Rio Tinto’s Resolution Copper project in Arizona has now entered the public consultation phase after the US Forest Service published its environmental impact statement.
On Jan 15, a US judge denied a plea from the local San Carlos Apache tribe who claimed that the land did not belong to the government and wanted to block the land-swap deal approved by the outgoing Trump administration.
Rio Tinto, along with co-owner BHP, will decide on whether to fully invest in the development of the project after the land-swap is completed within the next two months and a pre-feasibility study can be undertaken.
The miner clarified that it plans to work in partnership with the native American tribes to protect culturally significant areas near the mine such as the Apache Leap and Emory Oak grove.
Resolution Copper is a 55-45 joint venture between Rio Tinto and BHP. The mine is said to be one of the largest unexplored copper deposits in the world with an estimated 40bn mt of mineralization.