- Associated Press - Saturday, November 19, 2016

KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) - A company using drones to look for copper deposits near a dormant mine has upset residents who have concerns about an invasion of privacy and what a mining expansion might do to their property and quality of life.

Kennecott Exploration officials met with residents to explain the work in the area. They plan to update people in January and February, reported The Kingman Daily Miner (https://bit.ly/2g6KT7S ).

“Several people were very upset at the prospect of opening up a new mine in the area so close to everyone’s homes,” resident Gene Bishop said in an email. “The county is probably looking at this as an economic development opportunity. The residents are pretty sure this is an invasion of their property rights and planned destruction of their homesteads and lifestyle.”

Residents complained about the drones to Mohave County Supervisor Gary Watson.

The company is focusing on an area north of the dormant Kabba Mine.

Kennecott is a subsidiary of the multinational Rio Tinto metals and mining corporation working on the project with Bell Copper Corp.

“Although there is drilling occurring, Kennecott is still in a very early stage of exploration,” said Matt Jeschke, regional manager for Kennecott Exploration. “Even at this early stage of activity, we would like to operate in the area in a socially and environmentally responsible manner, in a way that is respectful of residents of the area.”

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Information from: Kingman Daily Miner, https://www.kingmandailyminer.com

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