The Main Stream

Nov 10, 2011 7:02 PM

Patagonia preps for possible mining

PATAGONIA - People in the town of Patagonia are worried over the idea that mining companies are showing an interest in the copper and silver deposits in the nearby mountain ranges.

David Teel, the town manager, says the companies, from Australia and Canada, are in the exploratory phase with low impact drilling. But Teel and Mayor Ike Isakson are worried about the town's water supply and its roads. Teel said Patagonia's population is 913 and a has a small town feel, "Patagonia is a tourist oriented, pedestrian, walkable town."

Mayor Isakson agrees, "The people in town are very mixed, from all walks of life. All groups. All incomes. But everybody just lives in a simpatico relationship."

Though the mines, if approved, would likely create jobs, Teel and Isakson are not convinced. Teel said, "Patagonia already has a history of mining. They started mining back here as soon as they could get the Apaches out of the way. And they kept it up until right after the second World War and then they went away and left us with just holes on the mountains. We've had a slice from that loaf and we just like tourism better."

Isakson, who has lived in Patagonia for 32 years said, "Mining in itself is nothing wrong with it. We need the natural resources and I believe natural resources should be used but not at the expense of people."

A public forum is scheduled for Novement 14th at 6 p.m. in the Patagonia Town Hall.

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