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Jun 21, 2013 6:56 AM by Associated Press

Feds fine Asarco over audit delay at Arizona mine

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Federal authorities have fined Tucson-based copper-mining giant Asarco more than $800,000 for failing to permit an audit of the company's production from its Mission mine near Sahuarita.

The Department of the Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue announced the civil penalty Thursday.

ONRR Director Greg Gould says Asarco's action "prevented auditors from performing substantive audit procedures for the Mission Mine for more than a year."

The $802,000 fine covers the period from January 2012 through when Asarco provided the information to fulfill the data request and enabled the audit to proceed.

Officials at Denver-based ONRR say Asarco may request a hearing on the fine.

A call to Asarco's headquarters Thursday night for comment wasn't immediately returned.

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