Resolution Copper hosted a community update last week on the reclamation of the west plant area and the historical preservation research being done by the company.
Officials from the company announced that many of the buildings will start to be torn down in the coming weeks along with the capping of contaminated land around the smelter. They also announced that the smoke stack/smelter will be coming down in October or November. Originally, they announced the structure would be torn down in September. The reclamation is required under a voluntary consent decree ordered by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, which requires Resolution Copper to remediate environmental damages by previous and historic mining operations. The project must be complete by 2020 as per the orders of the decree.
Resolution Copper has hired Westland Resources to conduct Architectural and Industrial Archeology for the Smelter and mine property. Officials from Westland Resources shared some of their historic findings. One interesting fact they shared is that Col. Boyce Thompson was in Russia attending to a Red Cross mission when he met with another mine investor, it was in Russia in 1917 that they decided to build the smelter. Their historical findings included help wanted ads to build the smelter and buildings. Westland Resources is also conducting oral-video histories of people who worked at the mine, especially those who worked in the smelter and mill areas.
Westland Resources explained that they are following all State Historic Preservation Office requirements to ensure that the necessary documentation is recorded in perpetuity. They are exceeding the state and national standards by conducting in-depth imaging, modeling along with the video interviews of former employees.
The Town of Superior and Resolution Copper have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding that allows both parties to conduct research and outreach on how best to formally memorialize the mining history and culture of Superior while also interpreting the mining technologies of the present. The Company and Town are required to present three ideas by December and then those three concepts will go through a project feasibility and sustainability process to determine which project(s) will be best suited for Superior. Ideas are being taken by the Town of Superior at Town Hall and Rebuild Superior Inc.