PHOENIX, Sept. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The San Carlos Apache Tribe and a coalition of community and environmental groups filed two related lawsuits in federal court today challenging a proposal to destroy public land on the Tonto National Forest for a mine waste site for the proposed copper mine at Oak Flat and Apache Leap. The lawsuits assert that the Forest Service violated environmental laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act, and failed to consider the significant harmful impacts of activities associated with the Resolution Copper Mine, including destruction of cultural sites, loss of recreation, impaired water quality, and more.
"The Resolution Copper Mine will destroy dozens of cultural sites sacred to Arizona tribes, all while threatening the region's water," said San Carlos Apache Tribe Chairman Terry Rambler. "Federal authorities seem more focused on the interests of foreign mining companies. It's appalling that we and other citizens must use our resources to protect lands that should be safeguarded. Our complaint addresses only the mine tailings at this time, but we will be using all means necessary to stop the overall devastation that will be caused by Resolution Copper."
The project is authorized for ten years and covers over twenty-eight square miles. It would occur on lands where Resolution Copper Mining LLC ("Resolution"), a joint venture between two of the world's largest metal mining companies – Australia-based BHP Billiton and London-based Rio Tinto -- proposes to construct a large tailings waste storage facility for its Resolution Copper Mine, one of the largest proposed copper mines in the United States.
"Once again, the Forest Service allows international mining giants to destroy our public lands for corporate profit," said Roger Featherstone, director of the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition. "If the Forest Service fails to follow the rules to protect our public lands and our communities, we have no choice but to go to the courts to force them to do their job."
Quotes from all plaintiffs and both complaints are available: http://bit.ly/ResolutionMineWasteLawsuit
Matt Smith, San Carlos Apache Tribe, 520-321-1111
Roger Featherstone, Arizona Mining Reform Coalition, (520) 777-9500, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandy Bahr, Sierra Club Grand Canyon (Arizona) Chapter, (602) 253-8633, email@example.com
Aaron Mintzes, Earthworks (919) 302-6393, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Snape, Center for Biological Diversity (202) 536-9351
Roy Chavez, Concerned Citizens and Retired Miners, (520) 827-9133
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/san-carlos-apache-tribe-community-and-environmental-groups-challenge-plans-for-resolution-copper-mine-waste-site-300329508.html
SOURCE Arizona Mining Reform Coalition