Arizona - Mining

State: Arizona
Description: Arizona is ranked 5th among the 19 states with toxic emissions from the metal mining industry. Eighty-nine percent of the total reported toxic emissions in Arizona come from the mining industry, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Toxic Release Inventory.


EcoFlight is collaborating with Earthworks and Save the Scenic Ritas by providing overflights in the fight against the Rosemont open-pit copper mine proposed in the scenic Santa Rita mountains and the proposed Resolution Copper Mining Project.

The Santa Rita Mountains are south of Tucson, Arizona and are home to rare and endangered plants and animals, an active tourist economy, and the headwaters for part of Tucson's water supply. The Santa Ritas are also home to some of the few remaining jaguars north of the border. All this is under threat from the Rosemont mine proposal that would transform a desert refuge into an industrial zone, destroying the ecosystem and the economy that depends upon it.

The project being considered is an open-pit mine that affects lands managed by the Coronado National Forest, roughly 30 miles south of Tucson. Rosemont Copper Company has submitted a proposal to extract locatable minerals such as copper, molybdenum, and silver from an approximate 955-acre pit (two thirds of which are on lands owned by Rosemont Copper Company). Ore processing, waste rock and tailings are proposed to be located on approximately 3,330 acres of National Forest System lands. The Forest Service is deciding whether to approve a permit for the open-pit copper mine operation and has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). The comment period for the DEIS ended January 18th 2012.