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

ocelot
(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.

Carrie Jung Senior Field Correspondent, Education Desk Carrie Jung began her public radio career in Albuquerque, N.M., where she fell in love with the diverse cultural scene and unique political environment of the Southwest. Jung has been heard on KJZZ since 2013 when she served as a regular contributor to the Fronteras Desk from KUNM Albuquerque. She covered several major stories there including New Mexico's Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage and Albuquerque's failed voter initiative to ban late-term abortions. Jung has also contributed stories about environmental and Native American issues to NPR's Morning Edition, PRI's The World, Al Jazeera America, WNYC's The Takeaway, and National Native News. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in marketing, both from Clemson University. When Jung isn't producing content for KJZZ she can usually be found buried beneath mounds of fabric and quilting supplies. She recently co-authored a book, "Sweet And Simple Sewing," with her mother and sister, who are fabric designers.