Federal officials say they will prepare an environmental impact statement on a proposed new copper mine and a related land swap in Arizona, a project that has stirred concerns over environmental and cultural concerns.
The Tonto National Forest announced Friday it plans four public hearings on the Resolution Copper Mining project near Superior, Arizona.
The site roughly 60 miles east of Phoenix would include 2,400 acres of federal land that would be obtained in exchange for land owned by Resolution.
Conservationists, residents and Native American tribes contend the mine would harm land coveted for its beauty, biodiversity and sanctity.
The company, business leaders and some members of Congress stress economic benefits from the project and contend they have addressed tribal concerns while protecting the environment and holy Native American locations.