Snapshots - Updated December 2019

The National Environmental Policy Act requires the Forest Service to consider a reasonable range of alternatives that can accomplish the purpose of and need for the proposed action. The Forest Service studied a range of alternatives to the Resolution Copper general plan of operations. Snapshots summarize five action alternatives (out of 30+ considered) at four separate locations, including one location not on Federal land. Note that the Forest Service has identified Alternative 6 (Skunk Camp) – North Option as the Lead Agency’s preferred alternative.

A variation of the proposed action described in the May 9, 2016, version of Resolution Copper’s General Plan of Operations, this alternative would include a split-stream tailings processing method with two tailings types.

Shares several similarities with Alternative 2; one key difference is it proposes to reduce the amount of water retained in non-potentially acid generating (NPAG) tailings as well as reduce seepage potential through on-site thickening of NPAG tailings and ‘Thin-lift’ deposition.

The only alternative proposing to use filtered tailings instead of slurry tailings. Conveyors and mobile equipment would mechanically deposit potentially acid generating tailings and non-potentially acid generating tailings in two separate, adjacent tailings storage facilities.

This alternative allows for a comparison of the impacts of slurry tailings if placed in a flatter, alluvial setting instead of an upland wash or canyon.

The location for this alternative would enable use of cross-valley embankments/dams requiring less fill to retain tailings compared to a ring-like impoundment, simplifying construction and operations.

Comments from each of the six public hearings are available for viewing. Note that the public comment period is now closed.

Public Hearing Comments

Draft EIS

The draft EIS public comment period closed November 7, 2019. All 30,000+ comment submittals are now under review for consideration in the compilation of the final EIS.

Media & General Info

Point of Contact
John Scaggs
Tonto National Forest
john.scaggs@usda.gov

Apache Leap Special Management Area
Apache Leap SMA website