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1 Jan 2021

US Government lawsuit (re land swap of sacred land to Resolution Copper, USA)


Date lawsuit was filed
1 Jan 2021
Date accuracy
Year and Month Correct
Not applicable
Indigenous peoples, Human Rights Defender, Women
Location of Filing: United States of America
Location of Incident: United States of America
Type of Litigation: Domestic


BHP Australia Mining, Oil, gas & coal
Rio Tinto United Kingdom Mining

Against other:



Snapshot: In January 2021, the Apache Stronghold filed a lawsuit in the US District Court in Phoenix against the US Government to prevent a land transfer of the sacred Oak Flat in Tonto National Forest to Resolution Copper. They argued that Oak Flat is vital to the religious and cultural identity of the Apache people and the environment would be harmed by the mining activities. The Biden administration paused the process in 2021 to review concerns from Native American tribes. In March 2024, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to allow the land swap, stating it would not significantly burden the Apache's religious practices. In April 2024, Apache Stronghold asked the court to reconsider its decision. In May 2024, the Court denied the request to reconsider and Apache Stronghold announced that they will take the case to the Supreme Court. The case is ongoing.