Tag Archives: copper

Curis Resources - Florence Copper Project

Florence Copper receives final APP permit

Florence Copper announced that the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (“ADEQ”) has completed the required public consultation and review process relating to the Aquifer Protection Permit (“APP”) for Phase 1 operations at the Florence Copper Project (“Florence Copper”) site.

The ADEQ permit outlines the safety standards and regulatory oversight required by the State of Arizona for the protection of water quality at the project site.  The APP requires Florence Copper to meet the most stringent health and safety requirements during its operation, ensuring the protection of the environment at all times.

Florence Copper would like to thank the members of the public who provided their comments on the initial APP issued in September 2012 and the hard work and leadership shown by ADEQ staff in preparing this final approval.

“Receiving the final APP for the Phase 1 operations after a thorough public consultation process is good news for Florence Copper and for the Town of Florence,” said Florence Copper Vice President and General Manager Dan Johnson.  “ADEQ is the agency responsible for protecting Arizona’s water quality and they have done just that with this permit.”

The APP is one of two major operating permits Florence Copper requires to move to the first phase of operations at the site.  Phase 1 operations will consist of a Production Test Facility (“PTF”) that includes a 24-well in-situ recovery well field, a state of the art solvent extraction/electrowinning facility that will produce pure copper cathode, and associated infrastructure.  The PTF will demonstrate the science and safety of in-situ technology.

Additional information regarding Florence Copper can be found at www.florencecopper.com.

Curis Resources - Florence Copper Project

Judge dismisses copper mine permit lawsuit

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the state’s decision to award a ground-water protection permit to Curis Resources for its planned copper mine in Florence.

The town of Florence, Pulte Homes and others sued last September, challenging the Department of Environmental Quality’s decision to award Curis Resources a temporary permit for testing for an underground copper peaching operation.

According to the Casa Grande Dispatch, the Feb. 16 ruling by Judge Arthur Anderson of Maricopa County Superior Court says the department acted within its authority under state law.

Curis Resources - Florence Copper Project

Florence Copper Project expands management team

Curis Resources has hired Loren H. Locher as director of public affairs to assist in the continued growth and development of Florence Copper, an in-situ copper recovery project in central Arizona.

“Loren is a wonderful addition to the Florence Copper team and we are fortunate to have someone with his experience to provide leadership for our public affairs and community relations program in Arizona,” said Bruce Marsh, senior vice president of strategic and corporate affairs for Curis Resources. “His knowledge and understanding of stakeholder outreach and relationship building, and his familiarity with Arizona communities, local governments and their needs, will significantly augment the leadership team at Florence Copper.”

Locher brings more than 15 years of experience in public and government affairs, project management and stakeholder outreach to his new role. At Curis, he will oversee community and public affairs outreach and play a key role in coordinating Florence Copper’s stakeholder relations program. Locher will also lead the development and implementation of Florence Copper’s communication strategies and supplement Curis’ ongoing engagement with local and regional regulatory authorities.

“I believe in Florence Copper’s promise, in the environmental technologies it will employ to protect water resources, and the benefits it will provide to local communities,” Locher said. “I look forward to working with the leaders and residents of the Town of Florence, Pinal County and the state of Arizona as we move into the next phase of this exciting project.”

Before joining Florence Copper, Locher served as regional director for government affairs and stakeholder outreach at the El Paso Corporation in Houston. During this time, Locher directed government and stakeholder outreach, and focused on legislative activities, political monitoring and relationship building. Prior to the El Paso Corporation, he worked for Compaq and Olympic Natural Gas. As a Phoenix resident, Locher has also served on the boards of Arizona Tax Research Association and Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

pennies

Mint tries to make cheaper change

When it comes to making coins, the Mint isn’t getting its two cents worth. In some cases, it doesn’t even get half of that. A penny costs more than two cents and a nickel costs more than 11 cents to make and distribute. The quandary is how to make coins more cheaply without sparing our change’s quality and durability, or altering its size and appearance.

A 400-page report presented last week to Congress outlines nearly two years of trials conducted at the Mint in Philadelphia, where a variety of metal recipes were put through their paces in the massive facility’s high-speed coin-making machinery.

Evaluations of 29 different alloys concluded that none met the ideal list of attributes. The Treasury Department concluded that additional study was needed before it could endorse any changes.

“We want to let the data take us where it takes us,” Dick Peterson, the Mint’s acting director, said Wednesday. More test runs with different alloys are likely in the coming year, he said.

The government has been looking for ways to shave the millions it spends every year to make bills and coins. Congressional auditors recently suggested doing away with dollar bills entirely and replacing them with dollar coins, which they concluded could save taxpayers some $4.4 billion over three decades. Canada is dropping its penny as part of an austerity budget.

To test possible new metal combinations, the U.S. Mint struck penny-, nickel- and quarter-sized coins with “nonsense dies” — images that don’t exist on legal tender (a bonneted Martha Washington is a favorite subject) but are similar in depth and design to real currency.

Test stampings were examined for color, finish, resistance to wear and corrosion, hardness and magnetic properties. That last item might be the trickiest, as coin-operated equipment such as vending machines and parking meters detect counterfeits not just by size and weight but by each coin’s specific magnetic signature.

Except for pennies, all current U.S. circulating coins have the electromagnetic properties of copper, the report said.

A slight reduction in the nickel content of our quarters, dimes and nickels would bring some cost savings while keeping the magnetic characteristics the same. Making more substantial changes, like switching to steel or other alloys with different magnetic properties, could mean big savings to the government but at a big cost to coin-op businesses, Peterson said.

The vending industry estimates it would cost between $700 million and $3.5 billion to recalibrate machines to recognize coins with an additional magnetic signature. The Mint’s researchers reached a lower but still pricey estimate of $380 million to $630 million.

Another challenge for the Mint is the rising cost of copper (used in all U.S. coins) and nickel (used in all except pennies).

Only four of the 80 metals on the periodic table — aluminum, iron (used to make steel), zinc and lead — cost less than copper and nickel, the report stated. Lead isn’t an option because of its potential health hazards.

manufacturing - Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2012

Computer & Aerospace Manufacturing – Arizona Builds Its Financial Future

Computer and aerospace manufacturing plays a significant role in Arizona’s financial future.

The economic storm that has wreaked havoc for most businesses was barely a breeze for Michael McPhie.

“We were really not affected negatively,” says the CEO of Curis Resources, a mineral exploration and development company in Florence. “The economic downturn really did not affect the demand for some commodities, so copper mining continues to be a significant economic engine for the state.”

With 10 percent of the world’s copper supply coming from Arizona, a combination of continued high demand from China and innovative and cost-effective methods of extraction allowed the copper industry — one of Arizona’s oldest professions — to weather the economic storm with little damage.

While Arizona’s Top 10 manufacturing companies added about 3,200 jobs in 2011, some of the state’s other manufacturing companies were not so lucky.

“It certainly wasn’t easy, especially for our smaller manufacturers, who make up 79 percent of Arizona’s manufacturing sector and employ four or fewer people,” says Mark Dobbins, senior vice president and secretary for SUMCO Phoenix Corporation, which manufactures silicon wafers for the semiconductor industry. “Although companies of all sizes were affected by the recession, they were probably hit the hardest.”

While the state’s manufacturing sector is holding steady, the uncertainty coming out of Washington and in the financial markets has not helped its economic recovery, according to Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“The federal health care law, EPA regulations and a National Labor Relations Board that has taken positions hostile to manufacturing has likely done more to slow recovery than spur it on,” Hamer says. “The governor and the Legislature, however, have responded decisively, passing in 2011 a once-in-a-generation economic competitiveness package that makes Arizona more attractive than ever to manufacturers.”

The Arizona Competitiveness Package includes a mix of tax reforms and business incentives designed to encourage expansion among existing Arizona companies, while establishing Arizona as an attractive location for businesses worldwide.

“Arizona manufacturers have underperformed in the export arena as compared to other states in the last several years,” Hamer says. “Economic competitiveness legislation passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor last year goes far in attracting manufacturers, especially those who sell beyond Arizona borders.”

While the landmark 2011 legislation was a shot in the arm for manufacturing and business, the Arizona Manufacturers Council — which serves the state in conjunction with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry — has identified several legislative issues that are important to manufacturing in 2012, Hamer says. The Arizona Manufacturers Council is striving to:

  1. Streamline regulations and the issuance of permits.
  2. Eliminate barriers to economic development created by inadequate infrastructure for capital intensive manufacturing operations.
  3. Promote a friendlier legal environment through tort reform.
  4. Support policies that will strengthen the solvency of Arizona’s unemployment insurance system.

“We need a clearly defined economic goal and strong collaborative leadership for the next five, 10, 15 and 20 years for the state,” says Dobbins, who is also immediate past chairman of the Arizona Manufacturers Council. “We need a clear education pathway to support Arizonans’ having the job skills to meet the challenges of that goal. We have the infrastructure to become a major player in all of our primary industry sectors. Now we have to create the political will to set the state’s objective to become the international commercial and business hub of the Southwest.”

To get there, Dobbins says, “We need to rid ourselves of outdated policies that discourage businesses from relocating here and be aggressive at pursuing growth. We must invest in education and fund our schools and universities properly so they produce graduates who are vocationally skilled and/or STEM-skilled and job-ready.”

Even in the copper mining industry is transitioning into a knowledge-based workforce, McPhie says.

“We are working with local colleges so we can attract and educate the best and the brightest engineers, hydrologists and geologists,” McPhie says. “There are tremendous opportunities to make significant wages in the copper mining industry, particularly because there will be a significant numbers of retirees due to our industry’s aging workforce.”

It’s not just the mining industry that is looking for a new generation of workers. “We’ve also seen manufacturing (hiring) pick up substantially in the last month,” says Andy Ernst, regional vice president for Robert Half International, a staffing services firm.

While Dobbins says the computer and electronic product manufacturing is generally considered among the state’s strongest manufacturing areas, the production of transportation equipment — which includes the aerospace and defense industries — could be the most captivating, yet challenging, sector to watch in the next several years.

Boeing Phantom Eye

Photo courtesy Boeing

“The advent of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the defense sphere is extremely exciting for Arizona manufacturing,” Hamer says. “The AMC is working with the Arizona Aerospace and Defense Commission and other stakeholders to secure Arizona’s position as a leading location for research and development, manufacturing, and testing of UAS, and we are supporting Arizona’s proposal to be designated by the Federal Aviation Administration as a national UAS testing area.”

Arizona’s largest aerospace and defense companies are investing in the future of UAS, which the military uses to track enemy movements, bomb targets and move supplies without putting soldiers in harm’s way. Boeing moved its unmanned division to Mesa, where it can manufacture the A160T Hummingbird, the company’s flagship unmanned aircraft, once every 12 days. Raytheon in Tucson is working on several UAS innovations, including an operating system that would make it easier to install various brands of sensors and communicate among multiple unmanned aircraft.

But aerospace and defense isn’t the only area expected to create new jobs.

“In addition to the potential growth of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Arizona, Intel’s $5 billion investment in a new factory in Chandler will require 1,000 workers and is creating 14,000 jobs in the construction sector in anticipation of the facility’s completion in 2013,” Hamer says. “The investment has a tremendous downstream effect on other companies.”
Renewable energy is another potential hotbed for growth.

“If it is able to overcome certain global market challenges, certainly the solar industry has big growth potential for the future of our state,” Dobbins says. “Also, as long as we, as a society, continue to be in love with personal electronics — computers, laptops, cell phones — and our cars, manufacturing in Arizona will continue to grow.”

To help that growth, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is focused on two initiatives:

  1. Southwest<>Direct, which aims to make Arizona the international commercial and business hub of the Southwestern U.S.
  2. A collaboration between the education community and business to secure highly trained, vocational skills-certified and STEM-certified employees for today and tomorrow’s increasingly technical workplace.

“The Chamber and the AMC are (also) working together to promote a tax environment that attracts manufacturing, including reforms to the state’s treatment of income derived from capital gains, and lengthening the time businesses can carry losses forward against future profits as way of encouraging more startups and businesses that require large capital investments,” Hamer says.

Despite the increase in job creation and slight decrease in economic despair, the state’s manufacturing sector still faces some challenges.

“With looming federal budget cuts, Arizona’s defense and aerospace manufacturers stand to face some big changes,” Hamer says. “It is incumbent upon our leaders to continue to position our state as a leader in this field by aggressively pursuing Unmanned Aerial Systems flight testing, research and manufacturing in Arizona.”

Hamer says that it will be imperative for lawmakers and business leaders to have a unified vision for the future of manufacturing in Arizona.

“Arizona needs to be mindful of the growing creep of regulations and red tape that stifles business’ ability to focus on innovation and investment,” Hamer says. “Gov. Jan Brewer recognized this when her first act as governor was to institute a regulatory moratorium; the Legislature soon followed the governor’s action with a sweeping regulatory reform package of its own. Increased transparency in the regulatory sphere at all levels of government will help attract (new) manufacturing to Arizona.”

ARIZONA AEROSPACE

Here are four of the major players in Arizona’s defense and aerospace industry:

Boeing: The company’s 4,878-employee Defense, Space & Security facility in Mesa is best known for producing the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter for the U.S. Army. Additional work at the Mesa facility includes production of electrical subassemblies for the F/A-18, F-15, and C-17 aircraft.

General Dynamics: With more than 5,400 employees at its Scottsdale headquarters, General Dynamics C4 Systems specializes in command and control, communications networking, computing and information assurance for defense, government and select commercial customers in the U.S. and abroad.

Honeywell International: With more than 10,000 employees at 21 Arizona facilities, Honeywell International contracts with the Department of Defense through both their Aerospace and their Automation and Control Solutions business units. In particular, Honeywell Aerospace is headquartered in Phoenix, with major facilities in Tempe, Glendale, and Tucson.

Raytheon Missile Systems: Headquartered in Tucson with 12,000 Arizona employees, Raytheon Missile Systems designs, develops, and produces weapon systems for the U.S. military and the armed forces of more than 50 countries.

Arizona Business Magazine May/June 2012

state flag - centennial medallions available

Arizona’s Centennial Medallions Available Online

Arizonans can now celebrate Arizona’s five “C’s” with two more — commemorative coins.  Developed and produced by the Arizona Historical Advisory Commission, centennial medallions are now available for purchase on the Centennial Commission’s website.

The Arizona Historical Advisory Commission (AHAC) was organized to create awareness and promote observance of Arizona’s Centennial at the local and state level in 2005.  As a part of their responsibilities, the commission was tasked to develop and issue commemorative medallions.

The gold, silver and copper medallions are two-sided disks have the text “Arizona centennial medallion – February 14, 1912 – 2012,” cast on one side and the state seal struck on the other.

The price of the medallions will vary as the cost gold, silver and copper fluctuates.  The gold medallion, is currently valued at $3,128 while the silver and copper medallions are $65 and $5 respectively. Visit the Centennial Commission’s online store at www.az100years.org for more information.

Proceeds from the sale of centennial medallions shall be deposited in a separate account of the state library fund and used by AHAC to fund Centennial Legacy Projects and activities.  Upon completion of the projects remaining funds shall be deposited in the state general fund.

For more information on Arizona’s centennial medallions and more, visit Arizona’s centennial’s website at az100years.org.

FiveCsBanner

The Five C’s of Arizona

Copper, cattle, cotton, citrus and climate. These “Five C’s” were the core of Arizona’s economy when it first became a state. Though not as important today, they assist in bringing residents and tourists alike to Arizona. If you went to elementary school here you may have heard of these in the classroom. If not, here is a quick breakdown:

The five C's of Arizona's economy