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Originally published Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 2:56 PM

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US court blocks huge gold mine project in Nevada

A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked construction of a massive gold mine project in northeast Nevada that critics say would harm the environment and ruin a mountain several tribes consider sacred.

Associated Press Writer

RENO, Nev. —

A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked construction of a massive gold mine project in northeast Nevada that critics say would harm the environment and ruin a mountain several tribes consider sacred.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed part of an earlier decision denying a preliminary injunction sought by conservationists and tribal leaders. The groups had sought the injunction to force Barrick Gold Corp. to postpone digging a 2,000-foot-deep open pit at the Cortez Hills mine 250 miles east of Reno.

The 17-page ruling issued Thursday in San Francisco said the U.S. Bureau of Land Management failed to adequately analyze the potential for the mine on Mount Tenabo (tuh-NAH'-boh) to pollute the air with mercury emissions and dry up scarce water resources.

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