Resolution copper continues to work on the approval process required in order for mine production to come about east of Superior, Arizona.which is still a few years off. In its latest progress report the company says a comprehensive environmental and social review of the proposed mine and land exchange continues under the National Environmental Policy Act. Here are the major steps that have to be taken in the continuation of this approval process:
Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The U.S. Forest Service expects to issue its Draft Environmental Impact Statement in May of next year. The draft addresses comments received from the March to July 2016 public scoping period.
Final Environmental Impact Statement will then enter a public comment period. Afterwards, the Final Impact Statement for the Resolution Copper mine plan and land exchange is expected to be published in the summer of 2020.
Authorization of a final mine plan of operations only happens after the National Environmental Policy Act analysis is completed, which includes mitigations and other conditions of approval that minimize adverse environmental impacts.
Resolution Copper officials point out NEPA also addresses concerns of communities, including Native American tribes. By law, the Secretary of Agriculture must conduct consultations with affected tribes to understand issues of concern. Resolution Copper is then required to work with the Secretary to find mutually acceptable measures to address those concerns.