Pima County Residents Want The Jobs Rosemont Mine Will Create

For years, Pima County leadership has squandered valuable taxpayer dollars fighting the opening of the state-of-the-art Rosemont Mine. At the same time, our young residents are fleeing the area in search of high-paying jobs like those the mine would create.

Opposition to the Rosemont Mine has been primarily limited to a small faction of very vocal activists, some local area residents and various environmental organizations with deep pockets.

For years, Pima County leadership has squandered valuable taxpayer dollars fighting the opening of the state-of-the-art Rosemont Mine. At the same time, our young residents are fleeing the area in search of high-paying jobs like those the mine would create.

Opposition to the Rosemont mine has been primarily limited to a small faction of very vocal activists, some local area residents and various environmental organizations with deep pockets.

Yet, once again, the majority of my Pima County supervisors supported County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry’s request to reaffirm the 2007-15 resolution opposing the Rosemont Mine.

In a recent memo, Huckelberry said the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) decision to approve the Rosemont Copper Project was “a disappointment.” He may be disappointed, but even he acknowledged in his memo that “Pima County has a long history of mineral extraction, and the mining “industry remains an important component of our region’s economy and heritage.”

Mr. Huckelberry complains that the County has dedicated “many years of effort to encourage all parties to fully compensate for the adverse impacts of a new mine.”

According to the company, “A $25 million endowment will be established during operations to support a trust dedicated to conservation, recreation, cultural and environmental conservation projects.” On top of that, Rosemont is expected to “contribute $500,000 annually to local charities and schools through its corporate contributions and school grant programs.”

Over the last 12 years Rosemont has expended more than $100 million to achieve the approval of the various permits. Start up operations are estimated to cost $1.9 billion and the mine will generate $350 million in local tax revenues over the life of the mine according to an Arizona State University Study prepared in 2018.

With multiple state and federal agencies overseeing the project, and thousands of pages of regulations to which Rosemont must adhere, one must ask why are there still objections? Why the obstruction?

In his memo, Huckelberry complains of the lack of fairness in the process. He writes, “The most troubling aspect of this decision lies in the unequal application of standards or requirements imposed or sanctioned and encouraged by the Federal Government on local governments such as counties, cities and towns compared to private mining operations.”

Has Mr. Huckelberry forgotten that the government, with its seemingly unlimited resources taken from the pocket of taxpayers, is supposed to have higher standards? The highest standards, in fact.

Last week, investors pledged another $302 million to the Resolution Mine, located near Superior, Arizona. At the same time, Pima County lost another 800 call-center jobs and we are all familiar with the layoffs that occurred recently at World View funded on the backs of taxpayers.

I don’t know about you, but I know I am tired of hearing every excuse in the world as to why the residents of Pima County, who live in the fifth poorest metropolitan area in the country, should be denied the same opportunities as their neighbors to the north, south, east and west enjoy. Pima County residents deserve better. They deserve those good paying jobs that Rosemont Mine will provide.

That, Mr. Huckelberry is unfair.

Facts from Rosemont:

· The Mine is expected to cost $1.9 billion over a 2.5-year construction period and require over 2,500 workers during the peak of construction.

· The job creation, tax generation and overall economic impact of Rosemont will be significant for Arizona.

· Once construction is completed, Rosemont is expected to have a 19-year mine life.

·Employ over 500 full-time employees directly in mining and process operations and general administration during active mining operations. 1

· Provide annual wages to direct employees that average more than twice the current median annual income in Pima County.

· Create over 2,500 direct jobs and 4,060 total jobs during construction. 2

· Spend between $90 million and $158.1 million in direct purchases per year from local vendors during active mining operations. As a result, local-vendor purchases are expected to be between $127.1 million and $225.2 million annually over the life of the project. 2

· Generate an estimated $350 million in new local tax revenues over the life of the mine. 3

· Generate an estimated $107.6 million in total revenues for State and local governments from direct and indirect employees over the life of the mine. 3

1 NI 43-101 Report on the Rosemont Project dated March 30, 2017

2 Based on the Forest Service Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Rosemont Copper Project, 2013

3 Arizona State University Economic Impact Study, June 2018

21 Comments

  1. “…Chuck Huckelberry’s request to reaffirm the 2007-15 resolution opposing the Rosemont Mine.”

    Why is it he requests to reaffirm this resolution and not the one opposing the creation of a freeway through Avra Valley? Pick and choose there Chuck??

    • Scott, my guess is that Chuckleberry opposes the Rosemont Mine and wholeheartedly pushes the desert-destroying I-11 because the mine doesn’t ‘wet his beak’ and that of his crony co-conspirators. Cue the song “Money Makes the World Go ‘Round” from Cabaret as Chuckleberry’s lifetime theme.

  2. The silent majority will benefit when the construction starts. Local, state and federal coffers will increase from the income tax and sales tax this will generate. The paper Mr.Huckleberry’s staff wrote said they weren’t in principle opposed to mining…yet can’t tell us where they would endorse this activity. This operation is setting the highest standard for best international practices in the environmental reviews and permitting, facility design, water use and recycling, and the use of dry-stack tailings, which are more stable and less water-using than conventional slurried tailings. Reclamation will be started early in the process, and a currently straight, concrete-lined channel will be restored to its original natural gradient and curves thereby allowing riparian habitat to flourish and storm-based sediment pulses to decrease. These industrial jobs offer good jobs and careers in an area where call-center jobs prevail. We’ve been waiting for 11 years since permitting began. The reviews for ALL aspects were completed seriously, thoughtfully, and exceedingly cautiously by the regulators who followed the letter of the law in every detail…in part to ensure their decisions would stand up during the appeals and lawsuits. Let’s move forward. None of us is going back to the cave-man days of short brutish lives. We all use mineral resources and they have enabled us to live our lives to fullest capabilities including modern housing, communications, food production, the arts, education, and travel. There are undeniable impacts associated with extraction and processing activity, which is why environmental regulations are in place to minimize these to the best extent possible. Be part of the solution to minimize our use and waste. Our demand is what the mining industry is working so diligently to provide.

  3. The needs of modern society for copper are enormous and increasing. The copper is going to get mined. It can either be mined here, where environmental controls are strong, or elsewhere where they are weak. The resulting pollution from mining elsewhere is going to impact Pima County with no way to do anything about it.

    Christopher Cole
    Chair
    Pima County Libertarian Party

  4. “Huckelberry complains of the lack of fairness in the process. He writes, “The most troubling aspect of this decision lies in the unequal application of standards or requirements…”

    That is rich – Huckelberry is concerned about fairness! He should be concerned with the fairness of going forward with bond projects rejected by the voters. What about the fairness of using taxpayer dollars to gift to World View, the fairness of not using our HURF and VLT funds to maintain our roads, and in doing so, increasing the cost of maintaining our roads to 600% of the cost of having a budget item to maintain our roads. How fair is it to use certificates of participation to mortgage our county buildings without voter approval? How fair is it to pay more than appraised value for a bowling alley then allow the current owner to stay there for a year rent free?

    The list goes on and on – enough is enough.

    It is clear Huckelberry is only concerned with “fairness” when it suits his needs.

    • The process followed by the regulators and the local mines and exploration companies is dictated in state, federal, and local regulations. End of story.

  5. Both – Pima county leaders have spent money to oppose the mine, but only a small group of residents oppose the mine.

    • Thats what I thought also
      It does not make (cents)
      Small group vs lots of money
      What ??
      Wonder if we can get the real truth
      Wbere does this copper go to
      Do they plan to leave bankrupt ?
      Looks to me they are or have spent millions already to make sure its safe Is this true or false ?

      Wish someone with no agendas
      Could steer us to the whole truth and nothing but the truth about this Mine. Pros and Cons in truth

  6. Sentences were written accurately. The plan of operation and EIS incorporated the extensive comments from Pima County and the public in the reviews, plans, and state/federal permits. Mr. Huckleberry’s staff includes a former Earth First activist and others for whom there is no compromise. Ironically, Pima County could have purchased this land years ago when it was offered for a song by a real estate developer. They’ve probably spent close to that purchase price trying to fight the project. Southern Arizona provides the lion’s share of the copper produced in the United States. We don’t grow corn or strawberries, harvest much timber or salmon. We’re blessed to have the copper resources and have been mining in this county for 100+ years.

  7. A “reality” check written by Ally Miller, we the people! Thanks again Ally for keeping us well informed of the corruptness in our County Government! Keep the good work and let us hear from you often!

  8. Way past time for Huckelberry to retire on our dollars and stop telling the BOS what to do because a few, very few people make $$$$ for NOT approving.

  9. I thank Ally Miller and Steve Christy for their support of the Rosemont Copper project. Your decision will ultimately prove to be the right one. Rosemont Copper has been fully permitted. This approval will not be overturned in court. Rosemont Copper will become a reality.

  10. My comment is directed to the environmentalists who are opposed to this project. Assuming most, if not all of them support renewable sources of energy(think solar and wind) I wonder what their response would be if, instead of a copper mine, several dozen wind turbines or several hundred acres of solar panels were installed on the same location? I have ridden several miles of the Arizona Trail in the Santa Ritas and the last thing I want to see on a ride are wind turbines and solar panels. BTW depending on the source, wind turbines already kill 100,000 to 300,000 birds annually hundreds of which are raptors.

  11. All the copperk, gold, silver and so on was sold a long time ago on the open market. None of it will ever go to this Country unless you buy it back in their products. The open pit will be more than four thousand feet wide, and the toxic waste from it will cover a forrest area more than thirty feed deep. Nothing will be done to prevent drainage into our water systems or land. Not counting what will carry by the wind after it is dry. No funds have been put up to reclaim the areas or for any damage they will do. Then there is the arceological sites, and graves that will be destroyed in the process. Plus damages to other property, roads and traffic they refuse to address. No one anywhere near that area wants it. As it is our State has over seven thousand mines that sell all their our to other Countries, and are owned like this one from another Country. You can now own a share of their stock for a penny, but don’t expect a high return. Once done they will declare bankruptcy, and change their name leaving another mess to clean up.

    • Copper, lead, and other metal concentrates are shipped overseas because the U.S. does not have the ability to process our own materials. There are only 3 copper smelters in U.S. and they are at capacity. No lead smelter as of a couple years. Does it make you nervous that we are so dependent on other countries (especially China) for our mineral resources and refined metals?

        • Yes, I am angry about companies from other countries coming in and taking the resources from our state with no apparent concern about what they leave our citizens. We need permanent jobs, not construction jobs.

    • Please support your statement that no reclamation funds gave been put up. Rosemont currently has a provided ADEQ a completed demonstration of financial assurance for closure and post-closure costs related to their Aquifer Protection Permit for mine facilities on private property. Finacial assurance was provided to the Arizona State Mine Inspector related to the approved Mined Land Reclamation Plan. The federal government requires a reclamation cost estimate and completed demonstration of financial assurance.

  12. Mr. Huckelberry should be ashamed. For a poor county such as Pima county, his salary is obscene!! He rips us off everyday, let our residents be able to make a decent working man’s salary!

  13. I endorse the mining industries efforts to do everything possible to make this new mine opening soon ( I hope ) to consider all the factors this criminal Chuck Huckleberry has named.

    We need the jobs, revenue, taxes, future new homes and residents.

    I suggest we support new bos and put this criminal who has abused the public funds and trust in jail.

    Lets us all pressure these fools in the majority to do rigjt by the majority of people in pima county.

    • richard are you aware that this mine is NOT the answer to everything? yes it will add a few jobs BUT all the big paying ones are going to folks they will BRING IN. The engineers, management etc. The laborer jobs will be what are available. As to housing there is more here then they can sell now, and the county and city have all the $$ they need, they just go deeper into your pockets so that is a non issue as far as they are concerned.

      As to replacing them, it has been tried but as long as they show a d behind the name they will not be driven out. Just look at greedyhalfa how long has he been there doing NOTHING and is reelected every time. Same with bos and city clowncil, tusd school bored. The people in this area have the politicians they want and dont care about anything else as they fall for the same democrap line of promising everything while delivering NOTHING. Go out and preach change to those that need to be illuminated not the people here who already know.

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