For nearly a decade, Resolution Copper Mining, a subsidiary of British-Australian mining conglomerate Rio Tinto, had unsuccessfully sought ownership of Oak Flat Campground.
Yet, on December 19, 2014, with the help of Senator John McCain, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2013 resurfaced within the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and was successfully passed by the Senate and signed off by President Obama .
The new legislation will open up Oak Flat for copper mining.
As part of the deal, Resolution Copper will swap roughly 7.8 square miles of land scattered across Arizona for roughly 3.8 square miles of Tonto National Forest, which includes Oak Flat.
Resolution Copper is required to work with the U.S. Forest Service to do an environmental impact study, however, they are guaranteed to get the land, regardless of what the study shows.
Also, the company has chosen a cheaper method of extraction called block cave mining. The aftermath of the mining will result in a crater two miles wide and up to 1,000 feet deep, destroying the surface of the land as well as generate nearly a cubic mile of mine waste
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Special Thanks to:
Wendsler Nosie Sr.
And all our Apache and Diné Relatives