Legislative and Regulatory Update
February 2021 by Scott Harn
• Resolution Copper project moves closer to fruition in Arizona
The US Forest Service released an environmental review on January 15 that paves the way for the creation of one of the largest copper mines in the United States.
The Forest Service now has 60 days to turn over a tract of land in Tonto National Forest east of Phoenix to Resolution Copper Mining, a joint venture of the international mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP.
Environmentalists contend the Forest Service was pressured to push the review over the finish line before President Donald Trump leaves office, complicating their efforts to reverse the land swap. The Forest Service said that’s not true, while the mining company contends the publication already was delayed by months.
A judge on January 15 denied a request from Apache Stronghold to halt the publication until a larger question over who legally owns the land is settled.
Resolution Copper is set to receive 3.75 square miles (9.71 square kilometers) of Forest Service land in exchange for eight parcels the company owns elsewhere in Arizona. The land swap was approved in December 2014 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.
“I’m hoping to put the brakes on it and reexamine every step,” said Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona) to The Associated Press.
Resolution Copper said it has spent about $2 billion so far to gain access to the mine and conduct studies. More time and money will go into securing permits and constructing the mine, which wouldn’t begin operating for at least 15 years. Resolution Copper has said the mine could have a $61 billion economic impact over the project’s 60 years and create 1,500 jobs—points that supporters repeatedly have stressed.
“Not only will Resolution Copper be a major employer, but it will lead to construction activities and new commercial development, such as housing, hotels and retail,’’ Glenn Hamer, the president and chief executive of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.
• Our Federal Landlord
• One down, two to go
• Challenging timing windows in Washington State
• More roadblocks to mining
- Bernhardt confirmed
- State of Montana to appeal Rock Creek decision
Suction dredging court cases in California linger on
• Salazar pushes wilderness
• California Governor signs AB 120
Many of you are aware that we have been engaged in litigation with anti-mining activists that have been attacking us through the Karuk Tribe of California since 2003. It all started with their lawsuit against the US Forest Service (USFS), challenging that District Rangers do not have the authority to allow small-scale mining activities under a Notice of Intent (NOI) when the Ranger concludes that the mining activity is not likely to create a substantial surface disturbance.
• Increase in claim fees
• Impact of recent elections
• Current suction gold dredging status in California
• Parks in Southern California
- EPA ends "sue and settle"
- Sage grouse mineral withdrawal cancelled
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - Where did the gold go? • Ask The Experts - True north or magnetic north? • Ask The Experts - How do I avoid claim jumping? • Ask The Experts - Are closed placer and lode claims worth my time? • Gold Geochemistry: Where Does Gold Come From? • Goal Setting and Rock Tossing • Principles of Designing Your Mill Production System, Part II: Mill Design • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: A Claim to Die For • Tips and Tricks: How to Make Your Own Gold Bars Without Burning the Place Down • Understanding Rock Formations: Petrology for Prospectors • Minnesota Lawmakers Move to Stop New Mines • Drywashing for Desert Gold—Part I • Seven Troy Ounces of Premonition? • I Was Looking for Gold But I Found Jade • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices