Resolution Copper will maintain public access to areas within Oak Flat including the campground and recreational trails and climbing, after completion of the land exchange mandated by bipartisan legislation that passed Congress in 2014.
Resolution Copper today published a management plan on its website detailing how it will continue to operate the campground in keeping with current Tonto National Forest practices. Community groups and Native American tribal representatives will continue to provide input on how the area is protected and managed after the land exchange.
Resolution Copper has contracted with 4 Winds, a local small business part-owned by members of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, to maintain the campground areas infrastructure and access trails.
Resolution Copper project director Andrew Lye said: “Resolution Copper will maintain public access to areas within Oak Flat including the campground, recreational trails and climbing after the land exchange is complete, as permitting and studies to shape the project continue. We will continue to consult and seek community input as we refine and shape the Resolution Copper project over the coming years, to minimize any impacts on Oak Flat.
“Resolution Copper is committed to fostering constructive relationships with the local community and Native American Tribes in Arizona, especially those with a historical connection to the land in and around the project area. We are encouraged by the direct and positive engagement of the local community and many Tribes throughout the permitting process. Resolution Copper will continue to engage with the local community and seek the consent of all 11 Native American Tribes that have historical connections with the land involved in the project before any decision on development, consistent with the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) Statement on Indigenous Peoples and Mining.”
Completion of the land exchange is expected in March, transferring 5,459 acres of high-value conservation land to the Federal Government in return for Resolution Copper taking ownership of approximately 2,422 acres around the project site. The land exchange requires Resolution Copper to maintain public access to the Oak Flat Campground for as long as it is safe.
The US Forest Service is currently undertaking a public review and comment period on its Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Resolution Copper project. Its final record of decision is expected in the second half of 2021. More information can be found on the Forest Service’s website at resolutionmineeis.us.
After the US Forest Service process, further permitting will be progressed with other authorities and a detailed feasibility study completed over several years to inform investment considerations on the project. When an investment decision is made, Resolution Copper is expected to take around 10 years to build infrastructure to prepare for mining.
About Resolution Copper
The Resolution Copper Project is operated by Resolution Copper Mining, which is a limited liability company owned 55 percent by Resolution Copper Company (a Rio Tinto PLC subsidiary) and 45 percent by BHP Copper Inc. (a BHP PLC subsidiary).