By Mila Besich-Lira
Last week Superior and the Resolution Copper Project had a visit from Rep. Andy Tobin (R). Tobin is the Speaker of the House for the Arizona House of Representatives. He was accompanied by Rep. Frank Pratt (R) District 23 and Rep. Brenda Barton (R) District 5.
During this time of year it is not uncommon for those running for elected office to visit the Resolution Copper project this trip was slightly different due to the fact that Tobin and Barton are not running for office in Superior’s district.
Tobin expressed during his tour that he wanted to take a tour of the copper project to see how the Arizona Legislature can help to move the project along. Currently the project is awaiting a federal land exchange to be passed in the US Congress.
Vickie Peacy, Vice President of Legal, Environmental and External Relations, started the tour at the Resolution Copper Main Street office where the three representatives were given an in-depth briefing on the project including the economic benefits, how the mine will be constructed and the importance of building a safe mine.
Peacy and the communications staff of Resolution Copper explained some of the challenges that the company faces from local opposition groups as well as their commitment to protect Apache Leap and provide employment opportunities to residents in Superior and the Copper Corridor. Based on the facts shared during the briefing staff at Resolution Copper explained that 90% of Superior residents are in favor of the project while and in a recent poll 80 percent of residents in the State of Arizona favor the project.
Following the briefing and safety video, the elected guests and their staffs took a tour of the east and west plant operations of Resolution Copper. At the west, plant viewpoint they were able to see the clean up that Resolution Copper has completed on the old mining operations of Magma and BHP.
During the tour of the east plant shaft supervisors from Cementation Randy Seppla and Andy Bravence met the candidates and explained how the shafts are being constructed and explained what the local miners experience during the construction process.
The two long time miners explained that many of these young men are local and because of the training programs they conduct, it has allowed many young residents to be gainfully employed here in Superior.
After the tour of the mine, the elected officials met with local residents and community leaders at Porter’s Cafe for a meet and greet. Tobin took a few minutes to explain that “Arizona is making a comeback” he attributed that comeback to the efforts of small towns like Superior and companies like Resolution who are doing all that they can to help.
He believes that the Arizona economy cannot come back in spots, it cannot just come back in the urban areas, the rural areas need economic opportunities as well. He explained that Representatives Barton and Pratt are working with him to help continue to build the economy in Arizona.
Tobin explained that Arizona moved up from eighth to fourth in having a competitive tax structure in the west. He also explained that the state legislature has put money back into the mental health care programs as well as returning 120 million into K-12 education and the expansion of the University of Arizona medical school in downtown Phoenix.
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