TUCSON, Ariz. — A proposed mine project that's been extensively debated for years in southern Arizona is another step closer to final approval.
Hudbay Minerals announced Thursday it had received a permit tied to the Clean Water Act for its Rosemont Project proposed in the Santa Rita Mountains, south of Tucson.
The 404 Permit, which Hudbay says was approved for the Rosemont Project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Saturday, "establishes a program to regulate the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States," according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Center for Biological Diversity -- a national conservation nonprofit -- says the mine would "threaten critical water resources and destroy Coronado National Forest land." They're now vowing legal action to contest the Corps's decision.
“The decision to permit Rosemont is based purely on politics and will not stand up in court,” a representative for the organization said.
Hudbay says the project would create thousands of temporary jobs in construction, and would then employ hundreds in operation of the mine.
Rosemont -- an open-pit copper mining project -- has been in dispute for more than 10 years. The U.S. Forest Service agreed to let the Canadian company to use Federal land to store earth it digs out of it's own property.