The mining industry tends to focus on very large numbers, whether it’s talking in terms of size of deposits, tons of material mined, the equipment used or the dollars spent. The numbers associated with mining projects are often in the hundreds of millions, but sometimes it’s the little things that can have the biggest impact.
Take, for example, the Rosemont Copper Project in Arizona. Owned by HudBay Minerals, the Rosemont Copper project, when in production, is expected to be one of the largest copper mines in the United States, accounting for about 10 percent of total copper production with annual production expected to be 110 Mt/a (243 million lbs/year). However, the project is currently mired in a years-long permitting process. At the 2017 SME Arizona Conference in Tucson, AZ, Kathy Arnold, director of environmental and regulatory affairs for Hudbay Minerals, spoke about the project and the efforts to get it into production.