Arizona Copper Land Swap Hits Setback

By Laurel Morales
November 13, 2013

A bill that would swap land sacred to an Arizona tribe to create the largest copper mine in the country has hit another setback. A vote was expected Wednesday afternoon but the bill was pulled off the floor.

San Carlos Apache leaders say the federal land where Resolution Copper wants to develop is where the tribe prays and it’s where their ancestors and spirits live. The tribe is also concerned about environmental impacts. The San Carlos Apache called on other tribes to oppose the mine.

Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar sponsored the land swap bill known as the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2013 or H.R. 687.

Gosar said in a statement the tribe “has lied to and misled other tribal leaders across the nation about this project. Polls show the majority of San Carlos Apache tribal members support the mine and the jobs.”

He said the mine would create 3,700 direct and indirect jobs. Sixty five percent of the San Carlos Apache Tribe is unemployed.