A U.S. appeals court has kept in place an Obama administration ban on new mining claims around the Grand Canyon.
The decision Tuesday comes as a U.S. House committee is set to hear testimony on access to minerals on public land.
The U.S. Forest Service under President Donald Trump said weeks ago it would review the 20-year ban. The 2012 moratorium covers more than 1 million acres rich in high-grade uranium reserves outside Grand Canyon National Park.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision upheld a lower-court ruling preventing mining there.
The National Mining Association had argued the ban was irresponsible public policy and violated federal laws. A spokesman for the group says it’s disappointed with the ruling and is reviewing its options.
Conservationists say the ban protects water resources.