Impacts of Mining—with Southern Arizona activism
as a model
  This is mining
so we better choose carefully where we put hardrock mines!

  Pits and Piles


Waste Piles

Sulfuric Acid Leaching Pads

Sierrita and Esperanza Pit

Save the Rosemont Oaks Campaign!
33,000 mature trees, including hundreds of century old oaks, will be destroyed by the Augusta mining project.
This includes 8,200 in the pit that is on patented mining claims in the Coronado National Forest, the remaining will be buried under tailings and waste piles on unpatented mining claims in the public lands. The leach facilities will be on the private property of the Rosemont Ranch.
Join us to celebrate and honor the trees: Next event Nov. 5-6
See details and directions:

There are plenty of unfilled mining jobs in Arizona!
Statshow union jobs pay less, with less benfits!

Check out this reality--51 mines in Arizona on EPA's list

More details on mining law reform!!

Watch YouTube on urgency of mining law reform!!

More details on Arizona water problems!

Tools for Mining Activists

Step One: Understand the issues
Step Two: Understand the process
Step Three: Get the facts & figures and write comprehensive, fact-oriented reports.
Step Four: Broadcast data via Internet, newspapers and public meetings
Step Five: Get the appropriate agencies involved.
Step Six: Have easy-to-use list of officials to contact.

Understanding the Issues





Radioactive Materials


Transport/Road Safety

Understanding the Process

Public land
There is opportunity for avoiding a mining site with potential environment, human and/or animal health impacts, but you have to understand the system.

Protect water levels
in Public Lands

YouTube Commentary

Private land

Need for mining reform
on public lands

Thorough explanation of process of extracting metals from sulfide (copper) ore

Special Reports—

Comparison of Predicted and Actual Water Quality at Hardrock Mines

Environmental Impact of Sulfuric Acid Leaching

Sulfuric Acid Spills

Samples of Fact-Oriented Reports

CorpWatch report on
Barrick Gold operations

Report to SEC on Phelps Dodge—Freeport McMoran merger
February 2007

Freeport's report on Controlled River Management of Tailings in Indonesia

Report on proposed Rosemont Mine

Report on proposed Superior Mine

Broadcast the Data

Newspaper Articles

Sample Flyer

Contact government officials

Understanding the Company

One key to success is working with the mining company in a respectful manner. After all, you want them to do something for you. So learn about the company—and tell the truth, even when it is negative—and when it is positive.


Great resource website to find out about the company, commodity, issues, and regions

Also see: SEC Report regarding Freeport-McMoran

Other Relevant Issues

Uranium mining

Photo album

_______ . _______

If you have any questions or need any clarifications on grass-roots mining activism, don't hesitate to contact us:
Nancy Freeman


Our intention is to provide accurate data and information. Every attempt has been made to do so. If anyone finds any inaccuracy, please contact us and we will remove or correct the data immediately.

Fair use notice:
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental, political, human rights, and social justice issues.. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond “fair use” you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

The material in this site is provided for educational and informational purposes only. The information on this site does not constitute health, legal or technical advice.

If it is our stuff (including photos) or from public records—use it freely!




Record of Activism
of Green Valley residents with Phelps Dodge Corp,

Breaking News!!

Sierrita has committed to provide a new tailing impoundment and clean up the seepage from the old one!!

Freeport plans Sierrita mine cleanup by Tony Davis at AZ Star

Sierrita Aquifer Protection Permit (APP) is finalized after a tough three years of hard work!!

Final APP w/250 mg/ltr sulfate limit

  • APP Summary and Response

    PD signs Consent Order with
    AZ Attorney General

    The Consent Order issued by ADEQ to Freeport McMoRan Sierrita, cites A.R.S. 49-201(29), under which sulfate can be defined as a “pollutant” even though it is non-hazardous.  The Consent Order goes on to cite A.R.S 49-286 – “Mitigation of non-hazardous releases”.  The citation says, ”If the director (of ADEQ) determines that a drinking water source is being or is about to be rendered unusable without treatment as a drinking water source by a non-hazardous substance that was disposed before the effective date of this chapter…the director may order (the responsible party) to perform one of more of the following mitigation measures: 1. providing an alternative water supply, 2. mixing or blending if economically practicable, 3. economically and technically practicable treatment before ingesting the water, 4. such other mutually agreeable mitigation measures as are necessary to achieve the purposes of this section.”
    See “Conclusions of Law” section of the Consent Order

    Original Save the Santa Cruz Aquifer website that documents the challenges caused by copper mining in Green Valley, AZ and the actions of a successful campaign

    The key to success is to gather the data from public records at the State's Department of Environmental Quality & Environmental Protection Agency.

    Public Hearings Records

    August 2005—
    Public Hearing Records

    July 2006—
    Public Hearing Records
    with Work Plan

    Records of Specific Impacts

    What are the issues
    with the PD mine?

    Map of Sulfate Plume

    EPA assesses Sierrita and Twin Buttes mines

    "Hazardous Waste Incidents"
    at Sierrita Mine site

    Sulfuric Acid Spills

    Leach Solution Chemicals

    Community Water Quality Records

    Data from Community Water Wells

    Data from Green Valley and Las Quintas Serenas Water Companies

    Date correlation between sulfuric acid spills & sulfate spikes

    PD Sierrita Data and Records

    Map of monitor well sites

    Mill area monitor wells

    Composite of monitor wells
    at or near dam:

    Sulfates/Regulated chemicals/Radioactive chemicals

    Composition of Tailings Ponds:



    Challenges of dealing with Phelps Dodge

    Phelps Dodge plans
    "voluntary program"—
    with calendar of events

    History of PD's promises of replacement wells in Green Valley
    (plus a couple of relevant historical facts)

    Another Point of View—
    from an Arizona Miner

    Who is Phelps Dodge?

    Is it Phelps Dodge Sierrita or
    Cyprus Minerals?

    PD History in Arizona

    PD Lobbyist in Arizona

    PD 2004
    Annual Report


    Current Mining Proposals in Arizona

    Who said this?
    "The conditions of the forests and the wasteful manner in which their destruction is taking place give cause for serious apprehension."

    Two pending mining projects in the Tucson's Santa Ritas:

    1) Augusta Resource — Rosemont project

    Keep informed of proposed Rosemont mine that will use our national forest for waste dumps, tailing impoundments and sulfuric acid leaching pads—where will the dust-producing crushers be located?

    Who is Augusta Resource?

    For comprehensive information with videos:

    Hilton Ranch Community: Neighbors of Rosemont's proposed mine

    Coronado Website page for Rosemont mine

    Scoping Comments Currently Available to the Public

    Take a photo tour

    Breaking News!!

    Governor Napolitano supports protection of Federal lands in Pima and Santa Cruz counties

    —Letter to Rep. Giffords, Dist 30
    —Letter to Rep. Grijalva, Natural Resource Subcommitee Chair

    —Text of HR 4228—

    Rep. Giffords comments at FS hearing on Rosemont Mine at Elgin

    The Coronado National Forest was created for urban recreation—
    states the Forest Service website

    After the turn of the century [1900], attention turned to southeastern Arizona's Sky Islands for yet another resource, recreation. As early as the mid-1800's, areas such as Hospital Flat in the Pinaleño Mountains and the town of Oracle in the foothills of the Santa Catalinas were being used as refuges from the heat and malaria of lowland forts. At about the same time that 15 upland areas were designated U. S. Forest Reserves (between 1902 and 1907), residents of burgeoning desert communities began trekking to the mountains to escape the summer heat. Areas such as White House (Madera) Canyon in the Santa Ritas, Columbine in the Pinaleños, and Summerhaven in the Santa Catalinas were among the most popular of these forest retreats.
    [Note: In 1902, the Santa Rita section was the first forest reserve to be created in this region.)

    Get informed

    GAL report on Rosemont

    Hard Facts by a geologist

    Toxic Waste



    Impoundments by a mining engineer

    Citizens Guide to the NEPA process

    Who is Augusta Resource?
    (aka Rosemont Mining Company, Santa Rita Properties, Karnarco)

    Coronado Forest outlines terms of agreement (Memorandum of Understanding) with Rosemont
    —NEXT: What is the FS agreement with the public?

    Local Newspaper Reports

    Tucson Star

    ASARCO will get a piece of the action by Gabriela Rico of the AZ Star
    Will this stop the project or open the pathway to opening it?

    Rosemont report omits important information

    Rosemont: Jobs or Nature

    Tucson Citizen

    Mine opposed; much of copper for Asia

    Stunt pulled by mining company shameless

    Tucson Weekly

    BACKROADS BOONDOGGLE: Would the proposed Rosemont Mine actually be an economic loser

    Nogales International

    Question: Is Rosemont a 'prudent' investment?

    Comments on Rosemont Mine
    by Pima County Officials
    including Chuck Huckleberry and
    Julia Fonseca

    Problems: Destruction of Coronado National Forest including habitat, recreation & water

    Map of Footprint in Santa Ritas

    Sign a petition in opposition to mining in Santa Ritas

    Final Plan of Operations?

    2007 Rosemont Plan of Operations
    Download .pdf file

    Augusta WebPage with links


    Information on Water

    Rosemont claims surface water meant for plants and wildlife in a national forest region!!
    Questa Spring
    Barrel Canyon
    McCleary Canyon
    Wasp Canyon
    Rosemont Spring
    Two unnamed springs

    Rosemont outlines how they can take all the groundwater they want in an arid region

    Map of water source
    Patience—it's a long download

    Lists of wells Rosemont has claimed

    Records of wells in region

    Water Impact Report
    includes Federal Statutes for Groundwater Management

    Augusta Recharges CAP water in Avra Valley

    Groundwater Awareness League's comments to Corporation Commsion on the Augsta Recharge project: 12/07

    Report on use of low-quality CAP water in various scenarios

    Report on CAP history and quality issues

    General Information

    Map of Rosemont Site
    from SkyTruth

    This is what Rosemont could be!
    by Pima County (includes Priority Vulnerable Species known to occur in the Rosemont Ranch area

    on Hearings and Permits

    A big THANKS to Ray Carroll and Pima County Board of Supervisors for passing a strong resolution against mining in the Santa Ritas

    Portland Cement

    Information for protection of Fagan-Empire Valley from mining operations


    Latest News: Public Notice for 404 Permit for Davidson Canyon
    Comment Period:  August 6, 2009 - September 5, 2009

    Empire Fagan Coalition

    Highway 83 Community

    Pima County

    Flood Control Permit

    Reports to Pima County Board of Supervisors, Dec. 16, 2008





    Superior —

    Sign a petition to support the Tribal Coalition objecting to a Land Exchange

    Report sent to all AZ Congress persons July 24, 2007

    The East Valley Tribune documents the reality of the Resolution Copper project

    "Reluctant Boomtown"
    from High Country News

    Map of proposed mining site

    Problems: Destruction of Tonto National Forest, Apache sacred site, rock climbing area & water depletion*

    San Carlos Apaches defy mines that threaten sacred lands from The Arizona Republic

    Six Tribes petition President Bush to withdraw Oak Flats and Apache Leap from mining

    Report by David Chambers of Center for Science in public participation on Block Cave Mining

    Power Point by George Lopez on Impacts at Superior

    Volume of Tailings to dispose of WHERE?

    Patagonia —

    Destruction of prime birding area & water depletion*

    Action Information and Updates!

    Payson —

    Problems: Destruction of Tonto National Forest, habitat & critical water supply*

    *Note: These areas already have water depletion challenges.