Hudbay’s Rosemont project has cleared its last regulatory hurdle, but it is unknown when mining could begin at the site.
The company received approval for a mine plan of operations from the US Forest Service on March 21, finishing the last piece of administrative legwork before being able to open a mine on the site. The plan shows Hudbay’s plans to build and operate an open pit project, valued at almost $2 billion over 30 months, and extract copper and other minerals from the site. A mine at Rosemont is anticipated to produce well over 100,000 tons of copper concentrate each year and have a 20-year lifespan.
The final mine plan consists of a 165-page document, three additional volumes of background data and hundreds of pages of information, regarding any conceivable environmental issue with the site, ranging from wastewater runoff to specifications for fencing around a mine, to waste rock seepage to vehicle noise reduction.
A full reclamation and closure plan was also submitted as part of the plan of operations, as well as announcements for tailings and waste management.
The mine plan can be found online at www.rosemonteis.us.
The Rosemont project is located west of Highway 83 in the Arizona desert. Mining on the project site received approval from the Forest Service back in 2017. Hudbay has not announced a construction schedule for building a mine at the site.
Almost 25,000 public comments were received by the Forest Service in relation to the Rosemont project, ranging from sharp opposition to strong support.
Acquired by Hudbay back in 2014, Rosemont is described by Hudbay as “one of the world’s best undeveloped copper projects” and is anticipated to bring around 3,000 temporary construction jobs and 500 permanent jobs to Arizona. After construction is complete, Hudbay anticipates the mine will be one of the largest copper mines operating in the US.