Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

July 19, 2023

Congressmen Pushing Destructive Mining at Apaches Oak Flat

Apache Stronghold caravan to federal court in March. Photo courtesy Apache Stronghold

Politicians head to Arizona to tout destructive mining projects

House Republicans come to Arizona to promote mining that will violate religious freedom and destroy the environment

By Apache Stronghold, Censored News, 
July 19, 2023

SAN CARLOS, Arizona – A group of House Republicans will be in Arizona this week promoting destructive mining projects over the wellbeing of Arizonans, the environment, and sacred native land.

Representative Paul Gossar and four other Republicans are set to advocate for a series of projects—including Resolution Copper’s proposed mine at Oak Flat—and push for copper to be placed on the list of critical minerals in the U.S. This is the latest in a string of efforts by Republican leadership in Washington D.C. to put corporate mining interests over the good of everyday Arizonans.

“House Republicans and their lobbyists are coming here to destroy Arizona, not save it,” said Dr. Wendsler Nosie Sr. of Apache Stronghold. “They will try to convince people that these mines will be good for our region and the rest of the county. In reality, they will ruin the Earth by polluting the land, waters, and natural habitats.”

According to the Arizona State Land Department, Resolution Copper’s mine would have a negative impact on the value of Arizona State Land Trust, where the company plans to dump a massive amount of toxic waste. The Land Department determined in 2019 that Resolution Copper’s mine would decrease the value of nearby state trust land by more than $530 million. Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs is still deciding along with the Land Board whether to allow the land exchange of the Arizona State Trust Land for the toxic dump.

Meanwhile, a major loophole in Arizona’s groundwater law allows Resolution Copper to pump unlimited groundwater at no cost to them, and to gain priority over farmers, ranchers, and municipalities. Over the life of the mine, Resolution Copper is expected to consume massive amounts of groundwater—valued at over

$400 million at current prices—exacerbating Arizona’s already severe water crisis.

“Now more than ever, Arizonans need to know that this mining project will destroy our sacred sites, take away our water, and contaminate our environment forever,” said Dr. Nosie. “Now is the moment to speak up for Arizona’s spiritual, environmental, and cultural well-being.”

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