On Sunday, January 18, 2015, the Arizona Daily Star published an article titled; “Copper’s Worst Start Since ’88 May Hurt Mines.” Originally authored by Joe Deaux and Agnieszka de Sousa and published by the Bloomberg News on January 15, 2015, this article dealt with the recent decline in the price of copper, factors that have resulted in this decline and the potential impacts falling copper prices will have on the world’s commodity markets and businesses that produce these natural resources.
What was interesting about this article was the Arizona Daily Star’s “Local Angle”, written by Tony Davis. Instead of focusing on how lower copper prices would affect Arizona’s economy, Mr. Davis’ side note dealt solely with how lower copper prices may impact Hudbay’s proposed Rosemont project; completely ignoring its impact on thousands of Arizonans whose livelihoods are dependent on the health of our nation’s mines.
The price of copper will certainly impact Hudbay’s decision on when and how to proceed with the development of the Rosemont Copper project. However, Hudbay Minerals is not the only Arizona business that will be adversely impacted by the declining price of copper.
Freeport-McMoRan, ASARCO, Capstone Mining and KGHM operate twelve large copper operations in Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. These and other mining companies have also been actively evaluating the mineral potential of other sites throughout this region. Many Arizonans, who are employed by these firms as well as the numerous other vendors, contractors and service companies that do business with our nation’s mines will also be adversely impacted by a decline in the price of copper.
Declining copper prices have already contributed to the financial difficulties that resulted in the recent closure of Mercator’s Mineral Park mine near Kingman, Arizona. Further cut-backs resulting from falling copper prices will ultimately have a negative impact on our entire community.
David F. Briggs is a resident of Pima County and a geologist, who has intermittently worked as a consultant on the Rosemont Copper project since 2006. The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Rosemont Copper.
Copyright (2015) by David F. Briggs. Reprint is permitted only if the credit of authorship is provided and linked back to the source.