A year ago, the Oak Flat land exchange was signed into law after Rio Tinto's Congressional allies took advantage of a perfect storm and added the exchange as a rider onto an unrelated bill.
Rio Tinto hoped this backdoor deal would be a fatal blow to our efforts to protect Oak Flat.
How wrong they were! In the last year:
- Our strength and determination has increased exponentially.
- Oak Flat remains in public ownership.
- The permitting process, a prerequisite for privatization of Oak Flat has not yet begun and not one shovel has bit the ground to determine whether Rio Tinto's toxic tailings location is even suitable.
- Bills to repeal the Oak Flat land exchange are building strength in the US House and the Senate.
On the Rosemont front:
- Jaguar and ocelot frequent the Santa Rita mountains.
- Hudby's ADEQ air quality permit was struck down by the courts.
- No movement was made on required federal permits.
- Hudbay is not sure what to do with the property they bought from Augusta.
In other news:
- Courts struck down an exploration permit for a potential mine in the Patagonia mountains.
- Several proposed in-situ copper projects we follow have stalled.
- The mining industry will layoff more than 1,000 mine workers in the next few months including the complete shutdown of the Sierrita mine.
- While the mining industry and their supporters clamor for new mines to open, they show no remorse or support for workers at existing mines that are losing their jobs.
Your support made all of this possible and we are eternally grateful for your assistance. In 2016 we will probably see:
- Movement on Federal permits for Rosemont.
- The beginning of the permitting process for Oak Flat.
- Other mine activities in Arizona that will require strong action on our part.
Your financial support is vital. We need your continued support to do more in 2016.
Please visit our convenient online donation page and give generously. If you'd rather send a check, you will find instructions on the donation page as well. Have a wonderful New Year!
Roger Featherstone, Director