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Article

Mining and American Indians Still Don’t Mix

Resolution Copper has proposed to exchange 4,500 acres of land in northern Arizona for the 3,000 federally owned acres it wants to mine. The land the company wants includes not only Oak Flat Campground, a protected site since 1955, but the nearby Apache Leap area sacred to the San Carlos Apache Tribe. Once you take a good look, it’s not even a good deal on paper. Current mining law says the public would receive no royalties on the estimated 1.6 billion tons of copper the company would extract and sell...In reality, it’s all about profits for a handful of uranium mining companies that don’t hire local labor, don’t keep their profits in the state (or in some cases the country) and don’t sell their product domestically...[W]hich is why I introduced the RESPECT Act in this Congress to ensure that we require nation-to-nation consultation and signoff prior to any land trade impacting Native American nations or filing a bill in Congress to process those trades...Tribes should be an integral part of the decision-making process whenever federal activities could affect tribal life...[also refers to Denison Mines, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton]