"Court: Land Swap For Ariz. Mine Doesn’t Violate Tribal Rights"

"A federal appeals court ruled that a federal land swap giving a Native American tribal holy site in Arizona to a private mining company so it could be the site of a copper mine would not violate the tribe’s religious freedoms.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2-1 decision affirmed a lower court ruling that federal officials could exchange Oak Flat, a place significant to many Apaches, to become the site of a mine, without violating tribal members’ free exercise protections under the U.S. Constitution or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a 1993 religious liberty law.

The ruling is a victory for the potential recipient of the land: Resolution Copper, a joint venture between global mining companies Rio Tinto and BHP that want to create a sprawling copper mining complex on a patch of land that includes Oak Flat."

Jael Holzman reports for E&E News June 27, 2022.

Source: E&E News, 06/28/2022