I am a conservationist. But I am also a user of all things requiring metals, so admittedly a hypocrite. I was horrified to see the open pit mines on my trip to Arizona. I couldn't believe that there were no regulations in place to prevent such a despoilment on the landscape. I wanted to learn more, so I found this tour on Tripadvisor.
I had a private tour with Ed and Kermit. Knowledgeable and good-natured, Ed was able to answer most of my questions, and without engaging me in useless hyperbole. Copper is necessary, and that is that. The prime technology used to extract the metals is based on a process probably discovered 100 years ago. Since the market is so volatile, the mining companies only invest in technologies to make their operations more profitable, NOT technologies that might save the planet from the blight of open pit mining.
Take your kids to this mine and challenge them. Ask them what they think of the process, and then ask them if they might want to go to a mining college and come up with a better way. Ask them if they think this is a good way to treat our planet. Ask them if they think the overburden mountains are as pretty as the natural ones to the east of the valley. And then ask them if they see the value of reduce/reuse/recycle.
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