This evening, I supported the Gila Resources Information Project by summarizing my technical review and comments on the Emma Project, in which Freeport-McMoRan plans to add a new mine pit to its Tyrone operation. This would involve permanent dewatering of the eventual pit and remove anywhere from 30 to 100 acre-feet of water per year for the same aquifer relied on by existing nearby residents as their only source of water. I testified on the the potential for dewatering impacts to nearby domestic wells as well as my concerns about the hydrogeologic studies are supporting Freeport’s permit and water rights applications. It was a great experience, and it was nice to hear compliments from GRIP’s Executive Direction and its Board president.

Figure from Freeport’s consultant report predicting mine-related drawdown.

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