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10:03 AM Sat, Jan. 19th

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Inset Photo: Ken Salazar

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Grand Canyon mining claims ban extended

Decision puts on hold any plans for uranium mining in Arizona Strip

The Interior Department has extended a temporary ban on the filing of new mining claims near the Grand Canyon with an eye toward protecting 1 million acres and giving the federal government more time to study the economic and environmental effects of mining.The department has been analyzing whether to prohibit new mining claims on up to 1 million acres near the park, or to allow the mining industry to stake more claims. The area has been under a temporary ban since July 2009. It was to expire in a month but has been extended to December.