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Conservationists challenge mine near Grand Canyon

In this 1997 photo, the open pit uranium mine can be seen on the Spokane Indian Reservation near Wellpinit, Wash. The federal government has reached an agreement with two mining companies to clean up the uranium mine on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Midnite Mine operated from 1954 to 1964, and again from 1969 to 1981, resulting in numerous waste rock piles and two open mine pits. (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review)

A federal judge’s decision to allow a uranium mine to operate under an existing plan is being challenged.

Canadian mining firm Denison Mines Corp. runs the Arizona 1 mine. It’s located about 20 miles from the northern border of Grand Canyon National Park.

A group of conservationists and tribes sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management last year, alleging the agency relied on an outdated and inadequate environmental analysis in allowing the mine to resume operation. Previous mining operations in the area ceased some 20 years ago.

A U.S. District Court judge sided with the BLM.

The group appealed that decision to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday.

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