Stating it had no legal choice, the Coronado National Forest signed a technical document Wednesday approving Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals’ proposed Rosemont open-pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains southeast of Tucson.
The document called a “Record of Decision“, does not clear the way for construction of the $1.9 billion project that would become the third largest open pit copper mine in the United States.
The ROD specifically states that Hudbay must still obtain a federal Clean Water Act permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as well as obtaining final approval from the Forest Service of its Mine Plan of Operations and post a reclamation bond.
The Army Corps has given no timetable on when it expects to issue a decision on the permit that is required under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Last July, the Corps’ Los Angeles district office recommended that the permit not be issued because of the mine’s serious negative impact on desert water resources. Continue reading