YAVAPAI COUNTY, Ariz. - Yavapai County residents are outraged over a proposed plan to build a mine, right in the middle of their neighborhood.
"So that whole hillside, we are expecting it to be gone," said Vickie Niesley.
The mine, as proposed, will be located in a neighborhood called Cedar Heights. There are more than 100 homes in the area, and area residents said they found out about the plans via a flier posted to a telephone pole.
"That was the only notice that we ever saw," said Danny Brumett. "We never got any public notice from the Mine Inspector Office, from the owner of the property, or any of the other agencies involved in this."
The aggregate mining operation is proposed by a company called Rock Supply LLC. The company filed the proposal with the Mine Inspector’s Office earlier in 2023. The proposed plan includes removing more than 616,000 cubic yards of aggregate over a 20-year operation, and it will sit on a 25.2 acre parcel that the company owns in the neighborhood.
"It starts with the reclamation," said State Mine Inspector Paul Marsh. "They have other permits to get. To the best of my knowledge, they have not received permits through ADEQ, or through any other site, so this is just usually where most people start, is with the reclamation plan, and they move forward from there."
Brumlett lives the closest to areas affected by the plans.
"230 feet away from my house is the rock processing area," said Brumlett. "We saw the plot plan of the way they want to lay it out."
On top of the noise and general eyesore, many residents are concerned about the mine's environmental impacts, and the issues it could cause to their health.
"We are concerned about what might be in that dust that will blow over here," said Niesley. "How much water they might use to try to mitigate the dust, which will possibly deplete and/or contaminate our water wells."
Meeting on proposed mine held
On Sept. 21, the state's Mine Inspector, Paul Marsh, held a public meeting, where residents could express their concerns. Dozens of Yavapai County did just that during the meeting.
"No one would ever want to live next to a mine, so for us to even escape that noise and all the stuff that goes along with it, I don’t know what we’ll do," said Brumlett.
Two representatives from Rock Supply LLC were in attendance, but declined to speak with us directly.
Another public comment session will be held in about a month. For now, residents plan to hire a lawyer, and they say their fight is only just beginning.