A January 22th Mineweb article made the following observation:
Despite running a state known as one of the world’s richest copper mining regions, Arizona’s governor eliminated the Department of Miners and Mineral Resources, which closed its doors Friday.
The article goes on to say that the governor’s action saves the state $200,000 per year. The editor of ICJM was blunter saying:
In a move that could only be described as asinine, the Arizona Governor’s office has ordered the closure of the Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources. We certainly understand the need for state governments to trim waste in these difficult times, but why the state would close one of the only agencies that helps generate income and create jobs is beyond imagination.
The truth is that the Governor’s action had nothing to do with cost cutting. Far from it. The real reason is that the Governor wanted the mineral museum building for her new boondoggle, the Arizona Centennial Museum. She is not saving any money. She is wasting millions.
In 2010, the Governor transferred the building (which housed both the department and the mineral museum) and most of the mining department’s budget to the Arizona Historical Society. The mining department did not have enough money left for the entire fiscal year. When the department then ran out of funds, the Governor fired the staff. It was the final step in grabbing the building for her new boondoggle.
The Governor’s actions were so remarkably irresponsible that she fired two people whose salary was paid by grants. At the last moment, the state geologist stepped forward to mitigate the damage with other non-appropriated funds.
The Governor’s capricious closure of the mining department and the mineral museum is an insult to the mining industry and to science education. She is also eliminating the popular earth science education programs at the top rated mineral museum.
AZ Gov. Brewer closes state department servicing world-class copper region
Friday, 21 Jan 2011
Arizona Closes Department of Mines and Mineral Resources
www.icmj.com (International California Mining Journal)