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Arizona mining project puts sacred native land at risk

Nearly 7000 feet below the earth’s surface, miners work to build the foundation of what mining giant Rio Tinto hopes to be one of the world’s largest underground copper mines.

Rio buys materials for its Resolution Mine site from Darrin Lewis’s Superior Hardware & Lumber located in the tiny town of Superior, Arizona. Lewis paid $800,000 for the hardware store early last year and now Rio’s purchases account for a third of the store’s sales. But the mining project was put on hold last month by U.S.

President Joe Biden in response to the concerns of Native Americans, such as Elder Sandra Rambler of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, who say it will destroy sacred land. The dispute centers on Oak Flat Campground, which some Apache consider home to deities, and mining companies are notorious throughout the world for being irresponsible towards the land they mine in, placing profit over doing what’s right.

Lungilwe Zingi.

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