Morenci Operations honored with three environmental awards

Contributed Photo: Biodiversity mascots Buzz the bee and Chira the bat pose with volunteers from Morenci operations.The two mascots are part of a biodiversity program Morenci helps present to local schools.

Contributed Article

Morenci – Morenci operations may mine the red metal, but its commitment to thinking green is what recently earned the site two state awards and one international award in recognition of environmental conservation and preservation programs.

Morenci operations received the following awards in 2018:

  • SPADE Award for Bat Conservation Program – presented by the Arizona Mining Association, this award recognizes member organizations for outstanding contributions to protect and enhance biodiversity in Arizona. Morenci operations received the award for its role in protecting and monitoring some 1.5 million bats roosting in the Eagle Creek Bat Cave and a nearby historic mine opening, as well as for conservation education outreach for K-12 students and the community.
  • Voluntary Environmental Stewardship Program – this state award from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality recognizes companies that maintain an exemplary record of environmental compliance and go above and beyond legal requirements to protect and enhance public health and the environment. Morenci received a platinum status award – the highest of four levels – for its effective recycling of high-density polyethylene, or HDPE.
  • Wildlife Habitat Council Mammals Award – each year, the WHC recognizes excellence incorporate conservation with awards honoring programs and projects in wildlife habitat enhancement and restoration, and conservation education. Morenci operations received the Mammal Award for its Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep Conservation Program in partnership with Arizona Game and fish. The program relocates sheep from near the mine to Eastern and Central Arizona to boost existing populations there. In addition, Morenci operations works to reduce sheep mortality rates and enhance native habitat. 
Contributed Photo: A colony of Townsend’s big-eared bats at the company’s historic Frisco mine were one reason Morenci recently received the SPADE Award from the Arizona Mining Association.

Being a good neighbor and giving back to our community includes making sure we protect and conserve the natural world around us,” said Josh Olmsted, Senior Vice President-North America Copper. “We are honored to receive these awards and proud of our partnerships with a range of stakeholders – environmental agencies, wildlife organizations, our employees and the local community – that make these programs possible and a success for our entire community.” 

Thank you to our following partners whose help was critical to the success of these programs: Arizona Game and Fish, Gila Watershed Partnership, Greenlee County Health Department, Liberty Wildlife, Wildlife Habitat Council, Reptilist, Bat Conservation International, Morenci School District, Duncan School District, and the University of Arizona Extension Office. 

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