Pinal Central recently published an editorial about the Florence Copper Project:
After years of working to gain approval, Florence Copper in December was notified it is to receive a federal permit to test its procedure for leaching copper underground. More appeals are ahead, but the company is getting closer to having a chance to prove its methods.
In-situ leaching really is nothing new, as it has been approved elsewhere over a long time. Once the final go-ahead is received, employment will be in the tens for construction and hundreds for later production.
Besides the limited project on state leased land, the company would like to mine in a wider area but has been stymied by the town of Florence. That may be revisited if the first project is successful. The company says its test at the site will be especially rigorous.
The procedure certainly seems safe and is a far cry from the strip mining that was proposed for the ore body decades ago. It also will be a major boost to the economy of Florence and Pinal County.