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Resolution copper mining project, US – update

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8th March 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Resolution copper mining (RCM) project.

Location
Arizona, in the US.

Project Owner/s
Resolution Copper Mining, owned by Resolution Copper Company (55%), a subsidiary of Rio Tinto, and BHP Copper (45%), a subsidiary of BHP.

Project Description
Resolution is one of the most significant undeveloped copper deposits in the world.

When fully operational, the project has the potential to supply nearly 25% of the US’ copper demand.

Potential Job Creation
The project is expected to create several thousand direct and indirect jobs in the Pioneer mining district of Arizona.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
Not stated.

Capital Expenditure
Funding for the project is proportional among the project partners.

Planned Start/End Date
BHP reported in January 2021 that any mine construction is expected to be several years away and will be subject to additional regulatory and government approvals, as well as stakeholder consultation, including with the relevant Native American tribes, to obtain consent.

Latest Developments
The US appeals court has narrowly ruled that the federal government may give away thousands of acres in Arizona to Rio Tinto for the Resolution copper project, upholding a previous ruling and rejecting an argument from Native Americans that the land should be preserved for its religious and cultural value.

The 6-5 ruling from the San Francisco-based 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals defers to a 2014 decision made by the US Congress and then-President Barack Obama to give the land to Rio and minority partner BHP for the copper project.

The move is the latest blow to the Apache Stronghold, a nonprofit group comprising the San Carlos Apache tribe and others who have long opposed the mine, which would destroy a site where Indigenous ceremonies have been held for generations but would, if developed, supply more than a quarter of US copper demand for the renewable energy transition.

If a mine is built, it would create a crater 2 miles (3 km) wide and 1,000 feet (304 m) deep that would destroy that worship site.

Three members of the Appeals Court had ruled for Rio and the land swap in 2022. All 11 members of the appeals court then said they would decide the case in what is known as an en banc hearing, held last March.

"This ruling is illogical and it's unjust,” Becket Law attorney who represents Apache Stronghold Luke Goodrich, argued. The group intends to appeal to the Supreme Court and feels it has a strong case given how closely divided the appeals court was, Goodrich added.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
Resolution Copper Mining, tel +1520689 9374 or email info@resolutioncopper.com.
Resolution Copper Mining project information line, tel +1520689 3409.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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