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Aug 20, 2012 9:17 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Green Valley preps for waterlines tied to Rosemont Copper

SAHUARITA -- Community Water Company is prepping for a pipeline installation near the Nogales Highway that will connect the Green Valley area to Central Arizona Project waterlines.

While the first pipes will not be laid until after August 28, this is the first step in a planned pipeline that will stretch more than eight miles.

"The project will bring that water further down about eight miles to an area on the Santa Cruz River where we're going to recharge, said Raul Pina, the manager of the project. "It's going to provide a ground water recharge to the Green Valley - Sahuarita area."

Rosemont Copper's Canadian-based parent company, Augusta Resource Co., plans to pay for the project.

Jamie Sturgess, Senior V.P. for Rosemont Copper, says this was a cooperative effort to help the community's needs as well as the the company's needs for it's planned mine.

"Rosemont found a way to come up with a win-win situation," Sturgess told News 4 Tucson. "Community Water Company could ensure water availability to put in that pipeline for a number of years and Rosemont could use a combination of ground water and re-charged water to produce the copper it wanted to do for two decades plus."

However, some aren't sold on the idea.

"This is part of [Rosemont's] extensive smoke and mirrors campaign to promise the sky but actually what they deliver is a whole different story," said Roger Featherstone, director of the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition.

Featherstone opposes Rosemont's planned mine in fear of it's environmental impacts.

"According to the law, Rosemont could suck the water table dry in Green Valley and there's really nothing anybody could do about it," Featherstone said.

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