Wednesday, October 20, 2021 10:04 pm

Grijalva steps up Rosemont probe following ex-forest supervisor’s revelations

A 2015 photo of what appears to be a live, fire-breathing dragon flying over the Santa Rita mountains when efforts were made to halt the development of the Rosemont copper project.
/ Photo Courtesy of David Briggs

By Tony Davis | Arizona Daily Star  

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva says he will expand his committee’s probe of the Rosemont Mine’s federal approvals, due to new revelations that a former Coronado National Forest chief was stymied in her efforts to raise legal and environmental concerns about the mine.

Grijalva, a Tucson Democrat, is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Retired Coronado forest supervisor Jeanine Derby told the Arizona Daily Starin an interview this month that she tried unsuccessfully a decade ago to raise the same legal issue about the mine that a federal judge used last month to stop all work on the $1.9 billion project.

“I think that for me and certainly for the committee, this further escalates the need for us to do some oversight, to talk to all parties involved,” including Derby, Grijalva said in an interview after the Starpublished Derby’s comments last Sunday.

“This now is becoming a situation where information, studies, opinions that should have been part and parcel of any discussion early on were not included,” the congressman said.

Derby told the Star she tried unsuccessfully to raise with her superiors the question of whether Rosemont had legally valid mining claims to federal land where it plans to dispose of waste rock and mine tailings.

She said her boss, then-Southwestern regional forester Corbin Newman, had Derby and a top aide flown from Tucson to Albuquerque for a session in which she was told to pipe down about the issue.

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