St. Mary and Summo still have a lot to do with each other. St. Mary's president, Mark Hellerstein, is the chairman of Summo's board of directors, St. Mary recently gave Summo $12.5 million for its Lisbon Valley project, and the two companies recently started a joint company, Lisbon Valley Mining Company, which will be in charge of mining Summo's Lisbon Valley claims.
Anti-mining activists speculate that St. Mary set up a Canadian company to skirt American liability laws in case there are problems with spills or cleanup at a mine. But Summo spokeswoman Karen Melfi says that Summo Minerals is Canadian because mining stocks trade at a higher price in Canada than in the United States.
Summo has yet to mine copper, but it is eager to do so. Copper prices have soared to $1.20/pound, while Summo's production costs will be less than $.60/pound.