Rio Tinto, a global mining company, has committed $302 million of additional capital to advance its Resolution Copper project. The mine is located 60 miles east of Phoenix, near the town of Superior.
According to the company, the $302 million investment will fund additional drilling, ore-body studies, infrastructure improvements and permitting activities as Rio Tinto looks to progress the project to the final stage of the project’s permitting phase.
When fully operational, Resolution is expected to create several thousand direct and indirect jobs in the Pioneer Mining District of Arizona.
The project is currently in its seventh year of a comprehensive environmental review and approval process, conducted by the US Forest Service under the National Environmental Policy Act. This process has involved numerous public meetings, hundreds of government to government consultations between the Forest Service and Native American tribes and the participation of individuals, environmental groups, nearby municipalities and local businesses.
Over $2 billion has been invested to develop and permit Resolution since 2004. This includes sinking a new shaft to mining depth, rehabilitating an existing shaft, extensive drilling and ore body testing, and the permitting and public engagement process.
Rio Tinto chief executive JS Jacques said in a press release, “Resolution is one of the most significant undeveloped copper deposits in the world and this additional funding demonstrates Rio Tinto’s commitment to bring the mine into production. The comprehensive permitting process is well underway with the Environmental Impact Study on track to be completed next year according to the regulators schedule.
“The rise of electric vehicles, battery storage, new transmission technology and other green energy innovations are highly copper intensive. We need to prepare now to meet this future demand.” Jacques concluded, “Resolution will be well positioned to provide North American manufacturers the copper that is essential to their products.”