>> This is the Resolution Copper Mine located about an hour outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Resolution is shaping up to be the deepest mine in the United States, taking copper from a deposit buried 7,000 feet below the Earth's surface. Supporters of the mines say it will bring thousands of badly needed jobs to the area.
But the mine has its detractors from Native American group who say the land that's being drilled is sacred, to locals who worry the mine could do more harm than good for the community. Chief among the worries of locals and activists are that the mine will use massive amounts of water to, create a pile of toxic waste almost as big as the nearby mountain, and swallow a Native American holy site in a deep unstable crater.
>> Some core samples that had some high grade copper.>> Inside Resolution's office in Superior, a 3D map of the site is equipped with a tear away portion that shows what it might look like when a mile and a half wide area of land will sink about 1,000 feet into the Earth.
Roger Featherstone, who is the Director of the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition, which is fighting Resolution's mine plan, says that is unacceptable.>> There's so much value in this area for things other than mineral extraction, a short-term partial benefit at the extent of the environment and the sacred, basically, something you can't put a value on.
>> I spoke to Victoria Pessey, who's in-charge of environmental permitting and approvals for the project about the concerns over all the water that would be needed to run the mine, which could use up to 6.5 billion gallons of water a year, once it's up and running.>> There's lots of different ways that you can look for that water, some of it is the sort of story for future use, it could be a direct allocation of the canal.
So we're looking at a variety of different sources for that.>> Rio Tinto has spent the last 16 years and over a billion dollars on this mine, but it does not yet have regulatory approval. That's where President Trump's Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, comes in. He wants to streamline permitting for big US mining and manufacturing projects.
He says the Resolution Mine is a perfect example of the kind of project that should be spared the layers of red tape it currently faces.