Monday, April 23, 2007

The Copper Belt in the News

I'll update this post later, but wanted to drop a couple of news blurbs focusing on the Copper Belt here in Arizona - a region close to my heart since the family roots run deeply there.

First, the screwing that was attempted by GOPer Rick Renzi (AZ-01) to an area that he never visits, even though he supposedly represents them on the Hill.
SUPERIOR, Ariz. -- As they dig for nickel, copper and other commodities in the far corners of the earth, the world's largest mining companies, Rio Tinto PLC and BHP Billiton Ltd., are used to solving geological problems. Here, though, the problems they encountered were political.

North America's largest copper lode is believed to be buried more than a mile beneath Apache Leap, the stark red cliffs that loom above this storied Old West town about an hour east of Phoenix. Resolution Copper Co., a joint venture between Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, wants to mine it. But first it needs Congress to approve a federal land exchange, under which Resolution would swap 5,000 acres of private land for 3,000 acres of public land near its planned mine.

In exchange for supporting the bill, the local congressman, Rick Renzi, a Republican, insisted on something in return: He wanted Resolution to buy, as part of the land swap, a 480-acre alfalfa field near his hometown of Sierra Vista, according to documents and people involved in the deal.

Wall Street Journal, via AZNetroots
And this, from the AssPress (yes! skippy coined that phrase too!)
Faded copper boomtowns in the Pinal Mountains, 85 miles east of Phoenix, are about to boom again.

Soaring copper prices have companies scrambling to open new mines in the mineral-rich Globe-Miami Mining District or restart older operations that were closed when metals prices plunged a decade ago. But the historic Gila County mining towns of Globe and Miami are not prepared to handle the renewed mining activity in the area and the up to 1,000 new jobs it is expected to bring.


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