Pinal County officials are giving their approval of a proposed pipeline that would send copper ore from a mine near Superior to an area near Florence for processing.
The Pinal County Planning and Zoning Commission has tentatively endorsed Resolution Mine's planned copper concentrate filter plant and transfer facility with some conditions, the Casa Grande Dispatch reported.
Resolution Mine and county planners are also working on an agreement on a roadway development.
The mining company is hoping to rezone more than 500 acres 10 miles outside of Florence.
According to the zoning application, a mixture of copper minerals and water would come down the 20-mile pipeline.
"At full production, Resolution Copper will produce more than two million tons per year of copper concentrate," Resolution spokesman William Tanner said in an email. "Because the volume of copper concentrate is quite large, the environmentally preferred method of shipment is via pipeline."
Florence Assistant Town Manager Jess Knudson says the area is outside the town's municipal boundaries, but that officials have "full faith and trust in Pinal County and the Board of Supervisors to evaluate the project for the good."
The rezoning request will go before the Board of Supervisors for final approval.
Copper is one of Arizona's most abundant resources and remains a vital part of the state's economy.