Federal Appeals Court Upholds Stop to Rosemont Mine in Arizona

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Editors’ Note: As the reader will note, the court held the mining claims were invalid because no valuable minerals were found.  It is certainly not common for mining companies to dig large holes costing millions just for the fun of it. Let’s suppose rich mineral deposits were found? Would environmental groups still oppose the mine? How does that square with the Green agenda that posits a complete change over in our energy grid and transportation system, which requires extensive exploitation of minerals like copper, nickel, lithium, and cobalt? You can’t get the quantities of minerals out of the ground for the Green revolution without disturbing ocelots. It is either that or let the dirty mining be done in China, leaving us as dependent on them for minerals as we are on Middle East dictatorships for oil. All economic decisions have trade-offs and you can’t back the “Green Agenda” on the one hand, and block the mining of necessary minerals on the other. Not unless your intention is to destroy the economy, that is.

 

A federal appeals court upheld a ruling to invalidate the U.S. Forest Service’s approval of an open-pit copper mine in southern Arizona.

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The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 against Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals’ plans for the $1.9 billion Rosemont Mine in the Coronado National Forest.

The court said Thursday that Hudbay’s mining claims were baseless. “Because no valuable minerals have been found, the claims are necessarily invalid,” the court’s decision read. “The district court was therefore correct in holding that the Service improperly assumed their validity.”

The Center for Biological Diversity was pleased to see the court uphold a previous ruling in this one.

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“This momentous decision makes it clear that Hudbay’s plan to destroy the beautiful Rosemont Valley is not only a terrible idea, it’s illegal,” Allison Melton, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a press release. “The Santa Rita Mountains are critically important for Tucson’s water supply, jaguars, ocelots, and many other species of rare plants and animals. We won’t let them be sacrificed for mining company profits.”

Hudbay wants to blast a mile-wide, half-mile deep pit in the Santa Rita Mountains. The environmentalist organizations say that this would have harmed more than 5,000 acres of land.

Hudbay issued a statement on Thursday reiterating that it isn’t giving up on the project yet, and will seek other avenues to get it done.

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“In the Decision, the Court of Appeals agreed with the District Court’s ruling that the U.S. Forest Service relied on incorrect assumptions regarding its legal authority and the validity of Rosemont’s unpatented mining claims in the issuance of Rosemont’s Final Environmental Impact Statement,” the company said in a statement. “While Hudbay reviews the Decision, in any event, the company will continue to pursue its alternative plan to advance its Copper World project.”

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This article was published by The Center Square and is reproduced with permission.

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