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Apache group sues over land swap for Arizona copper mine

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Posted at 11:02 PM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 01:02:54-05

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — 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 federal lawsuit that the U.S. Forest Service cannot legally transfer land to international mining company Rio Tinto because it was reserved for Western Apaches in an 1852 treaty.

The Tonto National Forest plans to release a final environmental review of the project and the land exchange on Friday.

A forest spokesman did not immediately respond to messages left by The Associated Press late Tuesday.