/ Modified feb 13, 2021 1:57 p.m.

Court rules against Apaches in bid to halt proposed mine

Tribes and environmental groups had argued to stop the transfer

Oak Flat, AZ Mine Location hero Oak Flat, east of Superior, Arizona. A company proposes to build one of the world's largest underground copper mines at this location.
AZPM

A federal judge has rejected a request from a group of Apaches to keep the U.S. Forest Service from transferring a parcel of land to a copper mining company.

Apache Stronghold made the request as part of a lawsuit it filed against the Forest Service earlier this year.

It's the latest attempt to preserve the land in eastern Arizona that Apaches consider sacred for its spiritual properties.

U.S. District Judge Steven Logan said the group lacks standing because it is not a federally recognized tribe. He also said the group didn't prove it has a good chance of successfully proving its claims, which include violations of religious freedom.

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