TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - The U.S. Forest Service has signed off on one of the two federal permits needed for a proposed open-pit copper mine southeast of Tucson.
Forest Service officials announced Wednesday that Coronado National Forest Supervisor Kerwin Dewberry signed the final Record of Decision for the Rosemont Copper Project.
The process of approving a Mine Plan of Operations still must be completed before construction could begin on Coronado National Forest lands.
In addition, the Army Corps of Engineers still is assessing the mine's environmental impacts and whether its operation is consistent with the Clean Water Act.
The proposed mine has been delayed for years over concerns that it could harm air and water quality, dry up wells and streams, and damage habitat for endangered jaguars and other species.