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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.

Colorado Mine Release Requires 1872 Mining Law Reform

On August 5, 2015, a cleanup crew hired by the US EPA accidentally triggered the release of more than 3 million gallons of toxic acid mine drainage that had pooled inside the defunct Gold King Mine in the headwaters of the Animas River.

The toxic plume colored the Animas a neon orange-yellow and forced the closure of the Animas for more than a week and contaminated water wells along the river.  The plume is now traveling down the San Juan River and will end up in Lake Powell. 

This is a tragic event to be sure and many are blaming the EPA.  Without a doubt, congress and state agencies will be using this accident as a blunt instrument to attack the EPA.  However, there is plenty of blame to go around.

Ask your Representative to Cosponsor the Save Oak Flat Act

Please contact your Congressional Representative today and ask him/her to cosponsor the Save Oak Flat Act to repeal Section 3003 of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Last December in the closing days of the 113th Congress in the dead of night, Rio Tinto’s Congressional supporters stuck the Oak Flat land exchange onto a must past national defense bill.  The land exchange became Section 3003 of the defense bill.  Section 3003 has nothing to do with national defense, but Rio Tinto’s supports knew that the land exchange would not pass on its own. 

Sign a Comment Letter to acknowledge Oak Flat's Cultural & Historic Importance

The National Park Service is accepting comments about placing Oak Flat on the list of National Historic Places as a Traditional Cultural Property because of its sacredness and significance to Native American Tribes. 

The nomination would list Oak Flat as a Traditional Cultural Property on the National Register of Historic Places.  (Note that the nomination uses the Apache name for Oak Flat, Chi’chil Bildagoteel.)

Please take action and sign a letter to the National Park Service (who is responsible for making the final decision on adding Oak Flat to the list) to help protect Oak Flat.

The deadline for you to sign the letter is noon (Arizona Time) on Monday, June 29, so act now. 

Oak Flat named to 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list

National Trust for Historic Preservation names sacred Arizona site threatened by copper mining to list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places

(Oak Flat, Arizona) -- The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named Oak Flat, near Superior, Arizona, to its 2015 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. The annual list spotlights important examples of the nation’s architectural, cultural and natural heritage that are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage.

National Days of Prayer to Protect Native American Sacred Places takes place in Washington, DC

Observances and ceremonies will be held across the land on June 19-24 to mark the 2015 National Days of Prayer to Protect Native American Sacred Places.

The prayer events include Oak Flat.

The observance in Washington, D.C. will be held on Friday, June 19, at 8:30 a.m., on the United States Capitol Grounds, West Front Grassy Area Nine (see details under Washington, D.C. in the alphabetical listing by state on the following pages).

Go here for the press release and schedule of events.

Statement of Roger Featherstone at Rio Tinto AGM 4-16-15

Here is the statement of the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition at this morning's Rio Tinto Annual General Meeting in London:

Thank you for the opportunity to speak. I have come to London again to speak to you and continued to be troubled by the activities of a Rio Tinto at Oak Flat, which is sacred and ecologically priceless public land.

First regarding the promises of Rio Tinto starting from the top, at last year's AGM, Sam Walsh, your CEO, promised to contact me about a visit the next time he was in Arizona. However, Mr. Walsh and his entourage was observed by our encampment at Oak Flat, flying into the #10 mine shaft site in a fancy helicopter a few weeks ago, sticking around to meet with mine supporters for a few minutes and then leaving. No contact, or notice of the visit.

Sign a Petition to Repeal the Oak Flat Land Exchange

High above the town of Superior a hour east of Phoenix, Arizona, lies Oak Flat.  Oak Flat campground was protected from mining by President Eisenhower in 1955 and is a rare desert riparian area with large oak trees, cool shade, year around water in pools and springs.  Oak Flat is sacred to Native American tribes and critical for religious freedom.  It is a recreational haven and popular for camping, hiking, rock climbing, and bridwatching.

Unfortunately, Oak Flat is under attack by two huge foreign mining companies that refuse to play by the rules in the quest for control this incredible place. 

On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law.  The bill contained the Oak Flat land exchange which gives Oak Flat to the mining companies.  

This midnight deal is the culmination of 10 years of work by Arizona’s Senators and some Congressmen at the behest of Rio Tinto, to subvert the will of not only Native American Tribes, conservation organizations, the Superior Town Council, and others, but the will of the United States Congress who has forcefully rejected the land exchange for nearly 10 years.

Oak Flat will not be turned over to Rio Tinto until 60 days after the publication of a Final Environmental Impact Statement.  Until that time, Oak Flat remains public land owned by all Americans free to be enjoyed and celebrated by all. 

During this time, we must all work together to demand that Congress correct its mistake and repeal Section 3003 of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Please sign this petition and do everything you can to protect Oak Flat.

Go to our action alert page to sign the petition.

You can go here for a copy of the petition you can print and circulate.  Mail or email it back to us when it is full.

Apaches Meet Forest Service at Oak Flat

Press Release

February 17, 2015

For Immediate Release 


Wendsler Nosie, Sr.,                                                   Vernelda Grant

(928) 475-2930                                                           (928) 961-3380 

Stills and video are available from the event.

An historic meeting took place today between Apache spiritual organization and the US Forest Service at Chich’il Bildagoteel (Oak Flat). 

President Obama signs land exchange into law signaling new phase in the protection of Oak Flat

On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed the National defense Authorization Act into law.  The bill contained the Oak Flat land exchange.  This particular version of the land exchange was the 13th since the bill was first introduced in Congress by convicted former Congressman, Rick Renzi in 2005.  Senator Flake, who previously worked for Rio Tinto at their uranium mine (co-owned by the Iranian government) in Namibia, acknowledged what we all knew, the bill could not pass the US Congress on its own merits.

New Oak Flat land exchange language is a non-starter

Rio Tinto's supporters changed the language of the Oak Flat land exchange in an attempt to make it more palatable fortheir colleagues and to curry additional support when they attached it as a rider to the  National Defense Authorization Act.  The Oak Flat land exchange is buried the defense bill (Page 1103 of the 1,600 page bill) as section 3003.  The bill has passed the House of Represenatives, but has not yet come up for a vote in the Senate.

One of Rio Tinto's supporters even went to far to imply that the Director of the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition is OK with the changes in the bill.  He knows better, and of course, nothing could be further from the truth.  The langauge changes are mostly greenwashing and are still a far cry from what is needed to protect Oak Flat.

We have prepared a fact sheet explaining why the changes in the bill fall far short of the mark.

Take a look at the fact sheet.

There is still time to contact your Senators and ask them to strip the Oak Flat land exchange from the National Defense Authorization Act.  For more information about how you can take action, go here.

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Dr. Radut