Australian mining companies, Rio Tinto and BHP, faced a setback in their plans to build a new copper mine in the US. The US Forest Services had cleared an environmental impact report to transfer 9.8sq km of Apache land in Oak Flat, Arizona to the new project.
However, on Monday, the Service rescinded its decision. A statement from Resolution Copper — Rio Tinto and BHP’s joint venture for this project — said it will evaluate this decision and continue to engage with the US government and Native American tribes.
Resolution Copper added that the proposed mine could fulfil approximately 25pc of the US’s copper demand. The venture’s ownership is 55pc Rio Tinto and 45pc BHP. Both companies have spent more than $1bn on the project until January 2021.