ASCU is committed to operating in an environmentally responsible manner. By revitalizing an inactive copper mine, ASCU will significantly reduce the amount of natural habitat disturbed by its operations compared to a new mining operation. ASCU plans to take commensurate action as recommended in the site improvement plan to remediate the property whilst unlocking value from it.
As the Cactus Mine transitions to the advanced development and production phases, ASCU is committed to investing in technological efficiencies, including low-carbon and water-efficient technologies. ASCU aspires to design all facilities to meet or exceed Best Available Demonstrated Control Technology (BADCT) standards as well as ensure strict adherence to any operating permit limits including aquifer protection, stormwater discharge and air quality allowances. ASCU also plans to operate with zero wastewater discharge. The Company continues to explore the use of renewable energy for its operations and in this context it is exploring the development of an onsite solar farm to support its operations. ASCU's ability to reduce its carbon footprint will be further aided by the Arizona Public Service (APS), which plans to produce up to 65% of its total energy from renewable resources by 2030, and up to 100% by 2050.
ASCU has taken a proactive approach towards limiting environmental impacts and in this context, in order to improve biodiversity, the Company has commenced conducting biodiversity surveys on its properties. Whilst ASCU has not found any protected species on its properties, the Company has created a proactive plan to protect and enhance natural habitat for Cactus Wren, Saguaros and Ironwoods, three iconic species in the State of Arizona. Additionally, in early 2021, ASCU planted 220 trees along Bianco Road, the main access to the Cactus Mine property, to increase biodiversity, reduce dust and beautify the landscape.