What Is The Arizona Daily Star’s Agenda?

How many times have you read a news article about something that has been repeated over and over again as fact only to find out latter it was false?

The Arizona Daily Star, a long-time opponent of Rosemont Copper published an article titled “Another Big Deposit of Copper Suspected Just Outside Planned Rosemont Mine” on June 9, 2017.    This article is essentially identical to a previous article published by the Arizona Daily Star on June 3, 2017  titled, “Another Huge Deposit of Copper Resources Lies just Outside Planned Rosemont Pit“.  Authored by the Arizona Daily Star’s environmental reporter, Tony Davis, both articles repeat unsubstantiated allegations made by Save the Scenic Santa Ritas that Hudbay Minerals plans to expand mining operations into other areas once it obtains the permits for the proposed Rosemont pit along the eastern flank of the Santa Rita Mountains.  The Arizona Daily Star’s choice of titles for these articles was designed to reinforce this misperception.

Those familiar with the geology and exploration history of the Helvetia-Rosemont mining district, know assured development of areas outside of the perimeter of the proposed pit is not certain.  Dismembered by extensive post-mineral faulting, the Helvetia-Rosemont porphyry copper system is probably one of the most structurally complex mining districts in North America.  Other deposits in this district may never have sufficient volume or continuity of mineralization to support mine development and metal recovery.  Although Hudbay Minerals’ March 2017 feasibility study characterizes the Rosemont portion of the system well, the lack of similar data and analysis make it impossible to predict whether future mining activities will extend beyond the perimeter of the proposed open pit.

Unless Rosemont opponents have a crystal ball that allows them to accurately predict the future, their unsubstantiated allegations are nothing more than wild speculation designed to sway public opinion against the project.   Good journalism is based on facts, not speculation.  It is irresponsible for the Arizona Daily Star to mislead southern Arizonans by repeatedly giving credence to knowingly false statements.  The validity of these allegations is not going to change, no matter how many times they are repeated.

Disclaimer:  David F. Briggs is a resident of Pima County and a retired geologist, who intermittently worked on the Rosemont project  between 2006 and 2014.  The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Rosemont Copper.

Copyright © (2017) by David F. Briggs.  Reprint is permitted only if the credit of authorship is provided and linked back to the source.

About David F. Briggs 47 Articles
David F. Briggs is a retired geologist, whose work is feature by the Arizona Geological Survey. Briggs intermittently worked on the Rosemont project between 2006 and 2014. He has authored articles on Arizona’s mining history.


  1. Jose, I laughed myself silly over your comments! I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of the Red Star.

  2. And just yesterday the ADS announces the promotion of Ms Sarah G to opinion editor.

    Jill Jorden Spitz must be smoking the good stuff. We all know John H couldn’t reverse the death spiral.

    That promotion may or may not be the final straw but it sure looks like the kiss of death on paper. Literally and figuratively.

  3. ADS front page 6/11/17
    Pima County Sheriff’s Department over budget on overtime.
    Buried in the back pages:
    3 American servicemen killed in Afghanistan.
    ISIS militants fighting in the Philippians kill 13 Philippian Marines, U.S. assisting with spy planes.
    I think the ADS has a serious priority problem.

  4. I have no doubt that this mine will change Sonoita like nothing has ever, that trucks are to be used to move ore to Mexico is going to make this a boom town – mining town. Some I’m sure will sell out to the huge land prices that will come. The roads will be different with all the traffic, roads will be built, bars will open, people will come – it’s going to be a different like no other previous time in this towns history. I was really hoping they would be forced to put in a rail head to move all this ore – it’s not that far to the rail line – this would have changed the nature of the effect this mine will have on the local area. I don’t see that coming now. So here we go.. and you see it from the Highway, with a small sign, very controlled area so no one can dump stuff there now and blame it on them. I also hoped they would force this and other mines to clean up the old mines near Patagonia etc. of water and chemicals left from years gone by wildcat mines – no one else is going to do this. It’s why the lake fish aren’t good to eat ‘heavy metals’ in the run off to the lake. I’m all for opening the mine – the time for responsibility is now – and growing smaller as they approach opening.

  5. I drove directly through the fire area yesterday – the line between burned and not burned is ‘one line here it is, there it isn’t’ a gully, a grass line, it’s easy to see, it’s also easy to see that this grass line will be grown green like no green we have seen in awhile come a monsoon rain. If you were living in a house ‘next to the line’ oh yeah you were in fear of it causing fire to your home I’m sure, a fire break would be important, but protection of an old barn tough. I’m sure from what I saw there were some VERY nervous moments for quite a few home owners.. that said, it’s going to grow some great grass this year with the rains. This type of fire happens – this time it was here, to be spared I’m sure for a couple of years.

  6. I have mixed feelings about the Rosemont mine. And frankly I need more info on where it’s going and from where it will be seen. I drove thru the Santa Ritas recently and I believe it has the potential to be one of the most beautiful places in desert Arizona. (Once the area comes back from the fire. For the record, I have lived in AZ for more than 50 years and have traveled the State extensively). If the mine ruins the recreational value of the Santa Ritas it’s not worth it. Can one of you give me a website describing the mine’s location?

    • But yet you enjoyed the benefits of modern copper mining such as the motors in your automobile and vehicle air conditioning and communications devices. Should we extract mineral resources in the U.S. to support U.S. consumption and use (including yours) or should All these products be produced elsewhere with attendant reduction of the recreational, scenic, wildlife, cultural resources in other peoples’ yards? Mineral deposits are generated by the forces of plate tectonics, volcanism, and mountain building, so many deposits are, regrettably, in scenic mountain areas. They are found in mountains of the Norther and Southern Cordillera and mountain ranges in just about every country. If you want minerals (which are typically mined from mountains) but not mined from mountains in the U.S., you are advocating simultaneous U.S. consumption and greedy environmental imperialism with possible overtones of first-world versus third-world classism since copper is produced in many developing nations.

  7. “Those familiar with the geology and exploration history of the Helvetia-Rosemont mining district, know assured development of areas outside of the perimeter of the proposed pit is not certain.”

    I can see a need for Mr. Briggs to write this opinion piece and in fact the above statement from his article may be true however; I am no fan of the ADS, in fact I despise them but, could it be that what they are saying is “if/when” other deposits, large enough to be mined are substantiated, then the compete destruction of the NE end of the Santa Rita mountains will take place. Besides, the perimeter of the pit is not the main issue, dumping millions of yards of overburden on Forest Service land is of greater concern. Just look at Resolution Copper near Miami, AZ. They keep finding more copper and the pit keeps growing and growing. If memory serves me correctly, they even proposed a land swap deal to enable them to go after the copper. If Rosemont begins, there will be no stopping it and the Santa Rita landscape will be change forever.

    • Mr. Brigg’s statement is true…mineralized rock is no guarantee antying will go into operation. Arizona is blessed with mineralized rock everywhere (copper, molybdenum, gold, potash, uranium). The uranium and potash mineralization has been effectively put off limits by government action. Historic exploration in the Helvetia-Rosemont area does not meet the standards of modern exploration and who knows if actual logs and other data actually exist from those who did the historic exploration. It would all have to be redone with years of exploration, feasibility, and permitting work all before a dime would be spent on operations.
      Resolution Copper, BTW, is not completed permitting yet, is closer to Superior than to Miami, and will be an underground operation…not an open pit. Perhaps you’re thinking of Freeport-McMoRan Miami operations, Pinto Valley Mine, or Carlota Copper?

      • OK so I mixed up the exact location of the mine. Point is once they start there is no stopping them. All this talk of 21st century mining techniques is nice but it can’t change the fact that there will be a mile wide hole in the ground and millions of tons of overburden dumped on Forest service land. Landscape changed forever!

        • Yes…there is definitely an impact to the mineral resources you and I use. Mineral, fuel, and energy resource development is a legal use of some federal lands such as USFS and BLM lands. We are living in a country with laws and procedures so the process was set for evaluating mineral extraction with attendant requirement to bond or assure for final closure and reclamation. Until someone invents alchemy methods that will produce iron, copper, manganese, potash, etc. with a snap of a finger out of thin air, our minerals will continue to come from the ground via open pits, open cuts, underground mines, brine extraction (lithium, salts), and in-situ dissolution (copper, uranium, salt). We use the resources wisely as possible with as little waste and as much recycling as possible….but they all originate in the ground.

  8. the RED STAR used to be ‘the paper’ won out over the citizen because it was a morning issue – lost its’ readers when it went with the Democarts – the liberal drugies of the 60’s – yeah I was one ; Nam vet too… I didn’t leave the party it left me. As I kid I threw hundreds of ADS paper off my bike, then had a Sunday corner where I sold bundle after bundle after church on Sunday – everyone knew the Citizen was the “R” paper, the Star was the “D” paper, nothing has changed in 55 years but the party, the world and media as we know it. I sometimes read Hansen, that’s about it… don’t see them being here much longer.

  9. Simple answer – No Growth, No Jobs, No Prosperity

    And they’ve been incredibly successful. 5th poorest in the country and DAMN product of it!

  10. I still pick up a copy on occasion to proof my theory that the paper will pull itself out of its current death spiral only to once again be reminded. Nope. They are still stupid over there. It’s current headlines read full of disdain for Trump and or the GOP as evidenced by story after story of the Russian conspiracy to influence our elections. Never mind Obama did exactly just that in an attempt to oust Netanyahu. Not once was that reported. Or more stories about Comey. Who admitted under oath he failed to perform his sworn duties. Never once a story about the corruption by the Clintons or their foundation to accept foreign money in exchange for insider influence. Nope. Not even a hint of the miscues of the Democratic Party and its continuous failures nationally or locally. My neighborhood which clearly represents the working middle class used to be lined daily with the local newspaper in their driveways. Today there is not a single paper on any given day to be found delivered. In a community of roughly 1 million. I can’t imagine what the circulation could be? Surely my neighborhood is not all republican nor representative of the population at large. But if it is indicative of how well the daily star is doing. Well then. Someone lock the doors and turn off the lights. The stores hardly carry more than 5-10 copies. Nowhere can you find a paper stand and if you do with no more than 3-5 copies. The digital side of ADS could not be generating much more revenue. The have gone through multiple RIFs and restructures. Yep. Every tell tale sign is written on the wall. Today the Sunday paper which used to be the biggest print job of the week will barely be the size of the former Monday paper. Advertising dollars have almost dried up. Reading the tea leaves. The ADS is not even a figment of their past. Someone should put them out of their misery. It’s called an orderly liquidation.

    • Ads are drying up for other publications as well. Vogue, Martha Stewart Living, and other magazines are all getting thinner.

  11. There are many mineralized areas in Arizona that have been known about for decades if not 100+ years, but that may never be mined owing to lack of volume, grade, continuity, inconvenient location, etc. Mineralization and mineral resources is not the same thing as a mineral reserve, which can be mined economically at metal prices today and prices predicted into the future. The apparent intent of Mr. Davis’ article is to alarm the residents of Green Valley so they will keep up pressure on environmental regulatory agencies and support organizations such as Save the Scenic Santa Ritas and Center for Biological Diversity. Mr. Davis…how can look yourself in the mirror and still call yourself a journalist. You come across as a propagandist for these NGO organizations.

  12. It is irresponsible for the Arizona Daily Star to mislead southern Arizonans by repeatedly giving credence to knowingly false statements.

    Ah, really. That is all that BS piece of trash does is mislead and feed the gullible half truths or no truths. They have no reporters and depend on the cronies who make millions from the taxpayer to purchase advertising in the rag so that it can survive. The cronies keep buying because they know the ADS will continue to parrot the line that all taxes and public debt is good and that roads are made to be bad. SSDD in the sewer that is Pima County.

  13. Why anyone is still paying for the ADS borders on insanity, why anyone it’s still reading the ADS is equally mind boggling.
    It’s truly the So. AZ democratic party’s mouth piece for sheer lies of propaganda, outside of the sports section it’s really nothing short of a constant, never ending convoluted left wing agenda driven epithet of spewing lies. If the star endorses or supports it, it’s another bad or unwarranted expensive idea.
    Sarah Garrecht Gassen, what’s in a name, ran out of gas about 1387 feel good stories ago, she has more lame-O sap then a lumber mill, her writings mirror the predictability of a Tom Cruise movie interwoven with the “what if” idealism of Jonathon Livingston seagull.
    The easiest way to house break a new puppy is to cover the entire interior of your home with continuous pages of the ADS, pesto your dog is instantly house broken since even a mongrel mutt won’t crap on it, almost magically it works every time.
    Extreme care and caution should be exercised when using the ADS to line bird cages as death from fecal retention commonly occurs since most species of birds won’t lower themselves to soil it.
    Anytime I get a free copy of it mistakenly left on my driveway, I seriously consider calling the police to file a littering complaint.
    Anyone outside the mindless left with an IQ in double digits never reads it.
    When your caught viewing a “Hustler” or “Playboy” you respond with “oh I’m just reading the articles”, when your caught with the ADS you respond with “oh I’m just looking at the sale ads”.
    Why snopes.com doesn’t have a Tucson office escapes explanation.

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