RESOLUTION COPPER PROJECT UPDATE
SUPERIOR OPEN HOUSE,
PUBLIC MEETING & DINNER
Thursday October 1, 2015 6:00 PM
It was all good news at Thursday night's Resolution Copper
Project Update, Open House, Public Meeting and Dinner.
Project Director Andrew Taplin reviewed what has taken
place since the last public meeting in Miami and provided
insight into what's coming.
Perhaps best news of all, the permitting process is on track.
The requirements are numerous and passing each one is
necessary before the mine can operate, so being able to
announce that permitting is moving forward is key to the
project's viability. The Mine Plan Operations, which was
submitted to the U.S. Forest Service in 2013 is deemed
complete. And a milestone has been reached. The Tonto
National Forest has selected an independent contractor who
will write the EIS (an Environmental Impact Study, required
by NEPA, the National Environmental Policy Act).
Phoenix-based SWCA Environmental Consultants has been
chosen. Resolution Copper will fund the study and Tonto
National Forest management will oversee it. Ongoing
baseline studies continue, but the next major process is
Public Scoping, where the public is afforded extensive
opportunities for information gathering and input on the
project. The completion of the NEPA process is expected
around February 2016 with the issuance of a final FONSI, a
Finding Of No Significant Impact.
Questions Thursday evening, moderated by Vicky Peacey,
Senior Manager of Environment, Permitting and
Communities, primarily centered around the direct
environmental impact of various parts of the project on
nearby residential areas. Several senior managers were on
hand to answer. Dr. Casey McKeon, Resolution Copper's
Environmental Manager, provided specifics and an offer to
meet with anyone to discuss and tour the project. “You know
where I live,” she quipped to one questioner. Members of
the San Carlos Apache Tribe were in attendance but none
chose to speak.
Safety, an integral component of any mining project, is a
standout for Resolution Copper. The major drilling division
celebrated 1,000 injury free days in June. Later in the
month, a team member had a minor first aid case, but
quickly returned to the job. There have been no serious
injuries in the Core Processing facility. There was a first aid
case last month, of a worker with a sprained knee. There
have been no injuries underground and none at the water
Taplin tackled the issue of layoffs head on. He apologized
for any miscommunication that led to the belief that once the
land exchange was approved the workforce would increase,
not decrease. He explained that Resolution Copper will
ultimately support 3,000 workers during construction and
over 3,700 jobs both direct and indirect, once the mine is
operating, but that during the development phase, Resolution
Copper will from time to time need to shift the number and
type of contract employees needed to ensure the safe and
successful development of the project.
As an example he used Shaft #10, saying that upon
completion, the workforce was reduced by 36 contract
employees, all in cementation. 10 of the affected workers
were transferred to other cementation jobs, and 4 to Swick
Drilling, another contractor on the project. 22 cementation
employees were retained. Taplin says that Resolution
Copper works hard to minimize impact on people, by trying
to keep contract employees with the right skills who reside
in the Copper Circle on the project.
Taplin reported drilling is ongoing and the design of the
mine continues to be effected by and based on the ore body.
Drilling on Shaft #9, now at 4,000 feet will continue to the
same depth as Shaft #10, which, at approximately 7,000 feet,
is one of the deepest shafts in the world.
The Resolution Copper investment committee has approved
over $100 million for the project to be spent over the next 16
A focus of the project is reclamation. In 2014 Resolution
Copper worked on removal of historic tailings from an area
known as Lower Smelter Pond. Currently contaminated soil
is being removed in preparation for reseeding. Oddonetto
Construction from Globe and Albo Trucking from Superior
have been hired for the reclamation of 11.5 acres. Over $3
million dollars has been approved to complete the
excavation through 2016. There is a tour of the results so far
that will be held on Saturday October 10th in both the
morning and afternoon. Information is on KQSS.net and at
ResolutionCopper.com. $30 million has been spent so far on
reclaiming historic tailings at the West Plant site and $30
million more will be spent until completion, estimated to be
in 2020. There will also be a Core Processing Facility Tour
on Wednesday October 21st at 6:00 p.m.