Archive | Mining Conflict and Opposition

India’s Outback Coal Bets Sour as Global Prices Recover – by Ben Sharples and Perry Williams (Bloomberg News – March 1, 2018)

(Bloomberg) — Australian mining legend Lang Hancock’s dream four decades ago of exporting coal from the country’s remote Galilee Basin is becoming a nightmare for two Indian conglomerates.

Adani Group bought into the Queensland basin in 2010, followed a year later by GVK Group, with plans to ship thermal coal by the middle of the decade. Deals to build ports and rails signaled early promise, but the projects became embroiled in legal challenges and financing setbacks.

Adani now sees first exports from its massive Carmichael mine around 2020, six years behind schedule, as it struggles to shore up financing, with the federal government making clear Wednesday it won’t help with investments or loans. Continue Reading →

[Northern Superior Resources] Junior miner ditches duty-to-consult lawsuit against Ontario – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – March 2, 2018)

Exploration president criticizes Queen’s Park on hands-off approach to Indigenous engagement

A Sudbury junior miner has dropped a $25-million duty-to-consult lawsuit against the Ontario government and has settled out of court.

With their case still on appeal, Northern Superior Resources president Tom Morris said with a favourable outcome far from certain, it just made financial sense for the small exploration firm to end its five-year legal battle with Queen’s Park.

He declined to comment on the terms of the agreement reached with the province. “There was no guarantee that we were going to win anything out of that. The reality was that with what was offered to us, it just made sense to bite the bullet and move on; and the same from the government’s standpoint.” Continue Reading →

‘THIS IS A SIGN OF HOPEFULNESS. WE AREN’T DEAD YET.’ – by Leah Ryan (Mesabi Daily News – February 28, 2018)

AURORA — Headlines seen in the Mesabi Daily News over the years, dating back about two decades, document the sometimes-turbulent progress of PolyMet. As early up and downs of the NorthMet project mirrored the cyclical mining industry, few thought it would take this long to get to this point.

What has never been turbulent is the support PolyMet has received from Iron Rangers who depend on mining jobs to support their families. Now, as the reality of the PolyMet project draws even closer, opinions and fortunes on the East Range are proving to be ever optimistic.

“We are being rewarded for extreme patience,” commented Aurora City Councilor Douglas Gregor. “I would not have been as enthusiastic if the agencies hadn’t done what they have … We have a highly environmentally regulated state which has encouraged the mining companies to become environmentally conscious. With both environmental consciousness and the economic stimulation, this project is incredible.” Continue Reading →

[Deep Sea Mining: Papua New Guinea] The secret on the ocean floor: (BBC News – February 19, 2018)

A wave of pioneers is poised to scoop up treasure from the deep sea. But was this ocean mining boom sparked by a 1970s CIA plot?

In the summer of 1974, a large and highly unusual ship set sail from Long Beach in California. It was heading for the middle of the Pacific where its owners boasted it would herald a revolutionary new industry beneath the waves.

Equipped with a towering rig and the latest in drilling gear, the vessel was designed to reach down through the deep, dark waters to a source of incredible wealth lying on the ocean floor.

It was billed as the boldest step so far in a long-held dream of opening a new frontier in mining, one that would see valuable metals extracted from the rocks of the seabed. Continue Reading →

18 killed as Venezuela army takes control of wildcat mine – by Pableyas Ostos (ABC News – February 11, 2018)

Associated Press: CIUDAD GUAYANA, Venezuela – At least 18 people were killed at an illegal gold mine in southern Venezuela during clashes with security forces looking to take control of the area, an official said Sunday.

The confrontation was confirmed to The Associated Press by an army officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to discuss the operation.

He said it broke out Saturday when the army travelled to the Cicapra mine after receiving information that an armed gang was threatening wildcat miners in the remote area. Four assault weapons, grenades and several light firearms were seized. Continue Reading →

Northern Ontario First Nation awaits ruling over contested mining exploration permit (CBC News Thunder Bay – February 12, 2018)

Eabametoong asking court to overturn Landore Resources Canada’s gold exploration permit to

A northern Ontario First Nation now waits for a court ruling over a contested mining exploration permit in its territory after hearings in Toronto wrapped up last week.

Lawyers representing Eabametoong First Nation were in Ontario divisional court on Feb. 7 and 8. The First Nation wants the panel of judges to overturn a permit issued in its territory by the province to Landore Resources Canada in 2016. Eabametoong has argued the province failed in its duty to consult.

“Our position isn’t really anything new that we’re asking the courts to do, in terms of extending the duty to consult beyond what’s already been established,” said Krista Robertson, a Victoria-based lawyer with JFK Law, and legal counsel to the First Nation. Continue Reading →

Northern Ontario First Nation wants gold exploration permit quashed in case that could have impact on Ring of Fire – by Jorge Barrera (CBC News Indigenous – January 27, 2018)

Mining company pushed to end consultation after Barrick Gold came knocking

No one kept a record of what was said during the meeting between mining company Landore Resources Canada and the Ontario ministry in January 2016, but at stake was a potential deal with Barrick Gold, the largest gold mining firm in the world.

Landore, a subsidiary of Landore Resources Ltd., based in the Guernsey Islands, U.K., was eyeing potential gold deposits in an area with two lakes about 40 kilometres from Eabametoong First Nation where several families had camps, traplines and burial sites. Eabametoong First Nation is about 350 km northeast of Thunder Bay, Ont.

The mining company requested the “urgent meeting” with the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines because it wanted to wrap up consultations and obtain a permit to explore for gold, according to court records. Continue Reading →

Parties fight over uranium mining in Trump’s smaller Utah monuments – by Josh Siegel (Washington Examiner – January 22, 2018)

Republican lawmakers are trying to counter accusations that the Trump administration drastically shrank the boundaries of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah to benefit the uranium mining industry.

Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, introduced a bill last month that explicitly bars mining and drilling in the new monument area as well as in the land that was protected before President Trump altered the boundaries.

Former President Barack Obama, who created the 1.35-acre Bears Ears National Monument just before he left office, had banned mining and drilling there. Trump on Dec. 4 signed a proclamation cutting Bears Ears by more than 1.1 million acres, or 85 percent, and creating two smaller monuments instead. Continue Reading →

Protect the Amazon from big business and greed, Pope Francis urges – by Philip Pullella and Mitra Taj (Reuters U.S. – January 19, 2018)

PUERTO MALDONADO, Peru (Reuters) – Pope Francis issued a ringing defense of the people and the environment of the Amazon on Friday, saying big business and “consumerist greed” could not be allowed to destroy a natural habitat vital for the entire planet.

Francis, who has made the environment and climate change a focus of his nearly five-year-old pontificate, made his appeal while visiting a corner of the Amazon in Peru where pristine rainforest and biodiversity is being blighted by mining and logging, much of it illegal.

“The native Amazonian peoples have probably never been so threatened on their own lands as they are at present,” the pope told a crowd of indigenous people from more than 20 groups including the Harakbut, Esse-ejas, Shipibos, Ashaninkas and Juni Kuin. Continue Reading →

Revived Pebble Mine in Alaska Reignites War Over Expansion – by Stephen Lee (Bloomberg News – January 18, 2018)

Pebble Partnership, which hopes to build a gold and copper mine in Alaska, isn’t denying suggestions that it might someday try to expand the project, as environmentalists fear.

But any expansion would have to satisfy federal regulators, Tom Collier, chief executive of the Pebble Partnership, told Bloomberg Environment.

“It wouldn’t surprise any of us that are working on this particular permit application that there might be another one at some point in the future,” Collier said. “But that expansion or second phase would require an entirely new, thorough, and rigorous process. You don’t get a leg up and an easy expansion once you’ve developed part of the project.” Continue Reading →

Grand Canyon is a national treasure, not a place for uranium mining – by Robert Arnberger and Steve Martin (CNN Opinion – January 9, 2018)

Robert Arnberger was the National Park Service Grand Canyon superintendent from 1994-2000. Steve Martin was the National Park Service Grand Canyon superintendent from 2007-2011. The views expressed in this commentary are their own.

(CNN)The Grand Canyon is a great natural treasure, one of the most recognizable and revered landscapes on earth. And yet, despite its universally beloved status, it is threatened by the Trump administration.

A recently released government report reveals that President Donald Trump and his Cabinet are considering lifting the ban on uranium mining on the federally owned public lands that surround Grand Canyon National Park.

We are former superintendents of Grand Canyon National Park. We managed the park with pride for current and future generations of the American public — the park’s true owners. We are dismayed that the current administration is considering putting one of the most iconic places in our nation, indeed in the world, at risk of contamination from uranium mining. Continue Reading →

‘If we’re attacked, we’ll die together,’ a 16-year-old anti-mining activist told her family. But when the bullets came, they killed only her – by Kate Linthicum (Los Angeles Times – December 27, 2017)

Topacio Reynoso was so precocious her mother sometimes joked she was an extraterrestrial. A farmer’s daughter from a remote village in Guatemala reachable by a rugged mountain pass, she was playing perfect Metallica riffs on the guitar by age 12.

She won beauty contests, filled notebooks with pages of heady poetry and moved through life with a fearlessness that made her parents proud — if also nervous. At 14, she devoted herself to opposing construction of a large silver mine planned for a town nearby.

Topacio formed her own anti-mining youth group, wrote protest songs and toured the country talking about the environmental risks she believed the mine posed to her community. During a school trip to Guatemala’s capital, she led her classmates in refusing the small welcome gifts from a congressman who supported the mine. Then she heckled him so mercilessly that he fled the meeting. Continue Reading →

Protesters object to development of Cape Breton mountain sacred to Mi’kmaq (Halifax Chronicle-Herald – December 16, 2017)

The Canadian Press: BADDECK, N.S. — Dozens of protesters are taking a stand against mining projects on a Cape Breton mountain that is considered sacred by the Mi’kmaq.

Raymond Plourde of the Ecology Action Centre said traffic on Cape Breton’s Seal Island Bridge was slowed in response to Saturday’s rally against mining or quarrying of Kellys Mountain, and the roads were temporarily shut down by police during a Mi’kmaq ceremony.

Protesters walked down the middle of the road draped in flags and beating drums. Two people held up a sign reading “Hands off sacred Kluscap Mountain,” referring to Mi’kmaq name for the mountain, which is protected by the province as a Kluscap wilderness area. Continue Reading →

Gold mine case bolsters Indigenous rights in Brazil – by Stephanie Nolen (Globe and Mail – December 18, 2017)

A Brazilian appeals court has upheld the suspension of a key licence for Toronto-based Belo Sun Mining Corp., which hopes to build Brazil’s largest open-pit gold mine in the Amazon forest.

The decision sets the project back at least a year, and in their ruling, the three-judge tribunal blasted the company for failing to consult Indigenous people sufficiently.

The precedent-setting ruling serves to shore up the rights of Brazil’s First Nations, rights which are, in principle, constitutionally protected, but in practice often ignored in the development of infrastructure and commercial projects. It comes at a time when the political climate strongly favours the mining industry. Continue Reading →

Don’t rule out Kamloops’ Ajax mine just yet, expert says – by Roshini Nair (CBC News B.C. – December 17, 2017)

Opponents of a proposed open-pit copper and gold mine near Kamloops, B.C. have lauded the province’s decision to withhold an environmental assessment certificate, but an expert says it might be too early for them to celebrate.

Mining law specialist Patricia Dawn Mills, who teaches at Lakehead University and the University of British Columbia’s law school and consulted with the First Nations who opposed the mine, says she thinks the decision was the right one, but added the project is far from over.

“We’re not finished with [the Ajax mine]. This is a blip on the way,” Mills said.And it’s been a long way indeed.

Controversial start Continue Reading →