FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - A federal judge in Arizona is refusing to reconsider a ruling upholding the Interior Department's authority to ban new hard rock mining claims on federal land.
U.S. District Judge David Campbell's ruling Thursday denies mining industry groups' request for reconsideration his March 20 ruling.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced a prohibition in 2012 on over a million acres near the Grand Canyon that are rich in high-grade uranium ore reserves.
Federal law gives the Interior secretary the ability to withdraw 5,000 or more acres but not for longer than 20 years without congressional approval.
Mining groups are suing the federal government over the ban.
With Campbell standing by his March ruling, that allows claims on environmental and economic impacts to be heard.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.