We're Augusta Resource Corp. We're just like you, only we wear lab coats, skinny ties and plaid hard hats because we're Canadians. We're the good folks behind Rosemont Copper Mine.
This mining thing is new for us. Our resume is as blank as the pristine mountainside we're hoping to crush into copper ore. As your American Gen. George Armstrong Custer said, "There's a first time for everything," and this is it.
Opponents say our mine would devastate tourism and deplete the water supply. That it would have negative long-term effects. Let's examine some of their objections:
Some are uncomfortable with mining because we are an extraction industry. We extract copper from the earth in the same way dentists extract wisdom teeth, with great care and plenty of anesthetic beforehand.
And lately we admit we've been laying on the anesthetic pretty thick around here. To those squirming in the chair, we say Rosemont mine is as inevitable as cavities. Here's a lollipop, two sponsorships and a scholarship. Ever wonder how much copper is in a lollipop? It's time you did.
We expect the whole operation to take about 25 years. According to the crybabies at "Save the Scenic Santa Ritas" the amount of rock that will be extracted "will weigh the same as 18,000 aircraft carriers." That's a lot of aircraft carriers. All 18,000 of them will need copper wiring. Where's that going to come from? The copper fairy? She's too busy making copper lollipops.
The EPA said Rosemont has the potential to destroy "critical water resources in Southern Arizona." Do we need to point out that this is a desert? As far as we can see, there is no water here. We simply don't see any water. Who's kidding who?
The Forest Service claims our mine will impact soil erosion, air quality, loss of habitat and other silly inconsequential things. Are we addressing these concerns? Yes, we are. In a first for any mining firm our waste rock will be arranged tastefully with the help of a feng shui consultant who promises, "Your current view of a Sky Island range will be enhanced by a dramatic veil of dirt that will rival any work by Christo."
Westerners trapped in the last century are concerned that our pit will be a mile wide. That's nearly the size of Arizona's amazing Meteor Crater. And Meteor Crater is a national treasure. We promise you the impact of Rosemont mine will be far less than that of a meteor half the size of a football field slamming into the Earth at 26,000 miles an hour. Think 25,000 miles an hour.
Some fret over the resulting traffic on the soon-to-be-formerly scenic road. Because there isn't a rail line nearby, the ore will be moved with lots of trucks. If you have toddlers you know how much fun it can be to watch big trucks zooming all around! Enough said!
Pima County claims that maintaining the roads for Rosemont will cost taxpayers $27 million. That's a lot of pennies. That is 2,700,000,000 copper pennies. Where do our critics think the copper in pennies comes from? Trees? So many Southern Arizonans wrongly believe that copper comes from trees that here at Rosemont we're pleased to offer scholarships to youth interested in learning about where copper actually comes from.
As well as producing a crater, jobs, giant mounds and copper for 18,000 aircraft carriers, we will produce light! What a bonus for all the astronomers here in Southern Arizona who have a tough time finding their telescopes in the dark. We promise the glow will be breathtaking. Is there copper in those telescopes? We wonder. Do you?
You'll forever lose another local treasure, but the economic benefits will be immeasurable. Just think of the convenience store that will open on the Sonoita Highway exit at I-10 and the exciting job that will bring to Southern Arizona. You've lost plenty of local treasures and gotten over it before.
What about the future? Rosemont Mine will be half a mile deep 25 years from now. Do you know what your kids and their kids will inherit? An amazing lake we'll stock with 18,000 mutant koi the size of aircraft carriers. We're kidding.
When we're done, environmentalists want us to put everything back just like it was. We're Rosemont and we can't do that. It would cost $90 million to backfill the colossal crater we'll leave behind. And the truth is that by the time we're done digging in your backyard we'll need that $90 million when we move on to buy PR for our next mine. You don't think all the good things we're sponsoring right now in your community grow on trees, like copper, do you? We didn't think so.
We're Augusta Resource Corporation. Let us dig in your backyard.
Email Star cartoonist David Fitzsimmons: firstname.lastname@example.org