Rio Tinto approves further investment of US$302mn in Arizona copper project

By Sarah Smith

Rio Tinto has announced that it has approved an additional US$302mn in financing for the Resolution Copper project in Arizona, USA, to fund drilling, ore-body studies, permit acquisition and upgrades to infrastructure.

In its press release on the matter, Rio Tinto said it aims to accelerate the project through to the final stage of its permitting phase and highlighted the project’s potential output when at full operation.

The project stands to serve 25% of the USA’s copper demand, and will create several thousand jobs in Arizona’s Pioneer Mining District.

Resolution is currently in its seventh year of the environmental review and approval process conducted by the US Forest Service.

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“Resolution is one of the most significant undeveloped copper deposits in the world and this additional funding demonstrates Rio Tinto’s commitment to bring the mine into production,” said Rio Tinto’s Chief Executive JS Jacques in the firm’s press release.

“The comprehensive permitting process is well underway with the Environmental Impact Study on track to be completed next year according to the regulators schedule.

Including this latest cash injection, the project’s partners have invested over $2bn to develop and permit Resolution since 2004.

Jacques added: “The rise of electric vehicles, battery storage, new transmission technology and other green energy innovations are highly copper intensive. 

“We need to prepare now to meet this future demand. Resolution will be well positioned to provide North American manufacturers the copper that is essential to their products.”

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