South32 selects Arizona site for ROC

South32, owner of the Hermosa manganese-zinc mine, has selected Nogales, Ariz., as home to its remote operations center following a two-year analysis of options.

Company officials said it made the choice after careful consideration of Hermosa’s county-wide planning and employment goals to retain the economic benefits of the project in the Santa Cruz County area. The selected location is 70 miles south of Tucson and 28 miles from the Hermosa mine site.

Hermosa, it added, is currently the only advanced mining project in the U.S. capable of producing two federally designated critical minerals.

Tied to this announcement, the Hermosa project is also debuting a new name for the remote operating facility: Centro. The name was selected in an online vote.

“Locating Centro in Nogales enables us to help transform the Santa Cruz County economy, by creating and training local residents without prior mining experience to fill high-skilled, good-paying jobs so the next generation has more opportunities right here at home,” said Hermosa project president Pat Risner.

Nogales Mayor Jorge Maldonado said: “This building represents a multi-generational investment in the city of Nogales that will help to transform and grow the local economy for all of us. The future for our community has just begun, now we’ll have a great reason for many of our local students from all the city and county to come back to great paying jobs.”

Centro will accommodate employees and the automation technology needed to remotely monitor and operate some of the underground and surface equipment located at the mine site. The office will host around 200 full-time employees over several shifts across a 24-hour period. It is part of a nine-acre complex that will also include an employee parking lot, a park-and-ride service area and a garden.

Construction will begin by the end of this year.

Source: South32 Hermosa

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