Environmental permitting considerations for true in situ copper mining in Arizona

Weeks, R. E. ; Millenacker, D. J.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
Utilization of true in situ technologies for mining copper in Arizona will involve a complex environmental permitting process. This process is a key factor in determining the feasibility, costs, and implementing time- frames required for development of this innovative mining method. The regulatory structure in Arizona is presently changing due to enactment of the Environmental Quality Act (EQA) of 1986 and development of new aquifer protection rules and regulations. The US Bureau of Mines has reviewed the comprehensive hydrogeologic characterization, ground water monitoring, mechanical integrity testing, well construction, contingency planning, and other regulatory elements that will serve as mechanisms to assure protection of ground water resources. The purpose of this paper is to inform the domestic copper industry of the significance of the new Arizona regulatory structure and its implications for prospective in situ operators.
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