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The Arizona Mining Reform Coalition is comprised of Arizona groups and individuals that work to ensure that responsible mining contributes to healthy communities, a healthy environment, and, when all costs are factored in, is a net benefit to Arizona. The Arizona Mining Reform Coalition expects the mining industry to clean up after itself, comply fully with the spirit of safeguards in place to protect Arizona, and to interact in a transparent and open manner with Arizona citizens.

Rio Tinto Incomplete Mining Plan

Proposed Toxic Tailings SiteProposed Toxic Tailings Site

For nearly ten years, Rio Tinto has avoided divulging any real details of its proposed huge underground block cave mine under Oak Flat.  Instead, Rio Tinto has spent their time trying to convince the US Congress to pass special interest legislation that would privatize Oak Flat and avoid most of the federal process for permitting mine on public land.

Last November, in an effort to revive their floundering 12 version of the Oak Flat land exchange bill, Rio Tinto bowed to pressure from both sides, and released a mining plan.  Rio Tinto's PR since the release of the plan has been "we gave you the plan, now give us the land exchange."  

Please donate now to help us in 2014

Please make a charitable contribution to the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition.

Last year was a good year for us, but there is much more to do in 2014.  We need your financial support.  Please make a donation to the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition so we can continue our work to protect Oak Flat, the Santa Rita Mountains, and Arizona’s many lands and waters threatened by inappropriate  mining projects.

We have accomplished much in 2013:

Rio Tinto to release incomplete mining plan in ploy to force land exchange bill

Rio Tinto plans to submit a mining plan of operations to the US Forest Service early next week regarding their dream of building a mine at Oak Flat.  Curiously, Rio Tinto has stated that the plan will not be available to the public until next year!

Rio Tinto has gone to great lengths to avoid filing a plan since 2004, opting instead to cajole the US Congress to pass a bill giving them Oak Flat without detailing how destructive a mine at Oak Flat would be to sacred, ecologically critical, and recreationally important lands. 

The submitting of the plan is timed to jump start HR 687 in the US House of Representatives, which was stalled in October when the bill was poised for a vote on the House floor but was pulled by the House leadership.  The bill’s sponsors in the House were worried that the Lujan amendment (which forbids the Secretary of Agriculture from giving any sacred lands at Oak Flat to Rio Tinto) would pass, effectively scuttling the land exchange itself. The US Senate has scheduled a hearing on the Senate version of the bill, S 339 for November 20.

HR 687 to be voted on by House today. Act now to stop the bill!

HR 687 is scheduled to come to the House floor today, November 13.  Oak Flat (Please help us protect it!)Oak Flat (Please help us protect it!)

Please contact your Representative now and ask him/her to vote YES on the Lujan amendment to HR 687 and to vote NO on the Oak Flat land exchange (HR 687).

The Lujan amendment would prevent the Secretary of Agriculture from giving any sacred land to RIo Tinto.

Sign a Petition to Protect Oak Flat

Apache LeapApache LeapAn hour east of Phoenix and a half hour west of the current boundaries of the San Carlos Indian Reservation lays a unique ecosystem that not only is critical for religious freedom for Native Americans, but is a recreationists’ Mecca.  The center of this area, Oak Flat Campground was forever set aside for public use by President Eisenhower more than 50 years ago.

Now, two huge foreign mining companies want to take Oak Flat from the public so the can build a mine that will devastate the area.  They have gone straight to Congress and asked them to pass legislation that would bypass the normal process of approving mines.

 This Thursday, February 9th, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will be holding a hearing to compare two recent bills that would take away Oak Flat.

 Both bills would give away Oak Flat and destroy Gaan Canyon, Queen Creek Canyon, and Apache Leap.  Both bills would devastate the watershed.  The entire area is sacred to Native Americans and both bills would curtail religious freedoms.  Both bills would end recreational opportunities and their positive economic impact on the surrounding towns.

 There is solid and massive opposition to both bills by Native American, conservation, recreation, and other organizations.

 You can help protect Oak Flat by signing a petition that will go to the Senate and other decision-makers to stand with so many others that want to keep Oak Flat public.

Roger Featherstone, Director


  • Go to the action page.
  • Print out a paper copy of the petition and circulate for signatures
  • For more information, go to the action page.
  • Share this alert with your friends and colleagues and share on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets.

Arizona Mining Reform Coalition attends Rio Tinto AGM in London

This morning, April 18th, 2013, Rio Tinto held their Annual General Meeting in London.  Our Director, Roger Featherstone, was in town and attended the meeting.  

During the meeting, Roger was able to ask the Rio Tinto Board of Directors the following question:

Town of Superior passes Resolution opposing the Oak Flat land exchange

On March 13, 2013, the town council of Superior, Arizona passed a unanimous resolution opposing HR 687, the latest version of the Oak Flat land exchange.  The resolution passed following a town council meeting a week ago in which the town council took comments on their decision to oppose the land exchange and end a Mutual Benefits Agreement with Rio Tinto. At that meeting, the majority of comments supported the town decision.Superior Town Council meetingSuperior Town Council meeting

During the council meeting Rio Tinto threatened to lay off it's workers if the town passed the resolution.  This is similar to a threat Rio Tinto made last November to lay off most of their workers is the previous version of the land exchange, HR 1904, was not approved by Congress.  There is no word yet whether Rio Tinto will follow through with their threat now that the resolution has been passed.

See a copy of the resolution.

Town of Superior Ends Agreements with Rio Tinto

Main Street, SuperiorMain Street, Superior

On February 21, 2013, the town of Superior officially terminated its Mutual Benefits Agreement with Rio Tinto and withdrew it's letter of support for the Oak Flat land exchange.  

The town's letter begins, "Due to the financial condition of the Town of Superior, I have been instructed to inform you that we regret that we can no longer express our unqualified support of the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act (HR 687 or SB 339, as drafted.)"

The letter cites 6 reasons for the termination with its relationship with Rio Tinto:

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Dr. Radut