Arizona has a diverse cultural history, especially here in the Copper Triangle. Mining and ranching have been an integral part of this community for more than 100 years. It is also an area where many federally recognized tribes have historical and cultural ties.
At Resolution Copper, we know we get the best results by listening to community perspectives and partnering with community stakeholders, including Native American tribes of Arizona and New Mexico who have historical ties to the area. We respect the sovereignty of tribal communities and recognize that tribes have cultural interests beyond their reservations. Resolution Copper is committed to preserving Native American cultural heritage while developing partnerships and bringing lasting benefits to the entire region.
We are also working to preserve the cultural heritage of Copper Triangle communities while cleaning up historical mining impacts. We have carefully documented information related to our property’s historical structures, restored the historic Magma Hospital and repurposed it for administrative offices, and maintained public access to Queen Creek canyon, including the landmark Claypool Tunnel.
Input from a broad group of stakeholders has informed significant changes to the project design and process. Most notably:
As the lead agency overseeing the multi-year federal review of the project, the USFS has recorded hundreds of consultations with communities and tribal nations since 2008. This ongoing engagement between the US government, communities, and tribal nations’ governments have played an essential role in shaping the project. The USFS examine plans for the proposed mining operation with interested stakeholders, considers any impacts on cultural resources and agree on steps to avoid, minimize or mitigate them. We look forward to building upon this dialogue after the review process and throughout the mine life.
Apache elders have told us that Emory oaks are culturally significant trees that produce acorns traditionally harvested and used as a food source for the Western Apache. Grazing and other practices are preventing the new growth of younger trees. In recognition of the cultural importance of this species, the US Forest Service (USFS), consulting Western Apache tribes, Northern Arizona University and Resolution Copper are partnering through a multi-year program to study, protect and conserve Emory oak groves across Arizona. The initial 5-year phase of the Emory oak restoration began in fall 2018.
In 2018, Resolution Copper funded a new Tribal Monitor program, hosted by the USFS. The first-of-its-kind program for the USFS ensures tribal members are a part of the informed decision-making process to identify areas, resources and sites of importance. The agency trains and employs more than 30 members from seven Native American tribes to work alongside archaeologists. In June 2020, the Arizona Preservation Foundation and State Historic Preservation Office recognized the program at the Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Awards.
Under federal legislation, we set aside more than 800 acres of land to permanently protect Apache Leap as a Special Management Area (SMA) at the request of and in consultation with Native American tribes and local communities. Specific measures were taken within the Apache Leap SMA to accommodate tribal concerns regarding public access, grazing and other protections for locations of cultural importance.
Resolution Copper is already implementing the mutually agreed upon measures required in the land exchange bill with Native American tribes. We’ve designed our mine plan to protect Apache Leap. Monitoring of the area will continue throughout construction, operation, closure and reclamation of the proposed mine. Detailed monitoring reports will be publicly available through the USFS.
Resolution Copper is committed to careful and respectful treatment of any Native American artifacts or ancestral remains that may be found on the property. We’re required to comply with all laws related to Native American cultural heritage, but we strive to do more. Working with USFS, each tribe has developed a detailed management plan for handling any artifacts. Resolution Copper will not retain or store any Native American artifacts.
In non-tribal communities of the Copper Triangle, Resolution Copper has also been working to inventory and safeguard the area’s rich mining history, including:
We're accepting applications for our annual High School Scholarship Program. Since 2002, we have awarded more than $700,000 to over 200 local students through our scholarship program.
For more than a decade, we've listened proactively during ongoing public consultation about the Resolution Copper project. We understand concerns remain. We are committed to continued engagement with communities and Native American Tribes and working to seek consent before any decision…
Resolution Copper is working with the community as we safely and responsibly develop one of the largest copper mines in North America, bringing jobs and long-term economic benefits to Arizona’s Copper Triangle region. Here is some important information about the project: Click here.