The Arizona Mining Association Promotes Mining Interests in Arizona

The Arizona Mining Association Claims To Be Arizona’s “Primary Advocate” For The State’s Mining Industry And Works On Legislative And Regulatory Issues

The Arizona Mining Association’s (AMA) Mission Says It Is “The Primary Advocate Of The Arizona Mining Industry.” “To be the primary advocate of the Arizona mining industry through promoting sound public policy at all levels of government, educating the public about the benefits of mining and supporting the sustainability of a safe and responsible mining industry.” [Arizona Mining Association, accessed 09/25/19]

  • AMA’s Advocacy Helps “Arizona Be The Premier Location For Mining Investment In The US” “We are a diversified mining association that is the unified voice of responsible, sustainable and safe mining in Arizona. We support educational programs that demonstrate the importance and benefits of mining to the economy and the quality of life. Our members benefit from productive relationships and alliances with government, business associations and natural resource industry groups. Through our advocacy, we help Arizona be the premier location for mining investment in the US.”  [Arizona Mining Association, accessed 09/25/19]

AMA Only Represents “Only Hard Rock Mining.” “The Arizona Mining Association (AMA) is celebrating its 50th year of existence. Realizing the need for companies to work together on important issues and regulation which affects the industry, the AMA was established in 1965 with just three mining companies as members. The AMA represents only hard rock mining and today has 23 mining company members consisting of producers, developers, and exploration companies, 16 environmental, legal and lobbyist consultants, and 40 supplier companies.” [Boss Magazine, accessed 10/01/19]

  • AMA’s Committees Work On Issues Ranging From Water Policy To Tax, Government Affairs And Education/Workforce Development. “We have 12 committees that work on legislative and regulatory issues including water quality, water policy, solid waste, air quality, environment, lands, biodiversity, tax, government affairs, safety, public affairs, and education/future workforce development.” [Boss Magazine, accessed 10/01/19]

AMA’s Executive Director Is Steve Trussell 

Steve Trussll Is The Executive Director of the AMA. [Arizona Mining Association, accessed 09/25/19]

  • According to his LinkedIn Profile, Trussell as a “Facilitator” for the Arizona Mining Association from 1994-2004. [Steve Trussell LinkedIn Profile, accessed 09/25/19]

Trussell Supported Uranium Mining Near The Grand Canyon 

Trussell Was Featured In A Letter Written By Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar Requesting President Trump Reverse The Ban On Grand Canyon Uranium Drilling. In June 2018, it was reported the Trump administration would revisit the 2012 moratorium on new mining claims. Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar wrote a letter to the Trump administration ask that the Obama-era mineral withdrawals be reviewed and reversed. “Gosar’s letter featured Steve Trussell, the executive director of the Arizona Mining Association, and other mining advocates.” [Phoenix New Times, 06/19/18

  • Trussell Pushed For Uranium Mining In Northern Arizona. “Without mentioning the Grand Canyon by name, Trussell argued that the U.S. should start to plumb rich deposits of uranium mining in northern Arizona.” Trussell wrote, ‘Northern Arizona’s unique breccia pipe geological formations represent the nation’s largest source of high-grade uranium ore. The current reality is that America’s nuclear power industry imports approximately 92 percent of the uranium it uses from foreign sources. Given domestic availability of this uranium, importing this material defies all reason. America has more than enough uranium within our borders to supply our own needs. Responsible domestic uranium mining followed by reclamation will provide great benefits for our country’s electric power needs, local economies and the environment. America’s nuclear power plants are clean and release no carbon emissions, making these deposits in northern Arizona an almost perfect remedy for our electricity-dependent nation,.” [Phoenix New Times, 06/19/18 and  Congressional Western Caucus Press Release, 05/04/18]

Trussell Called A Permanent Uranium Mining Ban Around The Grand Canyon “A Disingenuous Attack.” In March 2019, a bill was introduced to permanently ban mining around Grand Canyon National Park. “The Arizona Mining Association was quick to condemn the bill, arguing that the call for a permanent ban is misleading and undermines the domestic supply of clean fuel sources. ‘’This is a disingenuous attack on the public’s desire for clean energy, a healthy economy without reliance on questionable imports of these critical materials, environmental stewardship and land use autonomy,’ Steve Trussell, the association’s executive director, said.” [Tucson Sentinel, 03/06/19]

Trussell Wrote an Editorial On How “Mining Can Be Safe And Beneficial To Arizonians,” Specifically Naming Rosemont As A Responsible Company

Trussell Claimed That In Places Like California That Have “Achieved A Level Of Confidence And Economic Status, The Ability To Mine For Minerals Is Very Unpopular.” Steve Trussell wrote on op-ed, saying, “A wise mentor and great friend who serves in the Legislature shared some valuable insights regarding mining in Arizona by telling a story regarding a recent trip he had taken to Canada. He told me about Vancouver Island, British Columbia, which has a large docking facility that is the outfeed of a mining operation. He explained the mine wasn’t for some exotic or strategic mineral, like copper. It was an aggregate mine. It wouldn’t be the best aggregate in the world, but at least it would be a hard rock that can be used in making roads, government buildings, schools, and hospitals … in California. “In California, as in many places where people have achieved a level of confidence and economic status, the ability to mine for the minerals is very unpopular. Mining is cloaked in a dark blanket of biased connotations and election-like smears. Political figures empowered to take decisions on permitting have opted to reduce the ability to secure permits to such an extent that now companies go to Canada, Alaska and Mexico to secure aggregate in order to make concrete for California’s infrastructure needs at taxpayer’s expense.” One would assume that is because these materials don’t exist in California, but that is not the case. They absolutely do.” [Arizona Daily Star, 12/16/18]

  • Trussell Claimed “Mining Locally Is Sustainable And Responsible.” He continued:This absurdity is multiplied across the spectrum of natural resource uses in that state, with the expected results. Cost associated with a reduced supply and an increased demand is passed on to the consumer — a hidden activism tax, if you will. Pima County shouldn’t aspire to be like California. Why we would ever accept giving up opportunity, jobs, locally sourced materials or economic activity if the project can be protective of the environment, too? Mining locally is sustainable and responsible.” [Arizona Daily Star, 12/16/18]

Trussell Claimed “Assertions” About Mining’s Impact Were “Generally False And Not Based On Research.” Trussell claimed in his op-ed: “Assertions regarding the economic impact of mining are generally false and not based on research. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Arizona is second in the U.S. for production of minerals and supplies the nation with 68 percent of our copper, which has been deemed a critical mineral for safety, health, communications, defense and transportation.“ [Arizona Daily Star, 12/16/18]

Trussell Defended Rosemont Copper, Saying “‘Historical’ Associations With Poor Mining Practices Have Nothing To Do” With Their Current Practices. Trussell claimed in his op-ed: “‘Historical’ associations with poor mining practices have nothing to do with current legal, procedural, and regulatory requirements. Responsible companies, like Rosemont, have gone above and beyond compliance efforts to move projects forward, and in some cases federal and state agencies have agreed projects should proceed. Arizona mining prides itself in safe, responsible, resource extraction protective of the environment. Miners generally are environmental stewards who enjoy the outdoors and nature more than most.” [Arizona Daily Star, 12/16/18]

  • Trussell Claimed Rosemont Would Potentially “Stimulate More Than $16 Billion In New Economic Activity In Arizona.” “Rosemont will stimulate more than $16 billion in new economic activity in Arizona and generate $350 million in local tax revenues that will be used for local projects and services. More than 500 families that will have someone employed there and the operation will support more than 2,700 indirect jobs. Rosemont will generate more than $4.5 billion in new personal income and wages over the life of the mine. Amazing.” [Arizona Daily Star, 12/16/18] 
  • Trussell Also Whined That “Disallowing Mining” Would Place An “Undue Burden” On People. “Disallowing mining would be stating that the copper needs of the county, the state, and the world are somehow placing an undue burden upon the citizens, even though your per capita usage of copper is as great, if not greater than, most of the people on earth. Do we really want to outsource our supply of strategic materials? Or shouldn’t we be considering the benefits this project will bring to our state — the Copper State.” [Arizona Daily Star, 12/16/18]

Trussell Criticized A Ruling That Vacated Hudbay Minerals’s Permit To Begin Construction On Rosemont Mine

AMA’s Executive Director Steve Trussell Criticized A Ruling That Vacated A Permit For Hudbay Minerals To Begin Construction On Its Rosemont Copper Mine. In July 2019, a judge ruled that the Rosemont Copper Co. did not have a valid claim to the 2,500 acres of U.S. Forest Service Land it had received approval to use and that the USFS had erred when it had issued an approval for the mine in 2017. “‘This is yet another example of the protracted delays that plague the U.S. mine permitting process. It is no wonder that our import dependence continues to grow for the minerals that we could – and should – be sourcing here at home,’ said Steve Trussell, Executive Director of the Arizona Mining Association and the Arizona Rock Products Association.” [AZ Big Media, 08/26/19]

AMA “Generally Supports” Weakening The Endangered Species Act

Trussell Said AMA Generally Agreed With The 2019 Proposed Changes Which Would Weaken The Endangered Species Act. In January 2019, it was reported that proposed changes to the ESA included streamlining consultation with federal agencies, tightening the definition of “foreseeable future,” potentially shrink critical habitats, make it easier to remove a species from the ESA list and see threatened species no longer receiving the same protections as endangered ones. “Arizona Mining Association Executive Director Steve Trussell, for one, said the group ‘generally supports the proposed rules, which would provide greater clarity and predictability in listing species and designating critical habitat.’ But he added that the agencies ‘can and should do more to address certain issues that affect’ the mining industry.” [E&E, 01/23/19]

Trussell Claimed Copper Mining Increased Tenfold Since the 1950s Due To Heightened Demand

Trussell Claimed Copper Was Mined Ten Times More Today Than In The 1950’s Due To Demand For Renewable Energy And Technological Advancements. “‘We mine ten times more copper today than in the 1950s due to increasing demand,’ said Steve Trussell, executive director of the Arizona Mining Association. ‘It’s a key metal necessary for renewable-energy initiatives and technological advancements.’” [KJZZ, 06/03/19]

AMA Donated Nearly $9,000 To Cover “Lawmaker’s Expenses” At An ALEC Conference

AMA’s 2011 990 Form Shows It Gave $8,800 To The ALEC Scholarship Fund – Arizona. [Arizona Mining Association 2011 Form 990, accessed 10/01/19]

“The Scholarships Are Paid For By Lobbyists And Corporations That Donate To The ALEC Scholarship Fund To Cover Lawmakers’ Expenses To The Organization’s Conferences.” [Arizona Capitol Times, 02/26/16]

  • One Of ALEC’s Conferences Consisted Of Arizona State Lawmakers Learning More About ALEC’s Agenda Of “Limited Government, Free Markets And Federalism.” “Arizona is always well represented at the annual gathering of the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization best-known for producing ready-to-introduce “model” legislation crafted with input from corporate America. During the three-day conference at a downtown hotel last week, 19 GOP members of the Arizona Senate and House of Representatives got prime seating at luncheons where they heard from conservative superstars and in private task forces where they learned more about ALEC’s agenda of limited government, free markets and federalism.” [Arizona Republic, 07/23/17]

AMA Lost One Of Its Presidents When She Resigned After Her Ex-Husband Was Indicted For Conspiring To Raise Water Customers’ Bills

Former AMA President Kelly Norton Resigned Her Position In June 2017 After Her Former Husband Was Indicted. “Arizona Mining Association President Kelly Norton resigned from the advocacy group Wednesday following the recent criminal indictment of her ex-husband, Jim Norton. Jim Norton was named along with former utility regulator Gary Pierce, his wife, Sherry, and utility owner George Johnson in an eight-count indictment May 23 alleging the four conspired to raise water customers’ bills in exchange for cash and other charges. Kelly Norton was not named in the indictment. The Mining Association is a non-profit advocacy group that represents copper, coal, uranium and other mining interests at the state Capitol. Kelly Norton was named president in March 2013.” [The Arizona Republic, 06/07/17]