A federal judge on Wednesday tossed aside an earlier decision approving a copper-mining project set to begin just south of Tucson in the Santa Rita Mountains.
Canadian mining company Hudbay Minerals' plans and environmental impact statement earlier had been approved by the Forest Service. The company's plans called for an open pit copper mining project just south of Vail near Scholefield Canyon.
Lawsuits filed against the Forest Service by environmental groups and five Indian tribes were upheld by U.S. District Judge James Soto, according to a report.
According to Canada-based Hudbay Minerals, the nearly $2 billion project will bring more than 500 jobs as well as generate more than $350 million in local tax revenues. The company plans to mind copper, molybdenum and silver at the site.
Those in opposition of the project, which has been at the center of a debate for more than a decade, cite its obvious environmental impact to landscape and wildlife. The U.S. Forest Service approved the mining plans in March.
For more information on the proposed project, see Hudbay Minerals.