/ Modified sep 23, 2021 5:02 p.m.

New poll shows strong opposition to the proposed copper mine at Oak Flat

According to the new poll, about 3 out of 4 Arizonans do not support the proposed Resolution Copper at the Apache religious site.

Oak Flat, AZ Mine Location hero Oak Flat, east of Superior, Arizona. A company proposes to build one of the world's largest underground copper mines at this location.

With the 2022 elections just around the corner, pollsters asked potential Arizonan voters how they felt about the proposed copper mine by Resolution Copper near Superior. The results show 74% oppose it.

The proposed project is at Oak Flat, a religious site for Apache tribes like the San Carlos Apache in the Tonto National Forest. According to reports from the U.S. Forest Service, the area may contain "one of the largest undeveloped copper deposits in the world", and if mined, it would become about a 2-mile wide crater.

The poll by FM3 Research conducted 605 interviews in August. Of the respondents 61% had “never heard of" Resolution Copper. After a short description of the proposed project, 74% voted in opposition of the plan and 13% didn’t support or oppose the project. It found opposition to the project strongest among Democrats at 87% and Independents at 81%, and those living in the urban communities. But more than half of both rural and Republican respondents opposed the project, too.

After collecting the initial opinion, FM3 Research reports respondents heard arguments for and against the project and 73% still opposed the mine.

The land, including Oak Flat, is part of a Congressionally-mandated land swap between the U.S. Forest Service and Resolution Copper, and is currently immersed in litigation.

The Center of Biological Diversity said in a press release the mine would negatively impact public lands, groundwater supplies and Indigenous sites, while supporters trumpet the need for copper in different technologies and the new jobs the project would create over the estimated 40-year operational life of the mine.

This article has been update to include more details about the poll.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
AZPM is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona