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U.S. judge denies Native American request to block study linked to Rio copper mine

Jan 14 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Thursday denied a request by Native Americans to block the Trump administration from publishing an environmental study that would trigger a land swap needed by Rio Tinto Ltd to build a copper mine in Arizona.

U.S. District Judge Steven Logan said in his ruling that because tribal representatives were not able to contact U.S. government attorneys on Wednesday to indicate they were filing a temporary restraining order, the court will not approve the restraining order. Trump officials have said the study will be published on Friday.

The judge said that just because the study is published does not necessarily mean the land swap will actually go through, even though the U.S. Congress mandated just that in 2014. The judge has set a series of hearings on the matter in the next two weeks. (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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