SUPERIOR, Ariz. (AP) — Federal legislation that would allow plans for a copper mine in southern Arizona to move forward has cleared one of its congressional hurdles.
Arizona Democratic U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick and Republican U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar say their legislation passed Wednesday in the House Natural Resources Committee.
It would allow for a land exchange between the Resolution Copper Mining Co. and the federal government. The swap would allow the company to begin obtaining permits.
Members of Arizona's congressional delegation have said the proposed project near Superior could spur the creation of more than 3,700 jobs and generate billions of dollars in economic activity and tax revenue.
Conservationists and some American Indian groups have helped stall the exchange.
Opponents have argued an environmental review should be completed before the exchange is made.