Tyrone Mine Settlement

New Mexico – The New Mexico Environment Department and Freeport-McMoran Tyrone Inc. have settled a disagreement over closure requirements for the Tyrone copper mine in the southwestern part of the state.

The department says the settlement addresses long-standing differences over the disposition of the mine's leach stockpiles and waste rock piles.

The agency says closure requirements are critical to controlling acidic seepage that has contaminated groundwater beneath the mine.

The dispute began when the department issued a comprehensive closure permit for the Tyrone mine in 2002, and Freeport's predecessor, Phelps Dodge Mining Co., appealed.

A Freeport-McMoRan spokesman in Arizona, Eric Kinneberg, says the company is pleased to have the settlement and is looking forward to working with the agency to implement it.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.