Aquifer Protection PermitThe mining industry understands the benefits of sustainability — minimizing environmental impacts, maintaining regulatory compliance, and achieving optimal performance. They stake their reputation on it.

BHP Copper Inc. (formerly Magma Copper Company) operates an open pit copper mining and concentrating operation in Pinto Creek, near Miami, Arizona. An assessment was conducted to characterize the hydrogeologic conditions in the area in support of an application for an Aquifer Protection Permit required by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ). 

Hargis + Associates, Inc. (Hargis) was retained to perform the hydrogeologic and water quality assessment, and prepare a report required for the Aquifer Protection Permit. 

Hargis conducted a site reconnaissance and subsurface investigation, an analysis of local and regional hydrogeologic conditions, and a review and compilation of historical data and records regarding groundwater and surface water quality. 

Hargis staff collected groundwater samples from wells and surface water samples from springs and ponds for analysis of common ions and trace metals, and conducted an evaluation and comparison of the groundwater and surface water analytical results to water quality standards for the State of Arizona.  

Hargis also conducted a review of tailing samples for metals and cyanide content that included static and kinetic tests, and performed an evaluation of facility designs for comparison to Best Available Demonstrated Control Technology (BADCT) requirements. Additionally, Hargis provided recommendations for appropriate closure procedures including recontouring, run-on/run-off controls, soil cover, and post-closure monitoring. Hargis prepared a hydrogeologic assessment report for submittal to the ADEQ, and assisted in permit preparation.

Hargis provides the expert environmental engineering and hydrogeologic support to maintain your high standards throughout the entire mining lifecycle. We collaborate with you to plan and navigate each project through permitting, operations, closure, and reclamation lifecycles. Learn more at

• Hydrogeologic assessment
• Groundwater and surface water sampling and analyses
• Facility design review for comparison to Best Available Demonstrated Control Technology (BADCT) requirement
• Water quality studies
• Preparation of Aquifer Protection Permit

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