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Jun 16, 2017
$1.5 Billion Southern Arizona Mine Project Preparing to Submit Plan
The Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals is expected to work with the U.S. Forest Service in the coming months, developing a mining plan for its proposed copper mine operations in Pima County, Arizona.
That plan will come in the wake of a decision by the Forest Service giving the controversial project an initial green light.
Hudbay has been wanting to build what will be the third largest copper mine in the country inside the Coronado National Forest and the Santa Rita Mountains, just southeast of Tucson.
The project has been in the talking and development phase for the last decade and has engendered opposition from opponents concerned about the mine’s impact on the environment and area wildlife.
In 2016 the Army Corps of Engineers’ Los Angeles District Office recommended rejecting a mitigation plan for the project submitted by Hudbay.
But the Forest Service has been more amenable to a project which could span more than 4,000 acres, approving a Hudbay operations plan that would, according to company officials, disturb the fewest number of acres and terrestrial vegetation.
Before any construction can begin on the site, the project must still win the approval of the Corps of Engineers which, in turn, would decide whether or not to give Hudbay a Clean Water Act permit for it.
Hudbay has said that if the mine is built, it would be capable of producing during its lifespan nearly 6 billion pounds of copper, comprising more than 10 percent of the total national copper output.