Thursday, October 27, 2011

Land swap for Resolution Copper mine passes U.S. House

The House voted along party lines to approve the swap of 5,350 acres of lands they acquired for their conservation value, for 2,422 acres of federal lands needed for the proposed Resolution Copper underground mine to be developed [right]. Resolution Copper is a joint venture between Rio Tinto and BHP, the two biggest mining companies in the world. The mine is projected to produce 20-25% of the total U.S. copper demand for as much as 40 years.

The House debate turned acrimonious over challenges made by mine opponents that Rio Tinto owns a majority interest in a uranium mine in Namibia, that is also partly owned by an Iranian company. Supporters of the land exchange argued that it would not affect sanctions on Iran. The bill must now go to the U.S. Senate.

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