Florence Copper opponents skeptical of air quality claims

Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents Southwest Value Partners in its fight to stop the mine from locating in the middle of the Pulte Merrill ranch family community

By Mark Cowling | PinalCentral

Florence Copper claims it has made further strides in controlling airborne emissions at its future operations, but many of those attending a hearing Tuesday at the Pinal County government complex weren’t persuaded their worries were over.

The Pinal County Air Quality Control District held the hearing to obtain comments on a “minor amendment” Florence Copper is seeking to its permit. The company said the change is to acknowledge the project’s lower emissions through improved technology. The project is adding wet scrubbers to minimize sulfuric acid mist, along with fuel burning equipment, according to information Pinal County provided to attendees Tuesday.

The Florence Copper Project off Hunt Highway is not currently operational and has no emissions, but the company is preparing for a small-scale test phase of its processes, which could begin this summer.