© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign adorns the building where mining company Rio Tinto has their office in Perth, Western Australia, November 19, 2015. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo
(Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court has ruled that the federal government may transfer thousands of acres in Arizona to Rio Tinto (NYSE:) Plc for a mine in a land swap deal, upholding a lower court’s ruling and rejecting a request from Native Americans who said the land has religious and cultural import.
The 2-1 ruling from the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, issued late Friday night, essentially defers to a 2014 decision made by the U.S. Congress and then-President Barack Obama to give the land to Rio for its Resolution Copper project.