Native American communities in eastern Arizona, USA, look set to benefit from a new source of clean drinking water through a project sponsored by Resolution Copper and Stantec to deploy innovative renewable “hydropanel” technology, the mine developer says.
Resolution Copper and Stantec are partnering with White Mountain Apache community members to provide 64 hydropanels on the Fort Apache Reservation and supporting hydropanel installation programs in other Native American communities.
White Mountain Apache Tribe District II Councilman, Jerold Altaha, said: “Water is valuable; it’s the life force of humanity. Thanks to this wonderful opportunity with Resolution Copper, our community of Carrizo will have access to safe, clean drinking water. Due to high levels of manganese in the main water wells, our community has had to depend on portable water tanks as a means to obtain drinking/cooking water for years. The hydropanels will now enable us to draw water from the air which will provide up to 10 litres of water or about 20 16 oz bottles a day, at no cost to the family. We are grateful for these opportunities which continue to make a difference in everyday life for our people and community.”
Stantec Water Business Operating Unit Leader, John Take, added: “We are proud to be a part of this effort to provide safe, reliable drinking water to the Native American communities in eastern Arizona. Innovative and renewable methods such as the hydropanel technology are playing an increased role in helping solve these complex problems in a sustainable manner.”
Hydropanels are a one-of-a-kind renewable water technology that uses the solar energy to provide a safe and consistent supply of drinking water by drawing pure, constantly replenished water vapour out of the sky, according to Resolution Copper. The self-contained system converts water molecules in the air into liquid water, which is collected and mineralised in a reservoir inside the panel, creating high-quality drinking water that can be delivered directly to homes, businesses, and community distribution centres.
Resolution Copper Project Director, Andrew Lye, said: “Water is a fundamental resource, and many members of our neighbouring Tribes do not have reliable access to safe drinking water. Projects like the hydropanel deployment will help alleviate some of the burden, and make a difference where it matters most. Resolution Copper continues to look for ways in which we can work in partnership to be part of the solution and support the communities around us.”
So far, Resolution Copper has invested nearly $2.8 million through partnerships and donations to projects with Native American Tribes and other communities in the Copper Corridor in 2021.
The Resolution Copper project is a proposed underground mine 96 km east of Phoenix, Arizona, near the town of Superior. The project is a joint venture owned by Rio Tinto (55%) and BHP (45%).
To date, more than $2 billion has been spent to develop and permit the project, including reclamation of the historic Magma Copper Mine site, sinking a second shaft to mining depth, rehabilitating an existing shaft and deepening to mining depth, extensive drilling and orebody testing, and the federal approval and public engagement process.