Vancouver-based speculative mining company, Augusta Resource Corporation, and its Arizona subsidiary, Rosemont Copper Company, plan to blast a mile-wide, half-mile deep copper mine on 4,000 acres of the Santa Rita mountains on the Coronado National Forest, 35-miles southeast of Tucson.
Rosemont claims the mine could supply 10 percent of U.S. copper output, producing 244 million pounds of copper concentrate a year for about 21 years.
The mine is vehemently opposed by residents and local governments in the area who fear for water contamination, depletion of underground drinking water supplies and the destruction of the landscape that includes suitable habitat for endangered species. For more details on their concerns please visit here.
The project requires a Record of Decision from the Coronado National Forest and issuance of a Clean Water Act permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has veto authority over water permits issued by the Army Corps. EPA Region IX has been sharply critical of Rosemont's Mine Plan of Operations.