The deadline for comments is Tuesday, February 27, 2018, so act now!
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently accepting comments for a draft permit that would allow a brand-new mining company with no track record to pollute Arizona groundwater to extract copper from Arizona grasslands rich in cultural heritage just upstream from the Willcox playa, winter home to thousands of imperiled Sandhill cranes.
The permit would allow the company to drill 1,400 wells and inject over 7,000,000 gallons of sulfuric acid a day into the groundwater.
In-situ mining is a type of mining that injects acid into the ground to dissolve copper and other minerals. This toxic solution of copper and acid is then pumped from the ground and processed to remove the copper. In-situ mining, by definition, is the intentional pollution of ground water. In-situ mining has long been used to produce uranium but (outside of several existing mines) has never been attempted to mine copper. No in-situ mine has ever returned the groundwater to pre-mining conditions.