By Tony Davis
Arizona Daily Star
More copper produced, yet less water sucked from the aquifer, less pollution, less juice needed to power the mine and mill, and fewer trucks on the road.
Rosemont Copper now predicts that scenario for its proposed Rosemont Mine, due to recent changes in its plans to produce significantly more copper of one type and to cancel production of another.
Overall, these changes will raise total copper production 25 percent over the 21-year life of the mine in the Santa Rita Mountains southeast of Tucson, company officials say. But they say the various environmental impacts will be reduced or won’t grow much, if at all, because Rosemont Copper is killing plans to use toxic sulfuric acid to leach copper oxide out of ore.
Coronado National Forest Supervisor Jim Upchurch asked Rosemont Copper in writing last month for more specifics, including how much water and energy use would be reduced, how traffic would be affected and whether the number of jobs would change.
He also wants to know if reduced electricity use would let the company use more solar energy or make underground power transmission more feasible.
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