Resolution Copper Mining LLC announced on Friday that they're cutting approximately 400 jobs - about 75 percent of their overall workforce.
Company spokesman Bruce Richardson said they're reducing their budget from $200 million in 2012 to about $50 million next year.
Richardson said the company will suspend all shaft development and drilling activities after current work assignments are done in the first quarter of 2013.
Since 2005, the company has tried to get legislation passed to allow them to exchange 2,400 acres of forest service land, that they believe is where the largest undeveloped copper resources in the world rests, for more than 5,300 acres of conservation lands held by the company.
"The Resolution Copper land exchange is a top priority for the State of Arizona," said Sen. John McCain. "Its passage requires the cooperation of the entire Arizona Congressional Delegation, and I call on my colleagues to join Sen. Kyl, Congressman Gosar and myself in advocating for this legislation which is so important for job creation in our state."
Congresswoman-elect Ann Kirkpatrick released the following statement on the job cuts.
"Today's announcement from Resolution Copper will have a ripple effect across Arizona's Copper Corridor. I've worked hard on past efforts to bring jobs to this region, and I understand that these cuts could devastate small communities like Superior, Globe, Miami, Kearny, Hayden and Winkelman. When a small community loses jobs, the hardship hits families, school districts, small businesses - just about everyone.
"My staff and I are reaching out to civic and business leaders to assess this situation and determine next steps. I stand firmly with Arizona's rural communities and small towns, which need good-paying jobs so families are empowered to stay there, live there and send their kids to good schools. My top priority is to bring jobs to our district so regions like the Copper Corridor can build a strong foundation for the future."
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