Thursday arguments set in challenge to southern Arizona mining projects
A federal judge will hear arguments Thursday in a request by conservation groups for a preliminary injunction to stop two potential mines in southern Arizona’s Patagonia Mountains.
The Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit in June challenging the U.S. Forest Service’s approval of the exploration projects.
According to the groups, the work could result in round-the-clock drilling in a biologically sensitive habitat for up to seven years.
The projects would drill for copper and other minerals in the desert area near the U.S.-Mexico border.
Advocates say the Forest Service didn’t properly analyze the possible harm the mines could have to public lands, water and endangered species, including the Mexican spotted own and yellow-billed cuckoos.
The Patagonia Mountains are also used as a corridor for ocelots and jaguars.