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US judge rejects request to block work for new copper mine

Santa Rita Mountains
A Hudbay Minerals Inc. subsidiary plans to begin clearing and grading this month on the site in Tucson's Santa Rita Mountains for a planned new mine with five open pits.

A federal judge has rejected a request by opponents to stop Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc. from preparing a planned new copper mine’s site in the Santa Rita Mountains near Tucson.

U.S. District Judge James Soto refused to issue a temporary restraining order and dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Tohono O’odham, Pasqua Yaqui and Hopi tribes and the group Save the Scenic Santa Ritas.

Soto’s ruling Monday said Hudbay’s surrender of a suspended Clean Water Act Permit for a nearby project, the Rosemont Mine, removed the suit’s legal basis because the projects weren’t legally related.