Officials To Look At Rosemont Copper Mine's Impact On Endangered Species

May 23, 2014

(Courtesy of USFWS)
An ocelot.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reconsidering its stance on the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine in southern Arizona. The agency will be taking a closer look at the mine’s impact on endangered species.

The open pit copper mining project has been in the works since 2007.

Last Fall, the Fish and Wildlife service said the proposed mine would not jeopardize the recovery of the area’s endangered species. But the agency is rethinking that now.

The agency’s Steve Spangle says new information about withdrawing groundwater was one factor that triggered the review.

"There are a number of aquatic species that we analyzed, that we would want to look at this new analysis to see whether it’s reasonably certain that those species would be effected to a greater degree than what we had originally considered," Spangle said.

Spangle says the sighting of an endangered ocelot in the area was another factor in the decision. This is the latest delay in what’s been a long approval process.