A Canadian firm has announced its intention to mine copper and cobalt on public lands in Utah’s scenic Circle Cliffs east of Boulder, telling potential investors it has acquired what appear to be the first mining claims filed on lands removed from Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
The move set off alarms among environmental groups seeking the monument’s restoration, but it remains unlikely that Glacier Lake Resources’ plans will be realized anytime soon. The Bureau of Land Management will continue to manage these lands as a monument until a new management plan is in place.
“No one has validly changed the status of these lands. It’s still a national monument. It’s still closed to mining and any mineral exploration. Any claims like this are invalid,” said Nada Culver, senior counsel to The Wilderness Society.
“You can say whatever you want, but that doesn’t translate into reality on the ground that you have the right to destroy a national monument. We are going to be watching, and we are not going to let you do it.”
Others argued the recent appearance of the mining proposal suggests access to minerals motivated the Trump administration’s recent order to dismember the Grand Staircase.
For the rest of this article: https://www.sltrib.com/news/environment/2018/06/21/a-canadian-firm-wants-to-start-mining-on-utah-lands-that-used-to-be-part-of-grand-staircase-escalante-national-monument/