Speakers support Florence Copper upgrading to commercial permit


Speakers support Florence Copper upgrading to commercial permit

From the Florence Reminder & Blade Tribune:

Speakers support Florence Copper upgrading to commercial permit

By Mark Cowling

Nearly 30 people, including several Florence Copper top officials, contractors and vendors, spoke in support of the company receiving a state permit to ramp up to full-scale commercial production at an online public hearing.

State Rep. David Cook, R-Globe, said Florence Copper has met or exceeded all of its permit requirements, with “no violations whatsoever” in its test phase. “I believe the correct decision will be made to move forward to the next phase … .” He said he has no doubt that Arizona Department of Environmental Quality staff will make sure active monitoring of the project continues.

Cook based his comments on his own research of Florence Copper and his more than 12 years in mining, he told ADEQ representatives who hosted the hearing on Sept. 9.

Elizabeth Young of Florence said she had toured Florence Copper several times over the years, never once feeling that anyone was trying to deceive her. If she believed anything bad were happening, “I wouldn’t be raising my family here.”

She said Florence is missing opportunities, and “being able to help our economy grow, and bring those non-service-industry jobs here, is so important.” Young said her husband, who has a science degree, drives an hour to work. If he could use his degree in Florence, “it would be so beneficial to our family.”

John Bracich said he’s a new Arizona resident from Chicago, semi-retired as a consultant in ferrous metals. He said industry needs copper right now.

“There’s a bottleneck that I think a mine could help alleviate. … If we could help promote the manufacturing of more solar power, and more wind power, and geothermal, we need to break this bottleneck.” Bracich said he also considers himself an environmentalist and he believes the Florence Copper Project is environmentally sound.

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