(Designed this Poster the other day for a rally and town hall meeting in Superior, Arizona)
In Superior Arizona San Carlos Apaches are facing the profit driven attack of on their land from Superior Arizona based company Resolution Copper (RC). RC has their mind set on passing legislation to create the largest Copper Mine of North America on Sacred Apache land.
Sparred in 1955 through Public Land Order 1229, the Apache Leap, Gaan Canyon and Oak Flat areas of Arizona are now under speculation of being reopened for mining.
The bill would allow RC to move forward with the project, void of any research on the blight it would cause. There is no discussion of water resource use, acquisition or disposal for the proposed mine at Oak Flat. The drilling of wells for water use with the mine would throw central eastern Arizona’s water table into a blur of instabilities in an area that is already has severe water problems.
There is a deeply personal, spiritual and visceral relationship between the Apache and the land, and the copper mine proposed at Chich’il Bidagoteel threatens the very existence of the Apache tribe.
By damaging the natural environment of the Apache people, you are essentially destroying their religion, Wendsler Nosie said. “I come here to ask for allies,” Nosie said. “There’s a connection from the west to the east. Your fight, your struggle is ours. There is no discrimination when it comes to protecting the planet.”
Resolution Copper has been pushing a bill since 2004 to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to convey over 2,400 acres of the Tonto National Forest to the company. The company is owned by the foreign mining giants Rio Tinto PLC (United Kingdom) and BHP Billiton Ltd (Australia). China holds an ownership stake in Rio Tinto and it, not the United States, is positioned to be the chief beneficiary of the copper and other materials removed from the mine.
If the land exchange legislation is passed by Congress, large copper deposits will be turned over to Resolution Copper to develop and operate an unprecedented block-cave copper mine which threatens to swallow huge swaths of lands currently within the Tonto National Forest. The land includes sites that are sacred to the San Carlos Apache and other tribes
"What Resolution and its political allies don’t tell you is the land exchange sidesteps critical safeguards provided by other federal laws,"
"This would be the first piece of federal legislation that would turn over a Native American sacred site on public land to a foreign mining company. It would mandate the largest loss of rock climbing lands on public lands in US history; and it would privatize a campground that has been off limits to mining since 1955."
“(Resolution Copper)… is nothing more than special interest legislation for a foreign mining corporation. The potential for an environmental catastrophe, including major negative impacts to water resources, has been all but been ignored by its advocates. Resolution Copper does not address the enormous costs, including environmental, that this mine will have.
In addition to threatening the physical landscape, the block-cave mining process proposed for this mine requires voluminous amounts of water, up to 40,000 acre feet of water annually. Water withdrawal of that magnitude will have a serious negative impact on an already drought-stricken region.
Also, studies demonstrate that the mine has the potential to generate vast amounts of toxins that can poison the water supply throughout the region, in both Pinal County and metropolitan Phoenix.