The proposed Rosemont Mine in the Santa Rita Mountains has moved closer to approval with the U.S. Forest Service signing off on a key step in the process. The Forest Service released its Record of Decision, lending approval to the project after more than a decade of research and public feedback.
But Hudbay Minerals, the Canadian company that hopes to open the mine, still needs approval of a permit related to its impact on the region’s watershed from the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA has been critical of the proposed plan.
The site, 30 miles southeast of Tucson, spans more than 5,400 acres of private, state and federal land in the Santa Rita Mountains southeast of Tucson. Proposed facilities include an open pit mine more than a half-mile deep and roughly a mile wide and associated processing and disposal facilities. Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc. will extract copper, molybdenum and silver from the mine.
Since a Plan of Operations for the mine was first introduced in 2007, public outcry, environmental concerns and potential impact to local habitats have slowed down the process of approval. Despite some members of the community standing against the proposed mine, the facility’s economic impact has been seen as a win for the region by others.