Freeport McMoRan to pay $6 million for bird deaths

Jul 3, 2012, 8:44 AM

PHOENIX — Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc. has agreed to pay $6.8
million to compensate for migratory birds that died when they drank acidic water
collecting on waste rock at the Morenci mine in southeastern Arizona.

The Arizona Republic reported that the settlement money
that the Phoenix-based company will pay will be used to restore wildlife
habitat, but specific plans for such projects aren’t available.

State environmental regulators said rainwater formed ponds on piles of mine
tailings at Morenci, and the water was documented as early as 2000 as highly
toxic to wildlife.

Regulators said the copper-mining company voluntarily reported the problem and entered settlement
talks in 2003.

Court documents showed that Freeport already paid more than $842,000 to the U.S.
Department of Interior for a damage assessment.

___

Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com

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Freeport McMoRan to pay $6 million for bird deaths