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The future of Rio Tinto and BHP-owned U.S. copper mines was cast into new questions after U.S. lawmakers Passed the bill It tries to stop its development.
Thursday’s House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee passed Fix It added Save Oak Flat Method Many other measures against Joe Biden are $ 3.5 trillion domestic spending packages that have not yet been voted on by law.
Located 65 miles east of Phoenix, Arizona, Oak Flat has a huge underground ore that holds enough copper to meet 25% of US demand for 40 years.
Resolution copperA joint venture between Rio and BHP, wanting to mine it, the site faces opposition from the San Carlos Apaches, who have special religious significance.
Their efforts have been supported by Arizona Parliamentarian Raúl Manuel Grijalva, who has been aiming to pass the Save Oak Flat Act for several years.
The law abolishes the 2014 Land Exchange Agreement, which allows the transfer of 2,400 acres of national forest, including Oak Flats, to Resolution Copper in exchange for 5,400 acres of land owned by two miners. I am aiming for.
The Commission’s decision to adopt Griharva’s amendment prepares Rio CEO Jacob Stausholm to visit Resolution Copper, one of the company’s most important projects. Sometimes done.
Rio is trying Regain the trust of indigenous peoples next Last destructionAustralia’s 46,000-year-old sacred Aboriginal site r to give way to mine expansion.
Copper used in electric vehicles and wind turbines plays a leading role in the fight against climate change. However, finding high-quality deposits in politically stable jurisdictions is becoming increasingly difficult.
Rio’s other large underground copper project in Mongolia is being carried out late and over budget. Its development is also undermined by repeated disagreements with the government.
Since the mid-1950s, Oak Flat has been protected from the mining industry under federal law. That changed in 2014, when Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake revised the National Defense Authorization Act to allow land exchange.
However, there was a caveat. No exchanges occurred until the US Forest Department completed the Final Environmental Impact Assessment (FEIS), which assesses the potential impacts of mine development.
During the last few days of President Trump, a 3,000-page document was finally released and land exchange began. However, the Biden administration, which promised to respect tribal sovereignty, swiftly withdrew FEIS, stating that “additional time is needed to fully understand the concerns raised by the tribe and its people.”
Rio said it is monitoring the process of finalizing the $ 3.5 trillion US spending plan.
“We will continue to work with the local community and Native American tribes to guide the further formation of the Resolution Copper project and the significant benefits it may bring,” the company said in a statement.
The final form of the spending package has not yet been determined and there is no Republican support, so Democrats will have to go through it using special budgeting procedures. Called “reconciliation”.. This will allow it to be approved by a simple majority of the Senate.
Resolution Copper is 55% owned by Rio and 45% owned by BHP. The two miners have already spent $ 2 billion on the project, including a shaft that is 2km deep.
Rio and BHP’s Arizona copper mine hits new hurdle Source link Rio and BHP’s Arizona copper mine hits new hurdle