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A US appeals court ruling will allow mine development on Oak Flat, land sacred to Apaches

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An Apache group that has fought to protect land it considers sacred from a copper mining project in central Arizona suffered a significant blow Friday when a divided federal court panel voted 6-5 to uphold a lower court’s denial of a preliminary injunction to halt the transfer of land for the project. The Apache Stronghold organization had hoped to halt the mining project by preventing the U.S. government from transferring the land called Oak Flat to Resolution Copper. Wendsler Nosie, who has led Apache Stronghold’s fight, vowed to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court the decision by the rare 11-member “en banc” panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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