Mining company to pay settlement for Ariz. spill

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PHOENIX (AP) -- A Phoenix-based mining company is agreeing to a $150,000 settlement for releasing nearly 170,000 gallons of acidic solution into a southeastern Arizona creek.

Freeport-McMoRan says the settlement includes a $75,000 penalty to be paid to the state and an environmental project valued at the same amount.

The settlement results from a discharge from a pipeline at the company's Morenci mine into Lower Chase Creek.

According to Freeport McMoRan, the discharge happened when a contractor incorrectly connected an electrolyte solution pipeline to a storm water pipeline.

The company says a highly corrosive acidic solution traveled downstream more than two miles. Construction of earthen dams kept it from flowing into the San Francisco River.

The consent agreement is subject to approval by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge.