Federal agencies have one month to finalize and issue a decision on whether the proposed open-pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains can go ahead, according to a press release from Augusta Resource Corp., parent company to Rosemont Copper.
The preliminary impact statement includes a description of the environmental effects the mining project will have on water and air quality, wildlife, cultural resources and recreation in the area. It also has a discussion with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that promises the project would not jeopardize any of the ten federally listed threatened and endangered species, said the press release.
Opposition to the mine from local residents, municipalities, elected and other governmental officials and environmental organizations, including Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, has been consistent from nearly the day the mine project was proposed nearly six years ago.
"Every open-pit copper mine that's ever been dug has polluted the air and nearby water supplies with mercury, lead, arsenic or other poisons," says a sttement on the Save the Scenic Santa Ritas website. "The Rosemont Mine would not be any different."
In a 2007 press release, Rosemont and Augusta said the mine would boost Arizona's economy yearly by $488 million and bring about 3,000 jobs to the Tucson area. Local businesses, led by the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, support the mine.