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Tribe Loses Court Battle to Stop Gold Mine on Mount Tenabo

Native Strength
June 24th, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO, California, June 22, 2010 (ENS) – An Indian tribe, an indigenous rights support group and a mining watchdog group have failed in their joint court bid to block the expansion of a gold mine in northeastern Nevada.

A three-judge panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Friday upheld a district court's grant of summary judgment against the plaintiff Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone of Nevada and its co-plaintiffs, the Western Shoshone Defense Project, and Great Basin Mine Watch.

The court ruled in favor of the Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Land Management, and a mining company.

The dispute centers on the intention of Barrick Gold, a Canadian company based in Toronto, to expand its Cortez Gold Mine located in Nevada's Lander and Eureka counties.

The existing Cortez gold mine in Nevada, which Barrick Gold wants to expand (Photo by This Tide Has No Heartbeat)

In November 2008, the plaintiffs challenged the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's approval of the Cortez Hills mine expansion, claiming that the expansion violates the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act.

The expansion threatens Mount Tenabo, an important sacred mountain for the Western Shoshone people, the appeals court recognized in its ruling.

 

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