Tonto National Forest releases Final Environmental Impact Statement, draft Record of Decision for Pinto Valley Mine project

Contact(s): John Scagg

PHOENIX, April 9, 2021 — For Immediate Release. Today the USDA Forest Service released the final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and draft Record of Decision (ROD) for the Pinto Valley Mine project, selecting the proposed action as the preferred alternative.

The four-volume FEIS evaluates and discloses the potential environmental effects from approval of the mining plan of operations submitted by Pinto Valley Mining Corp. The mining plan proposes to expand existing open-pit copper and molybdenum mining operations from private lands onto National Forest System lands. The proposal would extend the mine life for 19 years and consolidate prior authorizations that are reasonably incident to extraction, transportation, and processing of mineral deposits on its mining claims.

Expansion is estimated to produce 2.4 billion pounds of copper and 23.7 million pounds of molybdenum. Copper is heavily used in industrial, agricultural and energy applications and is a common component of electronics.

The proposed expansion would extend about 690 jobs during mining operations. An estimated 100 employees would continue to support reclamation and closure. Expansion also would result in about 1,317 acres of new disturbance, including about 229 acres on National Forest System lands and 1,087 acres on private land owned by Pinto Valley Mining Corp. Existing surface disturbance associated with Pinto Valley Mine facilities encompasses an estimated 3,915 acres, of which 3,349 acres are on private and 556 acres are on National Forest System lands.

According to Tonto National Forest Supervisor Neil Bosworth, the Forest Service’s multiple use mission results in balancing demand for economic productivity with the Forest Service’s commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability.

A Notice of Availability was released alongside the final EIS and draft ROD in the Federal Register and begins a 45-day public objection period and subsequent objection resolution period. Issues raised in objections must be based on previously submitted, specific written comments regarding this project proposal and attributed to the objector, unless the issue is based on new information that arose after the opportunities for comment (36 CFR 218.8(c)).

The documents and instructions on how to submit an objection are available on the Pinto Valley Mining Corp. project website. The Forest Service plans to issue a final ROD in summer 2021.



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