Q: Does Arizona Metals Corp have a dedicated team working on permitting?
Yes, Arizona Metals has been working on the Kay Project permitting process with Haley & Aldrich ("Haley") since December 2020. The Haley Mining Team has been permitting mines of all types throughout Arizona and the United States for over 30 years. Haley has extensive experience in bringing new mines into production and providing strategic environmental and permitting guidance for existing operations. Haley has worked on a myriad of construction materials, industrial minerals and base and precious metals projects across the globe and has provided strategic permitting and entitlement guidance on open pit and underground copper and gold as well as In-Situ Recovery (ISR) projects in Arizona.
Q: Does Arizona Metals Corp have a dedicated team working on social licence issues?
A: Yes, Arizona Metals has been working with Global External since January 2022. Global External, based in Arizona, has decades of experience in the advancement of mining projects, from early-stage exploration – through every stage of the mining life cycle including, permitting, facility expansions, and closure. Global External specializes in evaluating and addressing community, government, and regulatory relations, as well as public relations and messaging.
Q: What is the benefit of the Kay deposit being on private land?
A: Private land developments do not have to undergo a complex review process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). As with other projects on private land, the project will still be subject to Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Aquifer Protection Permitting (APP) and Arizona State Mine Inspector (ASMI) Reclamation requirements, as well as lesser operational permits. Fortunately, all state administered permitting programs are subject to licensing timeframes that prevent unnecessary permitting delays.
Q: Explain the difference between permitting through the United States Forest Service (“USFS”) vs the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”)?
A: BLM and USFS are subject to different sets of laws that govern their evaluation and process for consideration of mining operations. The BLM was chartered to encourage mineral exploration and development, whereas USFS was not. While both agencies have established processes for the development of minerals, the BLM's process is much more streamlined and less time-consuming. The BLM employs staff dedicated and experienced in mineral development projects. The Kay Project is not on or near National Forest land and would not fall under the USFS permitting regime.
Q: Why is it important that Kay is not on or near Indian/Tribal land?
A: It is important to note how critical tribal and cultural resources are and how seriously Arizona Metals considers them. Early-stage archeological and cultural surveys have not identified any tribal cultural sites and thus far, no tribes or Native American stakeholders have expressed concerns over impacts from Kay's current or proposed activities. A review of pending government actions in the area did not reveal any interest from Southwestern US tribes on other development projects in the vicinity of the Kay project.
Q: Are there endangered plants or animals on the property that would stop permitting?
A: Detailed surveys conducted to date have not identified any endangered species or critical habitat on the property. Additional routine surveys are required as the project advances, but we are not anticipating any new findings of critical species or habitat that would significantly impact the project.
Q: Does the proximity to the Agua Fria River mean that Kay cannot be permitted for mining? Especially in regards to the Kay Project being upstream of Lake Pleasant?
A: No fatal flaws or issues have been identified in the potential to move the operation from exploration to mining. The project will operate in the Aqua Fria River watershed that ultimately flows to Lake Pleasant, but mining operations are not expected to impact the watershed and ADEQ permitting will be specifically focused on monitoring surface and groundwater conditions during construction, operation, and closure of the mine in a manner that prevents unregulated discharges to the watershed. We note that historic exploration activities, which included many years of underground operation and dewatering, did not result in any observed impacts on the local watershed or downstream water bodies.
Q: Is the town of Black Canyon City opposed to a mine being built?
A: No. Company representatives meet regularly with elected officials and local stakeholders in the area. Arizona Metals takes community concerns seriously and works to address any issues that are raised by stakeholders. To stay closely connected, the Company has a created a community hotline, email address, and website (with FAQs). Very few concerns have been logged, but all are immediately addressed.
Q: How do you address any local concerns about mining with regards to water supply?
A: Arizona Metals has installed monitoring wells and is closely tracking water supply trends in the local area. The Kay Project is also independent from the town's water supply wells. The Company recognizes that Black Canyon City is reliant on shallow groundwater in the Aqua Fria River alluvium. Our plans for exploration and mine operations are specifically focused on not impacting the local aquifer.
We are continuously monitoring existing wells on the property and publishing groundwater data for the community’s review as well as to establish baseline conditions for future operations. Further, we are conducting regional groundwater studies to understand both local and regional hydrogeologic conditions and identify a sustainable mine water resource that will not directly or indirectly impact the community water supply. Lastly, ADEQ Aquifer Protection Permitting will require the construction, operation, and closure of mine facilities specifically to prevent any off-site groundwater impacts.
Q: Areas with heavy reliance on pumped groundwater have been identified and designated as Active Management Areas (AMAs) and are subject to regulation pursuant to the Groundwater Code. Is the Kay Project part of or near an AMA?
Answer: No. However, Kay recognizes that we have to work collaboratively with local water users to ensure that our operations do not adversely impact others in the area.