Thursday, May 29, 2008

Gordon, Wilcox hit for pushing Apache Leap mine

John McCain is backing polluting foreign corporations, not concerned Arizonans

PHOENIX -- Yesterday, Superior and Pinal County locals, Apaches, and conservationists protested at Phoenix City Hall against greed politics and mining pollution aimed at rural Arizonans.

Shamefully, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon (D) and Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox (D) hosted a reception to welcome and introduce the new president of Resolution Copper Company, David Salisbury. Resolution is owned by foreign corporations BHP and Rio Tinto, both notorious long-time global polluters.

Apache elders say no to Rio Tinto and corrupt politics

Says Jeneiene Schaffer, campaign organizer for AZ Mining Reform Coalition, “The groups and a number of residents and former residents of Superior sent a clear message to Mayor Gordon and Supervisor Wilcox that a proposed land exchange for Resolution Copper Company comes with much controversy and many concerns.”

Also of concern is the amount of water that will be used by Resolution Copper Company.

According to Manuel Ortega, Chair of Superior’s Concerned Citizens and Retired Miners Coalition, “The southwestern part of the United States is currently in a prolonged drought. Mining is one of the most water-intensive industries on earth. Mining on Oak Flat could dewater Queen Creek and its aquifer. Superior and Oak Flat are in the Maricopa County Active Management Area, so whatever water is used for mining will affect the East Valley in addition to the local community.”

The land exchange, proposed by disgraced corrupt Congressman Rick Renzi (R-AZ) and now being carried in the US House by Congressman Ed Pastor (D-AZ) and in the Senate by Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain (Rs-AZ), would harm the Oak Flat campground and the surrounding Apache Leap lands, sacred to the San Carlos Apaches and enjoyed by many Americans.

The public would lose Oak Flat in the land exchange, plus a public land order issued by President Eisenhower more than 50 years to protect the area from mining would also be rescinded in the land swap bill. Because this land exchange is being legislated, it does not get the same open public process, analysis and scrutiny that an administrative exchange would get, including an Environmental Impact Statement that would examine the impacts and also look at alternatives.

No give away of American land to BHP and Rio Tinto

Oak Flat, located in the Tonto National Forest east of Superior, is a world-class natural resource for rock climbers, bird watches, hikers, campers and other recreational user groups. Oak Flat is a unique recreational area located within a convenient one-hour drive from Phoenix. The area is sacred to the San Carlos Apache Tribe as well as other tribes from central Arizona.

Oak flat is a rare treasure of ancient rock formations, spectacular scenery, challenging trails to explore, and an exceptional year-round location for family outdoor recreation,” asserts Nate VanKeuren, VP of Mesa 4 Wheelers, the oldest four wheeling club in Arizona. “We oppose losing this asset in a land swap that would lock the public out of this area forever. Remember, it's all about land stewardship: we did not inherit this land from our forefathers, we are borrowing it from our children.”

Resolution Copper Company, which is owned by British and Australian companies has, in addition, failed to adequately plan for and mediate the destructive impacts of hard rock mining on both the environment and the local economy.

Says Bob Witzeman, Conservation Chair of Maricopa Audubon Society and long-time Arizona conservationist, “Experts have demonstrated that Resolution Copper Company’s proposed method of mining, block cave, will cause irreparable destruction to the surface of Oak Flat and Apache Leap. Since the block cave method creates a huge volume of tailings which are toxic to both the water supply and the air we breathe and the company has not yet determined how they will deal with the tailings, we are concerned about the impact of these tailings on the area and also wonder about their future reclamation.”

1 comment:

Jeneiene said...

For more information, and how you can get involved, please contact Jeneiene Schaffer AZ Mining Reform Coalition at