On Monday Nov. 19, 2012, legal counsel for opponents of Curis Resources’ Florence Copper Project decided to defer a requested hearing for an injunction on an Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Aquifer Protection Permit granted to Curis in Sept.
Attorney for Curis opponent Southwest Value Partners Larry Crown explained the situation from his client’s perspective to the Southeast Valley Ledger.
“Yesterday morning (Monday, Nov. 19), In response to our Complaint and Application for a Preliminary Injunction, Superior Court Judge Arthur Anderson held a very brief return hearing to see what next steps needed to be taken,” he wrote. “We told the court that Southwest Value Partners, Pulte, Johnson Utilities, and the Town of Florence have been meeting with the Assistant Attorney General representing ADEQ. Through these meetings, we have become more comfortable that Curis cannot and will not conduct any mining activities that pose a risk to the environment before: (1) the ongoing public comment and review process is complete, and (2) any administrative appeals are heard. Based on the assurances received from the State, there cannot and will not be any discharge for a long period of time, because the permit cannot become effective until a long administrative review and appeal process is complete.”
On Sept. 28, 2012 the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality granted Curis Resource the Aquifer Protection Permit [APP] required for the company to move forward with Phase 1 of the in-situ copper mine the Florence Copper Project.
At the time the Southeast Valley Ledger spoke with Rita Maguire, Senior Legal and Government Affairs Advisor to Curis Resources about what the permitting means for the project. She explained that the ADEQ permit has been issued though there is a public comment period before it is finalized.
“This permit is a critical milestone, next the ADEQ will begin its formal comment and hearing process where they will take public comment and then issue the final permit,” Maguire said. “The ADEQ won’t issue the permit at all unless we meet all of their requirements; they believe the [in-situ] process is safe.”