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Scrap copper at Potomac Metals in Beltsville, Maryland, fetched about $1 a pound, down from $3 a pound as recently as three years ago as global demand for the metal has softened.

Copper is one of the pillars of Arizona’s economy, but falling demand has depressed prices. More than 1,000 workers were recently let go at mines here and in New Mexico, but the company planning the large open-pit Rosemont Mine in the mountains southeast of Tucson is forging ahead. Read more»

The Sierrita mine in Green Valley, south of Tucson.

More than a thousand Southern Arizona miners will soon be on the unemployment line, with Freeport-McMoRan announcing Wednesday that the Sierrita open pit mine in Green Valley will be completely shut down. Read more» 2

Mining giant Freeport-McMoRan will lay off about 430 workers from the Sierrita open pit mine in Green Valley, and will explore the possibility of completely shutting down the mine. The company will also close down its copper mine in Miami, north of Tucson, officials said. Read more»

Who is funding Team ACA, the secretive nonprofit that has supplemented Arizona’s economic development agency with private money? The answer has proven elusive. Read more»

Gov. Jan Brewer answered reporters' questions about the government shutdown earlier this month.

Public-private partnerships such as the Arizona Commerce Authority further business interests in the state, overseeing state corporate tax incentives and grants worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Similar organizations in Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and Florida function amid persistent questions about transparency as unelected business authorities operate on state funds, but disclose little. Read more»

The spikedace is one of two Arizona fish declared endangered species, which officials say have been reduced to less than 20 percent of their historic range from central and eastern Arizona into New Mexico.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service downgraded two fish species to endangered Thursday, designating more than 700 miles of Arizona and New Mexico waterways as critical habitat in the process. Read more»

CalPortland Cement Co. was fined $350,000 for an error in a plan to expand this cement plant near Interstate 10 and Avra Valley Road.

Although eight Arizona sites are on a secret federal "watch list" of polluters who have not been subject to timely formal enforcement, the extent of air pollution in the state is clouded by poor record-keeping and bureaucratic miscommunication, a TucsonSentinel.com investigation shows. Read more»

Companies including Clear Channel Outdoor donated space for billboards touting Arizona’s centennial celebration.

With just five months left until the state’s 100th birthday, organizers still have no idea where 75 percent of their budget will come from but are hopeful that private donors will cover the gap. Read more» 2

Freeport-McMoRan’s investment in a Louisiana company will help purchase shallow-water drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. is investing $500 million in a Louisiana company set to ramp up oil production in the Gulf of Mexico in the next few years. Read more»