WASHINGTON The mining
industry is a "perfect renaissance" to get the U.S. economy
back on track, Rep. Paul Gosar (R., Ariz.) said at the American
Copper Council meeting in Washington.
The federal government needs to
get behind a bill that would see the development of a huge
copper mine in Superior, east of Phoenix, the congressman
"We need to engage the rest of
Congress. ... If your answer (to supporting the bill) is no,
then what is your solution?" Gosar asked. "We all have to be
part of the solution process."
Gosar is a strong supporter of
the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act, which
would allow the federal government to give 2,400 acres of land
to Resolution Copper Mining Co. in Superior, where a vast
copper deposit lies.
In exchange, Resolution would
give more than 5,000 acres of land it owns throughout Arizona
to the government, for conservation.
Resolution is a joint venture
between Rio Tinto Plc and BHP Billiton Plc, and would provide
more than one-quarter of the United States current copper
Gosar said the minewhich
is expected to add some 3,700 direct, indirect and induced
jobswould provide the kind of kick start that the U.S.
"There are so many possibilities
that we have, and copper controls a lot of that. People are
saying, I want my way out of this recession," he
said at the meeting. "Im bullish on Arizona; its
poised to show this country how you get out of a
A smelter should be a natural
extension of the future Resolution Mine, Gosar said.
"There should be a process to
keep smelting in the U.S. as well," he added.
Gosar said he is confident the
bill is "something we can get done," but it needs to be a
collaborative effort between the Senate and the House of
Opponents to the bill say the
mine would desecrate a sacred site to the San Carlos Apache
tribe and consume huge volumes of water.