March 5, 2021

Appeals court denies emergency motion for injunction at Oak Flat

The decision comes as a nonprofit appeals a district court's ruling that denied a preliminary injunction at the proposed mine site.

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.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Apache Stronghold's emergency motion Friday for an injunction pending appeal to stop a transfer of an Apache religious site to a copper company.

Apache Stronghold is a nonprofit advocating for the protection of Oak Flat in the Tonto National Forest. It is one of several organizations and a federally recognized tribe that is trying to stop the development of a mine on the land.

The three-judge panel said since the land swap will not take place until a new final environmental impact statement is filed, the situation doesn't warrant an injunction. Judge Patrick Bumatay dissented.

The U.S. Forest Service, the agency that currently holds the land, says it will take months to replace the environmental statement it rescinded Monday, so the judges said there won't be a chance for irreparable harm in the coming weeks.

Apache Stronghold is currently appealing a district court's ruling that denied a preliminary injunction.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
AZPM is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona