EPA deals fresh blow to PolyMet’s $1 billion copper-nickel mine – by Editor (Mining.com – May 5, 2022)


The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has dealt a fresh blow to PolyMet Mining’s (TSX: POM) plans to build an open pit copper-nickel mine in Minnesota, by recommending the US Army Corps of Engineers not re-issue a key water-related permit.

The agency said this week the $1 billion NorthMet project, the first large-scale project to be permitted within the Duluth Complex in northeastern Minnesota, risked increasing levels of mercury and other pollutants in the St. Louis River downstream from the proposed mine.

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How mining for clean energy could undermine Biden’s EJ goals – by Jael Holzman and Scott Waldman (E&E News – April 19, 2022)


The Biden administration has said it is activating all the levers of government to advance environmental justice for people of color. However, one of President Joe Biden’s own policies for climate action might challenge his commitment to racial equity.

Earlier this month, Biden invoked a wartime law to free up federal funds for domestic mining activities for five metals sought by manufacturers of zero-carbon energy products: lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite and manganese. It was a move that, if successful, could help open mines across the country to support the production of electric vehicles and other technologies that are needed to reduce the country’s use of fossil fuels.

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With court’s backing, Ecuador’s indigenous block Amazon mining – by Alexandra Valencia (The Star – April 1, 2022)


SINANGOE, Ecuador (Reuters) – Armed with spears, their faces painted, members of the A’i Cofan community’s indigenous guard prepare to patrol the banks of the Aguarico River in Ecuador’s Amazon, ready to confiscate equipment and call in the police if they find miners on their ancestral land.

“We go down (the river) and document all the people who have entered,” guard coordinator Nixon Andy, 24, said. “When we come across strangers on our territory we speak peacefully, but if there isn’t respect there are authorities to whom we can report.”

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Coconino Voices: Going green? Not without mining – by Frank Bain (Arizona Daily Sun – March 28, 2022)


Mining is not a “predicament” as the chairman claims; mining exists
because of people’s desire to live in a modern world, not the Stone Age.

Going green — sounds great, but doing so won’t be easy. To go green, we will need tremendous amounts of minerals including lithium, copper, cobalt, nickel and uranium. To get these minerals, new mines will need to be developed.

Geologists have found deposits of these minerals here in the United States. Environmentalists have come out against developing these new discoveries, citing numerous unfounded reasons that have stymied the development of these badly needed minerals.

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Bishop in Brussels to lobby against Investment in Mining – by Ellen Teague (Independent Catholic News – March 27, 2022)


A delegation from Latin America, including a Catholic bishop, has travelled to Europe to raise awareness and urge support for communities suffering from destructive mining. It called for disinvestment from mining.

The members of the delegation met with European parliamentarians in Brussels on 24 March to denounce the relationship between dispossession and extractive impacts in Latin America.

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NDP to retable bill to block coal mining in Rocky Mountains – by Bob Weber (Canadian Press/Edmonton Journal – March 14, 2022)


EDMONTON — Alberta’s United Conservative government has refused for the second time to move ahead with an Opposition bill that would have placed legally enforceable restrictions on coal mining in the Rocky Mountains. That shuffles the Eastern Slopes Protection Act back to a legislative committee that could rule the bill won’t proceed at all.

On Monday, the Opposition New Democrats retabled the private member’s bill that would have substituted actual legislation for an order from Energy Minister Sonya Savage restricting coal mining in the Rocky Mountains. NDP Leader Rachel Notley, the bill’s sponsor, said a politician’s promise isn’t enough to protect those much-loved landscapes.

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Grassy Narrows First Nation looking at next options to protect land from mining activity in Ontario – by Logan Turner (CBC Thunder Bay – March 1, 2022)


Ontario mining recorder refused First Nation request to have prospective miners notified of legal risks

Members of a First Nation in northwestern Ontario are back to the drawing board in their attempts to protect traditional lands from continued impacts of industrial activity.

Most recently, leadership from Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek (Grassy Narrows) asked Ontario to inform companies and prospectors about the risks of staking a mineral claim in Grassy Narrows’s traditional territory.

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Between a rock and a hard place: The energy transition is sparking America’s next mining boom (The Economist – February 19, 2022)


About 16m years ago, a supervolcano that straddled the borders of what is now Oregon and Nevada erupted, forming the McDermitt Caldera. The volcanic activity pushed lithium-rich rock up near the Earth’s surface, creating the largest known lithium deposit in the United States.

Today, the same terrain around the Montana Mountains is carpeted with sagebrush, and coyotes are heard more often than people. But that may soon change. Lithium Americas, a Canadian company, has plans to build a mine and processing plant at Thacker Pass, near the southern tip of the caldera in Nevada. It would be America’s biggest lithium mine.

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Brazil’s Bolsonaro issues decrees to boost mining of Amazon – by David Biller (The Publics Radio – February 14, 2022)


RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has issued two decrees to drive gold prospecting with a focus on the Amazon rainforest, according to the texts published Monday in the official gazette.

The Program to Support Development of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining created by one decree aims to strengthen policies and stimulate best practices, according to the text. The Amazon “will be the priority region for the development of works,” it says.

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Two decades and $30 million later, a B.C. mine proposal is officially dead – by Matt Simmons (The Narwhal – February 9, 2022)

The Narwhal

They say that history repeats itself because nobody was listening the first time. B.C. rejected a proposed open-pit copper, gold and molybdenum mine for the second time Monday, spelling the likely end of a saga that lasted nearly 20 years, cost tens of millions of dollars and exposed flaws in B.C.’s environmental assessment process along the way.

Plans for the Morrison mine, proposed for the shores of Morrison Lake, known as T’akh Tl’ah Bin, about 65 kilometres from Smithers on Lake Babine Nation territory, go back to the ‘90s — although miners have been eyeing the area for its gold and copper since as far back as the ‘60s.

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MMG to halt Las Bambas copper mine amid fresh blockade – by Cecilia Jamasmie February 7, 2022 (Mining.com – February 7, 2022)


MMG (HKG: 1208) said on Monday that it will have to halt production at its Las Bambas copper mine in Peru by February 20, following a new and ongoing blockade of the road used by the company, which has already forced the Chinese miner to curtail operations.

Residents of the Chumbivilcas province have been blocking the main access to Las Bambas on and off since November 20. They demand jobs and economic contributions from the company, a unit of state-owned China Minmetals, which they say has failed to benefit residents despite its great wealth.

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NIMBYism Is Global, And That’s A Problem For The Energy Transition – by David Blackmon (Forbes Magazine – January 23, 2022)


It’s one of the grand ironies in the whole energy transition narrative: The same class of left-leaning activists who promote wind and solar and electric vehicles (EVs) as the solution also oppose the mining of the lithium and other critical minerals necessary to make them work.

EVs cannot displace internal combustion engine autos without lithium. The EV industry has irrevocably tied itself to lithium-ion technology for its batteries: Without plentiful and affordable supplies of lithium, the industry will fail.

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Analysis-Rio Tinto has few options to save Serbia lithium mine, none good – by Clara Denina (Yahoo Finance – January 24, 2022)


LONDON (Reuters) – Rio Tinto has only bad options as it tries to salvage its $2.4 billion Serbian lithium project after the country’s leaders bowed to environmentalists and cancelled it last week.

The Anglo-Australian miner could sue the government, a step likely to fail and further antagonise Belgrade, or bet that pro-mining politicians emerge victorious in April parliamentary elections, a result that would embolden opponents.

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Serbia revokes Rio Tinto lithium project licences amid protests – by Ivana Sekularac (Reuters – January 20, 2022)


BELGRADE, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Serbia revoked Rio Tinto’s (RIO.L) lithium exploration licences on Thursday, bowing to protesters who opposed the development of the project by the Anglo-Australian mining giant on environmental grounds.

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said the government’s decision came after requests by various green groups to halt the$2.4 billion Jadar lithium project which, if completed, would help make Rio a top 10 lithium producer.

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Opinion: Keep Alaska’s pristine wild lands free of poisonous industrial mining – by Seth Kantner (Seattle Times – January 19, 2022)


Seth Kantner lives in northern Alaska and is a commercial fisherman and the author of “Ordinary Wolves” and recently released, “A Thousand Trails Home: Living With Caribou.”

This fall before the ice froze, I started a letter to President Joe Biden. I was gathering cranberries on the hill above the old sod igloo where I was born and raised, thinking while my hands worked, thinking about food, and health, and how here that is the definition of success.

The berries were still liquid, soft and not easy to pick without crushing. They stained my fingers pink where my nails and knuckles weren’t coated dark with blood from the caribou I’d hunted earlier, for meat. I hadn’t found snow to wash my hands.

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