NEW YORK Augusta Resource Corp. has submitted a preliminary final environmental impact statement (EIS) for its proposed Rosemont copper project to various federal, state and local government agencies for final comment.
The report, which follows an internal review by the U.S. Forest Service, says the Tucson, Ariz., copper mine would not harm any of 10 threatened and endangered species that may live in the area.
"Certain monitoring and mitigation requirements will be required to minimize the impacts of the project," the report notes.
"The issues and concerns of many parties have been addressed through careful project facility siting, technology selection, pollution prevention, land and water set-asides, compensatory mitigation funding, community endowment efforts, and voluntary acquisition of ranches and rare surface water rights for preservation of habitat values," Jamie Sturgess, Augustas senior vice president of corporate development and government affairs, said in a statement.
Government agencies have 30 days to provide comments on the EIS, after which the report will be finalized and formally issued. The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company said it expects the final EIS to be completed, along with a record of decision from the U.S. Forest Service, in the third quarter.
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has already granted Augusta an air quality permit for the Rosemont project (amm.com, March 29).
The mine, which will be the third-largest copper mine in the United States with reserves of 5.9 billion pounds of copper and 194 million pounds of molybdenum, is expected to begin production in 2015.
"This year will be a transformative year for Augusta and our project partners as we move from permitting into construction at Rosemont," Augusta president and chief executive officer Gil Clausen said. "Our team is fully prepared and ready to execute on its development. Project financing is moving rapidly to conclusion and detailed construction engineering and procurement is well advanced."