Project Summary

On March 18, 2016, the Tonto National Forest issued a Notice of Intent to prepare an EIS for the Resolution Copper Project and Land Exchange. Two separate but related components will be analyzed in the EIS, as well as any necessary amendments to the Tonto National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan:

Photo of person with clipboard doing field survey
Photo: Field work in Oak Flats

  1. Approval of a plan of operations submitted to the Tonto National Forest in November 2013.
  2. Exchange of 2,422 acres of public land (known as the Oak Flat parcel) with Resolution Copper Mining, LLC (Resolution Copper), in return for 5,376 acres elsewhere in Arizona.

The Resolution Copper Mining General Plan of Operations proposes development of an underground copper mine located near the town of Superior, Arizona. The project would occur on a mixture of private, State and national forest lands. The Resolution Copper Project would create one of the largest copper mines in the United States, with an estimated surface disturbance of 6,951 acres (approximately 11 square miles). It would also be one of the deepest mines in the United States, with mine workings extending 7,000 feet beneath the surface.

Tonto National Forest will play a key role in the project including:

  • Analyzing and disclosing environmental effects of the mine and the land exchange on private, State and national forest lands
  • Conducting government-to-government consultations with potentially affected Native American tribes
  • Developing mitigations to protect surface resources of the Tonto National Forest, and recommending mitigations for lands not under Forest Service jurisdiction,
  • Administering approved plans of operations that authorize mining-related disturbance on national forest lands
  • Administering financial assurance to ensure that portions of the mine facilities constructed on national forest lands are reclaimed.


Temporary Contact Update

The Tonto Supervisor’s Office in Phoenix remains temporarily closed in July 2019 due to a building renovation project. As a result, questions from the media and general public regarding the Resolution Copper Project and Land Exchange should be e-mailed to John Scaggs at:

EIS Timeline - Feb 2019

  1. Proponent submits revised Plan of Operations [Sep 2014]
  2. Federal Register Notice of Intent to prepare EIS [Mar 2016]
  3. Public scoping period and scoping meetings
    [5 meetings between Mar-Jun 2016; comment period extended from 60 days to 120 days, closed Jul 18, 2016 ]
  4. Compile and review existing data
  5. Prepare project description and identify project alternatives
  6. Publish Alternatives Evaluation Report [Sep 2017]
  7. We Are Here
    Validate Baseline Information; analyze environmental effects
  8. Prepare Draft EIS
  9. Federal Register Notice of Availability of Draft EIS
  10. 90-day public review and comment period, with public meetings
  11. Respond to public comments and prepare Final EIS
  12. Federal Register Notice of Availability of Final EIS and Draft ROD
  13. 45-day Public Objection Period
  14. Resolve objections to Final EIS and draft ROD
  15. Issue Final Record of Decision

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Forest Points of Contact

Media & General Info
John Scaggs

Project Manager
Resolution Copper
Mary Rasmussen

Apache Leap Special Management Area
Apache Leap SMA website