Arizona - Proposed Oak Flat Copper

State: Arizona
Region: Southeast Arizona

Rio Tinto's Resolution Copper is proposing to mine a rich copper vein near Superior, Arizona. The company is planning a massive block cave mine near the town of Superior, 60 miles east of Phoenix, Arizona. The mine would be 7,000 feet underground and the mining method would cause serious subsidence and disruption of the water table. In 1955 President Eisenhower placed the Oak Flat campground off limits to mining. Resolution Copper has now pressured some members of Congress to introduce a land exchange bill that would privatize Oak Flat and surrounding public lands which have rich ecological, recreational and cultural values. The land exchange would allow mining companies to subvert our nation's environmental and cultural laws and would bypass the permitting process.

  • The Oak Flat land exchange (HR 687) would be the only bill that would turn over a Native American sacred site on public land to foreign mining companies. It is opposed by every Indian Tribe in the United States.
  • The Oak Flat land exchange would be the largest loss of recreational climbing opportunities in US public lands history, and is opposed by the Access Fund and other organizations that care about maintaining recreational opportunities on public land.
  • The Oak Flat land exchange bypasses the normal process of permitting mines on public lands, avoids the NEPA process, and would destroy wildlife habitat and clean water resources.


Concerned citizens, conservation and recreation groups, and tribal governments are worried about the loss of Oak Flat campground. Tribal groups will continue to fight to protect their sacred land by opposing the land exchange legislation.