Battle continues over Resolution Copper Mine in Superior - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Battle continues over Resolution Copper Mine in Superior

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SUPERIOR, Ariz. -

It could mean more jobs and resurgence to Arizona's once mighty copper mining industry. But a proposed expansion of a mine in the town of Superior, east of the valley, is getting some big opposition from some who say the land needed for that expansion is considered sacred.

In Superior, businesses sit empty. Homes boarded up. The economy in shambles.

That's why many residents hope Resolution Copper, a mine that could be the largest in the country, opens soon.

"When you hear Resolution Copper what do you think?" we asked. "Jobs," said one man.

Another said, "We need the mines, people still want to work in mines, make good money."

"We'll be generating a billion dollars of economic stimulus a year. That's equivalent of 2, 3, 4 Super Bowls every year for 40 years right here in the town of Superior," said Andrew Taplin of Resolution Copper.

The Resolution Copper Mine already runs more than mile deep. They've been developing the mine for years, and when it's all said and done the developers say the mine will bring thousands of jobs to the area.

But to finish the mine, Resolution Copper wants to trade property it owns for 2,500 acres owned by the federal government -- land the San Carlos Apache Tribe considers sacred.

"We have ceremonies there, we have prayer there, since this whole thing came up we felt necessary that the public know how we -- how close we are and we're tied to that area," said Tao Etpinson, San Carlos Apache Tribe.

Now it's up to congress to decide on the land swap, a deal Congressman Raul Grijalva opposes.

"What's in it for the taxpayer? What is the real value of this extraction and is this trade worth it?" Grijalva wondered.

For one community it's not worth losing its heritage. For the other the value could be priceless.

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