I highly recommend all readers to follow the link below to read his crucial story.

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