Critical mine.

Mining company South32 is investing $2.16 billion to build an underground zinc mine in southern Arizona that is expected to start operations by 2027, Arizona Republic reports.

Located near the Coronado National Forest, the mine is opposed by locals for its groundwater use, but is on a fast federal permitting track because zinc is deemed critical for clean energy use.

Amena H. Saiyid

Washington D.C. Correspondent