Good News for Our Local Economy

Good News for Our Local Economy

As you may already know, a milestone event occurred yesterday when the United States Forest Service (USFS) issued its record of decision to approve the future operation of the Rosemont Copper facility owned by Hudbay Minerals southeast of Tucson.  While there are several more layers of approval necessary for the mine to actually begin construction and operation, the USFS decision is certainly something to celebrate. It has been quite a while since I have written about the Rosemont facility, so perhaps a refresher is in order.  Let’s start with the fact that long before I arrived at the Tucson Metro Chamber in 2011 the Tucson Metro Chamber board had voted to support the Rosemont project conditioned on the fact that the owners would meet and comply with all regulatory requirements.  Nine years later, we look back on a trail of bureaucratic steps to arrive where we are today:

  • 16 hearings
  • 245 days of public comment
  • More than 36,000 public comments submitted and reviewed by the agencies
  • Interaction with 17 cooperating agencies at various levels of government
  • Well over 1,000 studies
  • Final EIS document that is more than 2,600 pages long
  • Nearly 50,000 documents in the Forest Service record
  • Thousands of additional pages in agencies’ responses to public comments submitted and reviewed during the permitting process
  • To date, more than $100 million has been spent to support the permitting process

Those who know Rosemont Copper’s parent company, Hudbay Minerals, know this is a quality company that operates 21st century mining operations.  Yes, it is possible to have a copper mining operation that is good for the economy and sensitive to the environment.  It is a privilege to have Hudbay as a corporate neighbor in our community.  We welcome and look forward to the economic impact this major new employer will have on our region.

  • 1,500 – 2,000 construction jobs to build the facility
  • Approximately 600 new jobs to operate the facility
  • $60,000 average compensation for employees with benefits (well above our local median HH income)
  • Major purchaser of local products and services that will create an economic ripple effect for local companies

The Tucson Metro Chamber congratulates Hudbay Minerals and all who are associated with the Rosemont Copper project.


Michael V. Varney
President & CEO