US Senate Approval Paves The Way For Copper Projects
On Friday, the United States Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act by a margin of 89 to 11. Included in the act are land provisions that will be key to the development of two major copper projects in the United States.
On Friday, the United States Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) by a margin of 89 to 11. Included in the NDAA are land provisions that will be key to the development of two copper projects in the United States once the act is signed into law. First, the Resolution copper project in Arizona, which is jointly owned by Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO,ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO) and BHP Billiton (NYSE: BHP,ASX:BHP,LSE:BLT), has been depending on a key land swap in order to secure land next to the project. Rio has said that the expansion is necessary for getting the most out of Resolution, which is set to produce up to 1 billion pounds of copper per year. Also affected by the NDAA's passing is Nevada Copper (TSX:NCU), whose Pumpkin Hollow project is in Nevada. The Yerington Land Bill, included in the NDAA, will speed up permitting for Stage 2 of the project — it will allow the city of Yerington to purchase federal land for the project, moving it under state jurisdiction. Resolution moving forward The Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act has been controversial in the past since it trades in protected land to be mined, as noted by The Huffington Post. However, the bill's inclusion in the annual NDAA helped it get on the fast track for approval. Resolution Copper Mining said in a statement that it is pleased that the bill passed in both houses "with strong bipartisan support." Once the legislation is signed into law, the company intends to focus on necessary environmental and regulatory reviews and a comprehensive valuation appraisal of the deposit as required by Congress.