The Hermosa mining project in southern Arizona, located in the Patagonian Mountains known for its ecological diversity, is the first mining project to be added to Fast-41, a federal program to streamline the permitting process, according to Monday’s announcement. .
The Hermosa mine, a $1.7 billion project operated by Australian company South32, is proposed as a zinc, silver and manganese mine. If granted, it would be the largest investment in Santa Cruz County’s history, according to the Federal Permit Improvement and Operations Council. Mine production is scheduled to start in 2027.
Fast-41 is a federal program established in 2015 that established the Federal Permit Improvements and Operations Council, comprising 16 members from 13 federal agencies, to coordinate federal environmental reviews of accredited projects. .
According to the Permitting Council, the program applies to large, complex infrastructure projects across 18 different sectors and “helps ensure a prudent, transparent, and predictable federal environmental review and permitting process.” increase”.
data A Council study found that projects under Fast-41 cut the permitting process time in half.
“Being subject to the FAST-41 project will make the project’s rigorous federal environmental review and permitting process more transparent and predictable, ensuring that all stakeholders have a positive impact,” Graham Kerr, executive officer of South32, said in a statement. be comprehensive for
According to South32, a recent study showed that the Clark deposit in Hermosa could potentially supply battery-grade manganese for the North American electric vehicle supply chain. The United States relies primarily on foreign imports for minerals essential to clean energy technologies.
After qualifying for Fast-41, federal agencies have two months to develop a publicly available permit schedule, which is expected to be completed by July 5. Federal Permits Dashboard View project completion dates, as well as federal environmental reviews and approvals required to develop the project.
South32 advertised its mission to be a carbon-neutral mine and to use technology to minimize its environmental impact.
But critics such as the Patagonia Resources Alliance, a watchdog nonprofit, say the mine poses a threat to surrounding wildlife and nearby towns in Patagonia, including pollution, groundwater depletion and the risk of contamination of the wells beneath the mine. We warn you of potential consequences.
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