I challenge the oft-repeated narrative that the proposed Rosemont Mine in the Santa Rita mountains will have a life span of only 20 years. Copper mining history in Arizona says otherwise.
All the following examples are open pit mines, as is the Rosemont proposal.
New Cornelia Mine in Ajo, 67 years, 1917-1983. Copper Queen Mine in Bisbee, 38 years, 1937-1975. Sierrita Mine in Green Valley, 62 years, 1957-present. And finally, there's the largest copper mine in North America, the Morenci Mine in Morenci, 82 years, 1937-present.
None of this squares with the 20-year scare tactic of Rosemont opponents. Nor does the water contamination issue. Otherwise, Ajo and Bisbee, which sit right next to the defunct mine pits, would be ghost towns by now.
Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.