Arizona mining project wins crucial permit
Written byLESLIE MACMILLAN, New York Times
A Canadian mining company has come one step closer to building a mile-wide, half-mile-deep open-pit copper mine on public land 30 miles south of Tucson. On Thursday, Arizona’s Department of Environmental Quality granted Rosemont Copper, a subsidiary of Augusta Resource of Vancouver, a crucial air quality permit, saying emissions from the proposed mine would not violate federal standards for carbon monoxide, nitrogen and sulfur dioxide, or fine and large particles.
As I reported here last month, the mine would occupy 4,750 acres of land in the Coronado National Forest, home to 10 endangered species in one the most biologically diverse areas in the country.
Opponents of the mine include the mayor of Tucson and dozens of citizens’ groups. The Environmental Protection Agency has also raised serious objections, saying the project “would eliminate and/or significantly degrade hundreds of acres of aquatic and riparian resources,” including federal waters and critical springs and wetlands.
That Rosemont has made it this far has led critics to argue that the General Mining Law of 1872, which governs hard-rock mining, is woefully outdated and needs to be altered.VIEW ORIGINAL ARTICLE