by David Safier
A commenter on my post this morning about Rosemont Mine's problems brought up the "Rosemont will create jobs" meme. "Tucson Native" tore the jobs argument to shreds in the next comment, which you can read below.
If Rosemont gets approved the only positive economic impact will be for the company headquartered in Vancouver and China who will process the copper and sell it back to us at a high price in consumer goods.
There may be a small amount of people hired locally to work in the mine for a limited duration. There may be work for the well drillers who have to deepen all the private wells that become useless because Rosemont’s water use drops the water table 100 feet. There may be work for the highway construction workers (paid for with tax dollars) to keep SR 83 usable. Scenic SR 83 was not designed for continuous heavy truck traffic and will be pounded to death. The employment opportunities will be limited and the devastation left behind will be forever.
With the latest revelations about the Rosemont's financial status what guarantee is there that the mine will be in continuous operation after it starts up? As copper fluctuates in price these mines start and stop operations based on demand. Who handles the social costs of the layoffs which will become a recurring event?
The finances of Rosemont (save the salaries of the executives) looks pretty shaky currently. There is no assurance that they will be around with enough money to clean up their mess when they are done. Arizona will be left footing the bill with taxpayers money for remediation of the damage done to the environment
Ever wonder why all these Canadian companies love to mine in the US? The reason is their OWN COUNTRY is much more restrictive about destroying the environment and requires royalty payments for valuable ore extracted from public lands.