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“Apache Group Sues Over Land Swap For Arizona Copper Mine”

“FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. β€” A group of Apaches who have tried for years to reverse a land swap in Arizona that will make way for one of the largest copper mines in the U.S. sued the federal government Tuesday.

Apache Stronghold argues in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Arizona that the U.S. Forest Service cannot legally transfer land to international mining company Rio Tinto in exchange for several parcels the company owns around Arizona. The group claims the land around Oak Flat was reserved for Western Apaches in an 1852 treaty with the United States.

β€œIt’s all going to come to a head, I believe, falling back on things that should have been done,” said Wendsler Nosie, a former San Carlos Apache chairman who leads the group.”

Felicia Fonseca and Anita Snow report for the Associated Press January 13, 2021.