Florence Copper is located in the historic Copper Corridor of Arizona – a region steeped in copper mining history. Located midway between Phoenix and Tucson near the community of Florence, it is not a mine in the traditional sense. That’s because Florence Copper recovers the mineral using advanced technology called in-situ copper recovery (ISCR).
The ISCR process occurs 1,200 feet below ground in a bedrock layer beneath the lower aquifer unit. A solution (similar in pH to common household vinegar) is pumped under low pressure to dissolve the copper within the copper oxide zone. Copper-rich solution is then pumped to the surface through recovery wells for processing into 99.999% pure copper cathode sheets using an electro-chemical process that separates the copper from the solution. The solution is recycled into the deposit and the process repeats. This means the copper can be extracted without the use of pressure.
Florence Copper is owned by Taseko Mines – an intermediate copper producing company with operations in British Columbia. Taseko’s predecessor, Curis Resources Ltd. (which Taseko acquired in fall 2014) commissioned Seidman to produce two studies in 2012 and 2013.
In 2012, Seidman analyzed the existing (baseline) socioeconomic conditions in Florence and then used a REMI model to assess the economic impacts of the project. This initial study focused on 3 phases:
• The construction phase (2012-2014).
• The operations phase (2015-2033).
• The reclamation/closure phase (2034 – 2039).
In 2013, Seidman updated the original economic and fiscal impact analysis, based on a reassessment of the copper recovery that is expected to result from the mining operations planned for the Florence Copper project. Revised economic impacts were provided for both the State of Arizona and Pinal County. State and local tax revenue impacts were also provided for the Town of Florence.
Copies of both reports are available below.
Florence Copper Project: Economic Impact Study (April 2012)
Economic and Fiscal Impacts of the Florence Copper Project – Supplement (January 2014)