PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Major Rio Tinto will invest a further $302-million to advance the Resolution copper project, in Arizona.
Rio, which owns a 55% interest in the project, and project partner BHP, which owns the remaining 45% interest, have invested over $2-billion on the permit since 2004, including on sinking a new shaft to mining depth, rehabilitating an existing shaft, as well as on drilling, orebody testing and permitting.
Rio said on Monday that its latest investment into the project would fund additional drilling, orebody studies, infrastructure improvements and permitting activities as the company worked towards progressing the project to the final stage of the permitting phase.
“Resolution is one of the most significant undeveloped copper deposits in the world and this additional funding demonstrates Rio Tinto’s commitment to bring the mine into production. The comprehensive permitting process is well under way with the environmental impact study on track to be completed next year according to the regulators schedule,” said Rio CEO Jean-Sebastian Jacques.
When fully operational, Resolution had the potential to supply nearly 25% of the US copper demand and would create several thousand direct and indirect jobs in the Pioneer mining district of Arizona.
The project was currently in its seventh year of a comprehensive environmental review and approval process, conducted by the US Forest Service under the National Environmental Policy Act.
“The rise of electric vehicles, battery storage, new transmission technology and other green energy innovations are highly copper intensive. We need to prepare now to meet this future demand. Resolution will be well positioned to provide North American manufacturers the copper that is essential to their products,” Jacques said.