FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The Interior Department has extended a temporary ban on the filing of new mining claims in a 1 million-acre area near the Grand Canyon.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made the announcement Monday during a visit to the iconic park.
The department had been analyzing whether to prohibit new mining claims on the 1 million acres, or on a portion of it, or to take no action. The acreage had been under a temporary ban for new claims that now will expire in December.
Salazar says he will recommend that the entire 1 million acres be protected from new mining claims.
As many as 10,000 mining claims exist on federal land near the Grand Canyon for all types of hard-rock exploration.