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Arizona copper mine blocked by officials in Washington

Robert Besser
15 Sep 2021

WASHINGTON D.C.: A United States House of Representatives committee has stopped all work at Rio Tinto Limited's Resolution copper mine in Arizona.

Area native Americans argued that the presence of the mine would result in destruction of their holy lands. However, officials in Superior, Arizona highlighted the significance of the mine for the region's economy.

The Congressional committee passed the Save Oak Flat Act on September 9, which is a $3.5-trillion compensatory move. If approved by Congress, the legislation will effectively overturn an agreement reached by Ex-president Obama and the House seven years back, which initiated a complicated procedure of offering mining rights to Rio Tinto on the government-held land in Arizona, which has over forty billion pounds of copper.

President Joe Biden, however, decided to reverse the offer.

The new Congressional budget is expected to include funds for implementing renewable energy projects in which copper is required extensively.

Also, electric vehicles use twice the amount of copper as traditional autos. The Arizona mine would have met some 25 percent of the copper requirements in the United States.

According to Mila Besich, mayor of Superior and member of the Democratic Party, the project appeared exceedingly caught up in "bureaucratic purgatory."

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