Phelps Dodge Deal

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We’ve received a lot of calls today from people wondering if we had heard about the Freeport-McMoRan buyout of Phelps Dodge. I assure you, we did.

I’m still trying to gather my thoughts. Both of my parents worked for Phelps Dodge (my mom was communications director for NM Operations before she left for her D.C. job) and I still have three uncles under PD employ.

While I certainly have environmentalist tendencies, I recognize the contributions Phelps Dodge has made to the community. From the Mining Days celebrations I remember from my youth to the more recent donation of $100,000 to the Grant County Community Health Council, PD has, in many ways, been good for our area (and that’s not even counting all the jobs over the years).

That’s not to say Phelps Dodge isn’t without its faults, but the company been genuinely responsive to community concerns, and that does stand for something.

And while all I know about Freeport is what I’ve read in the news, its record does not impress.

I don’t know what impact the sale will have on Phelps Dodge in New Mexico. An employee I know told me last week that the company’s sale might result in a splintering of the Phelps Dodge operations in North America, with individual pieces be sold to the highest bidder. Somebody else told me Freeport is looking to become the largest copper mining company in the world, and that selling of parts of Phelps Dodge doesn’t fit with that plan.

More on the deal in today’s Silver City Daily Press.

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