Interior Dept. fines Asarco over audit delay at mine

Federal authorities fined Tucson-based copper-mining giant Asarco LLC more than $800,000 for failing to permit an audit of production from its Mission Mine near Sahuarita.

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

Asarco's action "prevented auditors from performing substantive audit procedures for the Mission Mine for more than a year," said director Greg Gould.

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.

Federal officials based in Denver said Asarco may request a hearing on the fine.

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

The Associated Press

Procurement contract worth $126M for Raytheon

Tucson-based Raytheon Missile Systems has won a $126 million contract to procure material needed to manufacture up to 29 Standard Missile-3 Block IB missile interceptors, the Pentagon said Friday.

The modification to a standing contract from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency raises the overall value of the work to nearly $180 million, according to a Defense Department contract notice.

The work, funded by defense-wide fiscal 2013 procurement funds, is expected to be completed in September 2016.

The SM-3 IB is the latest version of the interceptor used with the ship-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system, a key part of the Obama administration phased plan for a missile shield around Europe.

The Pentagon's 2014 budget seeks funding for 52 SM-3 Block IB missiles, which are scheduled for initial deployment by 2015.

Arizona Daily Star

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