Community Commitments

Sustainable Water Source

Rosemont's approach to maintaining a sustainable water source includes:

  • Water resources will be protected by avoiding impacts to the Davidson Canyon and Cienega Creek watershed, recycling production water within the plant and lining storage reservoirs to ensure that groundwater is not affected. Additionally, Central Arizona Project water is being purchased and stored in advance and by the end of 2007, a supply will have been collected sufficient to sustain the operation for three years.
  • Augusta Resource, developer of Rosemont Copper, has signed a letter of intent with the Community Water Company of Green Valley to fund a CAP extension that could be delivering water to the Green Valley/Sahuarita area in as little as two years. The water delivery system plan includes a seven-mile extension of the CAP pipeline into the Water Company's service area and a water recharge facility in the Green Valley/Sahuarita area. The plan would enable Community Water to construct a water delivery system and bring much-needed recharge of CAP water into its service area many years sooner than would have otherwise been possible. Community Water will also make its unused CAP water allocation available to Augusta Resource for recharge in the Green Valley/Sahuarita area.
At the close of the project, it is Rosemont's intent to have been net neutral for groundwater in the Tucson basin, having balanced consumption through the use of imported and recharged CAP water. In addition, new water conservation and recycling techniques being employed at Rosemont will save 50 to 60 percent of the total water used in traditional mining.

Concurrent Reclamation

The Rosemont Copper project is designed to incorporate progressive reclamation practices from the first year of mining activity. This has not been done in any other mine in Arizona. Highlights include:

  • Vegetation - A research grant to the University of Arizona's School of Natural Resources will provide the basis for selection of optimal plant species, use of cattle in preparing the seedbed for re-vegetation and the construction of perimeter slopes to stabilize the soil. Upon beginning operations, the upper reaches of the pit will be seeded to encourage plant growth, thereby providing a visual break to the upper benches.
  • Water - A water-conserving methodology known as dry-stack tailings will be used at the site to significantly reduce water usage issues. New water conservation and recycling techniques at Rosemont will save at least half of the total water used, as compared to traditional mining The modern tailings disposal system includes the construction of a thick waste rock shell to eliminate the possibility of storm water contamination and minimize the potential for downward migration of interstitial tailings water.
  • Other considerations - Inert materials will be used for construction of the perimeter, drains and channel A grading fills.

During the process of mine closure, the operating facilities will be dismantled and inspected for any possible contaminants. Any residual lubricants, contaminated soils, reagents or fuels will be disposed of offsite.

Click here to view the complete Rosemont Copper Reclamation and Closure Plan.

Scenic Value Recognition

Significant planning has gone into the facility design and construction of Rosemont Copper, reducing its footprint to less than half the size of current mines in the Tucson area. The facility will be screened by perimeter buttresses to minimize the visual impact during both construction and operation and will not be visible from Green Valley, Vail, Sahuarita, Tubac or Tucson. The buttresses will both stabilize the soil and shield visual impact from state highway SR-83. Only a small portion of the final pit configuration will be visible from the highway.

Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan (SDCP)
Rosemont Copper will incorporate the goals of the SDCP, including gifting conservation easements on more than 2,000 acres of private lands at the Rosemont Ranch. Mining facilities will be designed to stay within mixed-use designated areas and avoid, to the greatest extent possible, disturbing the biological core areas of the SDCP. 

Community Endowment

A $25 million endowment will be created over the life of the mine and an additional $500,000 will be donated annually during operations to be used for the preservation of open space, mitigation of wildlife habitat and to meet other needs identified by the community. At the end of the estimated 20 years of production, Rosemont Copper will leave open space and conservation easements to the community in perpetuity. In addition, the project endowment funds will support local projects for generations to come, managed by a group of trustees from the local community.

Community Survey Results - December 2007
Augusta was pleased to announce the results of an independent public opinion poll released in December 2007, reporting a majority of Tucson-area residents would support a new copper mine planned for the east side of the Santa Rita Mountains, as long as they are assured the Company will build and operate it consistent with the plan it has put forth.

The Company has been working hard to educate the community about the plan of operations, and based on feedback learned that people seemed to become more supportive of the project once they knew the details.Rosemont wanted to do some formal research to measure the level of support based on understanding and belief that the mine would be operated in accordance with the plan, which lead to the Company commissioning Marketing Intelligence of Tucson to conduct this research independently

The telephone survey was statistically representative of residents from the Greater Tucson area including those communities surrounding the proposed mine, and had a sampling error of plus or minus five percent. The results showed that if the concerns of local residents are addressed as the Company has committed to do, a total of 64.5 percent of respondents were either very favorable or somewhat favorable of the Rosemont mine, with 10.8 percent saying they were neutral, and 24.7 percent reporting they were either somewhat or very unfavorable.

Augusta views the development of Rosemont as an important opportunity to integrate modern progressive technologies from the very beginning. The Company was pleased to learn that people understand what we're trying to do, and looks forward to working with the community during the public review process.

Economic Impacts

May 2012 

The Arizona State University’s L. William Seidman Research Institute published a report assessing Rosemont Copper’s economic impact on Pima County, Arizona.  The study evaluated impact during the project’s construction, production, and post-production phases which span a period of 27 years.  Total project impact during the production and post-production phases to gross regional product of Pima County is estimated at $5.9 billion and to labor income is $2.3 billion, with $809 million in tax revenues for state and local governments over the duration of the project.   In addition, the annual average impact to employment over the full production phase will be the creation of 1,784 jobs. 

Click here to view the Arizona State University’s L. William Seidman Research Institute report 

November 2009
Arizona State University Department of Mines and Mineral Resources published an assessment of the economic impacts of the Rosemont Copper Project on the economies of the Cochise/Pima/Santa Cruz counties study area, the State of Arizona, and the United States. The study stated that Rosemont Copper will stimulate a total of $15 billion in new economic output to the region over the life of the mine, including an average of 2,100 jobs annually.

Click here to view the complete Arizona State University Department of Mines and Mineral Resources report

August 2007
A study from the Western Economic Analysis Center in Pima County reported Arizona's public and private sectors stand to gain significant economic benefits from the Rosemont Copper mine. The study looked at the economic impact on a local, state and national basis for the estimated 19-year mining operation, which calculates a cumulative boost of approximately $43.7 billion over that period of time. Dr. George Leaming, author of the economic analysis, earned both his MBA and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Arizona and spent 12 years as a UA faculty member. Dr. Leaming's bachelor's of science degree in mining engineering is from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.

Click here to view the complete Western Economic Analysis Center report