State Assistant Attorney General Mike Jette discusses the copper thefts. Mine workers are accused of selling the copper to recyclers at a fraction of the price. The recyclers would then resell it to Chinese importers, investigators say.
Mining companies are trying to manage the problems with tailings, such as these at the Asarco mine near Green Valley. Among the procedures Asarco is using to control dust is spraying additives onto tailings to create a crust that's less likely to blow off.
Tucson-based Asarco LLC has received 51 citations for health and safety violations at its Hayden copper concentrator operation, the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration announced Thursday.