Chris J. (Horquilla) 
Member since May 29, 2010



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Re: “Copper Capers

A little historical information about San Manuel. BHP Copper temporarily suspended operations at San Manuel in June 1999, due to low copper prices and decided to permanently close and reclaim the facility in January 2002 in accordance to current environmental laws. Prior to the suspension of operations in mid-1999, they had completed a major smelter modernization program and a mine development program on the Kalamazoo ore body at an estimated cost of several hundred million dollars.

Copper ores at San Manuel occur in two ore bodies, known as San Manuel and Kalamazoo. It was primarily an underground mining operation with the upper portion of the shallower San Manuel deposit also being mined by open pit methods. The Kalamazoo ore body, where virtually all of the remaining resource occurs, is located at depth of 2,500 and 4,600 feet and is only mineable by underground mining methods.

Once BHP Copper had decided to permanently close the mine and processing facilities at San Manuel, they were required by law to reclaim the mine and plant site. At the mine, this involved removing all of the equipment from the underground mine, suspension of dewatering operations, permitting the underground workings to flood, filling in the shafts, and removing all of the surface infrastructure. At the plant site, the concentrator, smelter and refinery were torn down and sold for scrap and the tailings pond reclaimed.

Finally, even with the large copper resource that remains in the ground at Kalamazoo, the cost of re-entering the mine and re-establishing the mine and mill infrastructure at the site would not be economically feasible even at today's prices. Re-entering the underground workings alone would not be technically feasible at any cost.

In hind site, BHP Copper's decision to permanently close the San Manuel mine was a very bad business decision, particularly when you consider the nature of the operation, which makes it virtually impossible to re-enter the mine and resume operations. This decision ultimately cost BHP billions of dollars in lost profits. Had they waited for several years, San Manuel would still be producing approximately 200,000 tons of copper annually and would be making record profits.

Posted by Chris J. (Horquilla) on 02/17/2011 at 8:18 PM

Re: “Copper Capers

Rosemont Copper's opponents have always attempted to minimize the project's benefits, while wildly exaggerating Rosemont's negative impacts on our community. And yet, they present very little evidence to support their claims, which as far as I can discern are purely based on false, misleading and emotional arguments as opposed to factual information. Their only purpose is to confuse the public on these important issues in an effort to exploit's the public's fear of the unknown.

On the other hand, Rosemont Copper has provided numerous technical, scientific and economic reports, prepared by unbiased professionals, which fully support their claims. All of this information has been made available to the public, where it can be examined by all and verified for its accuracy.

I for one am thankful that Rosemont Copper has been able to successfully counter these efforts through their site tours program, public meetings and a well run PR campaign, which has gotten their message out to the public. Rosemont Copper's efforts have also greatly benefitted by the work of numerous supporters, like myself, who have responded to "news articles" like the one above, which are nothing more than propaganda cloaked in the veil of journalism.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Chris J. (Horquilla) on 02/16/2011 at 6:42 PM

Re: “Digging Delays

To mhazzard:

The Arizona Daily Star is your credible source for information? You will have to do better than that to convince me that you know what your talking about.

Here I'll help you out. Take a look at this publication:…

Posted by Chris J. (Horquilla) on 10/04/2010 at 5:44 PM

Re: “Digging Delays

To mhazzard:

Your the one who claims to know that Rosemont's copper is going to China. Where's your evidence to back up your claim?

Posted by Chris J. (Horquilla) on 10/03/2010 at 12:02 PM

Re: “Digging Delays


Sorry to disappoint you, but I am not Chris Jennings either.

Posted by Chris J. (Horquilla) on 10/02/2010 at 6:57 PM

Re: “Digging Delays

One note about our nation’s copper mining capacity. Prior to the downturn in the economy during the fall of 2008, every copper mine in the United States was operating at full capacity and we still imported 30 to 40% of the copper we required to meet our domestic needs. Nothing has changed over the last 24 months to improve this situation. When the economy improves the demand for copper will also rebound and we will still be importing 30 to 40% of the copper we consume.

Link to data supporting this statement:…

What we really need to be concerned about now is what the demand for copper will be in 2020, considering that it will certainly increase with all the green, renewable energy projects that require copper. With declining production at many of our domestic mines (some of which have been in production from more than 100 years), the only way to meet this future demand is to increase our domestic copper mining capacity through the development of new mines. Considering that it takes 7 to 10 years to bring a copper operation on line, we need to begin planning for the future, today. That is exactly what Augusta Resource has been doing. It has been five years since they purchased the Rosemont property and it will probably take at least 2 to 3 more years before the first copper is produced at the site.

As for the statements that Resolution Copper has the necessary infrastructure in place, that is false. They don't even have the infrastructure to access the ore body (located at a depth of 5,000 to 7,000 feet), let alone all of the infrastructure required to mine and process the ores from this discovery. Like Rosemont, they will have to build the infrastructure required to successfully produce copper from this discovery.

I don't know where you been since the enactment of our nation's environmental laws in the 1960's and 1970's, but our domestic mining industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in cleaning up its existing and former operations over the years and continues to set aside large sums of money for future cleanup efforts. Reclamation activities account for significant portion of many mine's operating budgets. The big difference between historical producers and Rosemont, is that Rosemont has incorporated their reclamation efforts into their mine plan, which allows them begin reclamation efforts at startup and continue them throughout the life of the operation. This approach makes much easier to successfully reclaim the site once mining has been completed.

Posted by Chris J. (Horquilla) on 10/02/2010 at 2:26 PM

Re: “Digging Delays

No insider here. Unlike many who blog in these forums, I do my homework before I make a comment.

Posted by Chris J. (Horquilla) on 10/01/2010 at 9:36 PM

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