Pinal Partnership: These 3 mines are expected to have major impacts on Pinal’s economy

(Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents Arizona Sonoran Copper Company and Resolution Copper.)

By Pinal Central

Arizona is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, one of those being a rich reserve of copper ore. In this article, I’m going to focus on three very different mining projects, all located in Pinal County. These are the Cactus Mine west of Casa Grande, Florence Copper near the town of Florence and Resolution Copper near the town of Superior.

For decades, Arizona and, in particular, Pinal County, has flourished with two “legacy” industries, mining and agriculture. Both can trace their origins to way before Europeans settled in this area. Not only did early Native Americans become masters of farming in an arid climate, but early mining dates back over 1,000 years to when Native Americans mined metals, including copper for jewelry and trade. From those early days, mining has now become a highly sophisticated industry, employing a variety of methods for extracting the metal we call copper.

Our first mining project is Florence Copper. It is not a typical mining operation. Rather, it employs in-situ copper recovery, or ISCR, a low-impact method of copper recovery that has long-term environmental benefits. There is no open-pit or underground excavation, no waste rock piles, heap leach piles or tailings storage areas, resulting in a much smaller footprint that does not alter the site topography. In the in-situ process, a low-pH solution is injected into a naturally fractured copper orebody via a series of injection wells, causing copper minerals to dissolve into solution prior to being pumped to the surface through extraction recovery wells.


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April 2024