Archive | Mining Conflict and Opposition

Eldorado claims €750m from Greek State over permit delays – by Marleny Arnoldi ( – September 18, 2018)

old and base metals producer Eldorado Gold’s Greek subsidiary Hellas Gold has filed an application for payment with the Hellenic Republic, requesting about €750-million for damages suffered by the company, arising from delays in the issuance of permits for the Skouries project, in northern Greece.

The damages include out-of-pocket costs and loss of profits incurred. The application is a non-judicial request for payment and does not initiate legal proceedings.

Eldorado president and CEO George Burns stated on Tuesday that the application represented a good-faith attempt to resolve the matter with the Greek State. “We hope that this matter can be resolved in an amicable manner without needing to go down the route of arbitration.” Continue Reading →

Uranium Mining a Decision Best Left to the States – by THE EDITORIAL BOARD (Lynchburg News and Advance – September 9, 2018)

The Coles Hill Farm uranium deposit in Pittsylvania County has been a bone of contention since the 1970s when geologists discovered it. From the property owners to one mining company after another, extraction of uranium ore has been an ongoing issue.

Likewise, the possibility of mining the deposit has met vehement opposition from environmental advocates and the majority of local residents. For decades, too, uranium mining has been an undercurrent in Southside Virginia politics. It’s about to get much more contentious very quickly.

That’s because Canadian-backed Virginia Uranium Inc. (VUI) and its local and international investors have taken their fight to overturn the commonwealth’s 36-year-old mining moratorium to U.S. Supreme Court. It has just scheduled arguments for Nov. 5, and the stakes for Virginia couldn’t be higher. Continue Reading →

Peru: Aymara Pressure Halts Bill Compensating Mining Company (teleSUR English – September 8, 2018)

Peru’s Aymara people, who threatened the government with massive protests, have persuaded Congress to halt a bill proposing payment of US$31 million to the Canadian Bear Creek Mining Corporation as compensation for the 2011 resistance movement known as ‘Aymarazo.’

The Budget Commission voted against article 13 of the 03121-2017 bill on Thursday. Oracio Pacori Mamami, a lawmaker from Puno and head of the commission, warned Congress about the social upheaval passing such a bill would trigger. “We have warned the minister of economy about this danger and that’s why we left this payment suspended,” Pacori Mamami said.

Patricio Illacutipa, Aymara leader and president of the Front in Defense of Natural Resources of the southern region in Puno, had threatened authorities with a mass mobilization if the “unjust” bill was passed: “As a people, we’re already organizing for a second Aymarazo. We’re just waiting for an answer from Congress.” Continue Reading →

Defeat for Minnesota wilderness protection means back to business for mining – by Josephine Marcotty (Minneapolis Star Tribune – September 10, 2018)

The federal government’s sudden decision to reopen mineral exploration just outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness was a resounding defeat for wilderness advocates. But for the mining industry, it means back to business as usual.

By 2016, when the U.S. Forest Service adopted the temporary ban on exploratory drilling, mining companies had already poked thousands of holes in the ground in northern Minnesota in a decadeslong hunt for copper, nickel, platinum and other precious metals.

Now, the grinding sound of the drill rigs in 234,000 acres of the Superior National Forest around Ely will resume and, over the next few years, probably increase, say those in the industry. More importantly, the decision to lift the ban makes it more likely that at some point all that exploration will result in a mine. Continue Reading →

Feds Lift Roadblock to Copper Mining Near Boundary Waters (Associated Press/Voice of America – September 6, 2018)

MINNEAPOLIS — The Trump administration on Thursday lifted a roadblock to copper-nickel mining near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of northeastern Minnesota, reversing a decision made in the final days of the Obama administration.

The Obama administration in late 2016 withdrew around 234,000 acres of the Rainy River watershed near Ely from eligibility for mineral leasing pending a two-year study, citing the potential threat from acid mine drainage to the nearby Boundary Waters, the country’s most-visited wilderness area. The move could have led to a 20-year ban on mining and prospecting on the land.

The most immediate beneficiary is Twin Metals Minnesota, which hopes to build a copper-nickel-precious metals mine south of Ely. It plans to submit its first formal mining plan to regulators in the next 18 months. Continue Reading →

Opinions: Bristol Bay, not Pebble Mine, is the sound investment pencil – by Jonas Kron (Anchorage Daily News – September 6, 2018)

Jonas Kron is a senior vice president at Trillium Asset Management, an investment firm that focuses on sustainable and responsible investing.

Our investment firm is in the business of recognizing, understanding and pricing risk. It’s a job that often demands difficult judgment calls, but this one is a no-brainer: Pebble Mine is a bad bet. That’s one reason why the governor of Alaska recently called for a hold on mine permitting.

Today’s smart investors don’t just look at the bottom line. We look for opportunities to promote good corporate behavior through long-term investment strategies that consider social and environmental well-being: in other words, sustainable economic growth that will deliver returns over the long term.

The Pebble Mine, a vast gold and copper mine proposed in the headwaters of southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay, is the type of project that runs counter to sustainable economic growth. The mine jeopardizes a vast renewable resource –one that provides 14,000 jobs and an abundant source of healthy seafood that helps feed the world. Continue Reading →

Hambach: the battle between a forest and a coal mine threatens Germany’s environmental image – by Irene Banos Ruiz (Deutsche Welle – August 30, 2018)

Hambach Forest in western Germany has become a symbol of resistance to coal mining, but its days may well be numbered. Can protesters save Germany’s green image as an environmental and climate champion?

Hambach forest in western Germany looks like an idyllic spot, with a community of some 150 people living in tree houses and walking around barefoot. But appearances are deceptive. These are protesters who have set themselves the tough task of protecting the forest from being sacrificed to a giant opencast mine to extract lignite or brown coal, one of the dirtiest fossil fuels.

The energy company RWE plans to expand the nearby Hambach mine, already Europe’s biggest open pit coal mine. That means chopping down the forest, which has become symbolic of the battle between fossil fuel concerns and environmentalists. Continue Reading →

Taseko claims court victory but natives call on B.C. to block New Prosperity – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – August 28, 2018)

In theory, the latest court decision regarding Taseko Mines’ (TSX:TKO) New Prosperity project might have brought some clarity to Canada’s vaguely defined “duty to consult.” But how that plays out in practice remains to be seen.

On August 28 the company stated that last week’s British Columbia Supreme Court decision overrules native objection to an exploration permit. The ruling allows Taseko to collect data that might overcome a 2014 federal environmental rejection for the proposed gold-copper open pit in the province’s south-central area.

Calling the decision “unequivocal,” company president/CEO Russell Hallbauer said it affirmed the province’s “authority to approve resource development work even in the face of aboriginal opposition. Continue Reading →

Battle brewing over mine south of Bancroft – by Timothy Meeks(Belleville Intelligencer – August 29, 2018)

LIMERICK TOWNSHIP – There’s a battle brewing in this tiny cottage community south of Bancroft over a proposed nickel, cobalt and copper mine.

Monica Nikopoulos of the Limerick Area Conservation Coalition (LACC) claims there has been no written notification of the activities being undertaken by Dr. Derek McBride, P.Eng, an international mineral deposit specialist with Derek McBride Geological & Management Services, who owns the mineral rights to the area south of Hwy 620, west of Old Hastings Road near Ormsby and stretching east to Hwy 62.

A public meeting and information session is being hosted by Pancontinental Resources Corporation (Pancon) Sunday, Sept. 9 at 4 p.m. at the Limerick Community Centre. Continue Reading →

Four things that need to happen before PolyMet mine’s future can be written – by Dan Kraker (Minnesota Public Radio News – August 28, 2018)

PolyMet Mining moved a tiny step closer to its goal of opening the first copper-nickel mine in Minnesota last week when the state Department of Natural Resources declined an environmental group’s petition for additional environmental review on the proposed mine.

But the controversial project, nearly 15 years in the works, still faces several hurdles before construction can begin, including lawsuits, potential administrative hearings, several key permits PolyMet still needs to obtain — and the significant funding the company needs to raise to build the nearly $1 billion project, which would include a mine just south of the Iron Range town of Babbitt, Minn., and a processing facility a few miles south in Hoyt Lakes.

The PolyMet proposal — and the prospect of a new copper-nickel mining industry amongst the forests and lakes of northeast Minnesota — is the most divisive environmental issue the state has faced in decades. Continue Reading →

In Chilean desert, global thirst for lithium is fueling a ‘water war’ – by Dave Sherwood (Reuters India – August 29, 2018)

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – On Chilean water regulator Oscar Cristi’s desk, a small white espresso cup teeters atop piles of documents and loose folders that appear on the point of collapse, perhaps an apt metaphor for the growing water crisis in parts of the Andean country.

Sitting in his eighth-floor office adjacent the presidential palace, Cristi, a PhD economist, lays out a map of Chile showing key watersheds for mining. Swaths of the mineral-rich north are colored blue, denoting areas where aquifers are over-exploited. Soon, if Cristi gets his way, they will be red, meaning new water rights will be banned.

Reams of water rights were granted by Chilean governments over decades with little consideration for their cumulative impact as miners scrambled to stake claims on the small pockets of water available in the salt flats of the Salar de Atacama. Continue Reading →

It’s time to move forward, stop fighting Rosemont – by Amber Smith (Arizona Daily Star – August 26, 2018)

Amber Smith is president and CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber.

Arizona is a mining state. To this day, Arizona mining companies produce 65 percent of the copper in the United States. This history of mining in our region runs deep, most prominently when Tombstone was the largest city between New Orleans and San Francisco soon after Ed Schieffelin struck silver in the late 1870s.

Yet, as reported in the Arizona Daily Star, three organizations are filing suit in the latest attempt to stop the Rosemont project, a mining project named after the mining community that inhabited the area in the late 1890s.

The process to open a mine today is painstakingly arduous. The Forest Service initiated the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process in March 2008, and that process closed in December 2013. During that time, 19 public hearings and open houses were conducted, and more than 36,000 comments were filed. Continue Reading →

Minnesota think tank wades into debate on economics of mining – by By Josephine Marcotty (Minneapolis Star Tribune – August 20, 2018)

Just as election season gets into full swing this fall, a Twin Cities think tank will wade into the fierce economic debate about copper-nickel mining in northern Minnesota with a statewide advertising campaign that promotes the potential of the new industry.

John Hinderaker, president of the Center of the American Experiment in Golden Valley, said the $270,000 campaign announced Monday will start after Labor Day. It will include highway billboards, TV and radio spots, YouTube videos and other social media ads that highlight the billions in economic benefits the state will reap from mining, according to a new report from the center.

“If voters understand the huge benefit of mining, they will want to see it happen,” Hinderaker said. “And an election is a good time to be talking about it.” Continue Reading →

Ontario court dismisses junior miner’s exploration permit over failure to consult – by Robert Hiltz (CIM Magazine – August 08, 2018)

Landore Resources and Ontario mines ministry failed to properly consult Eabametoong First Nation over drilling permit, court rules

The Ontario Superior Court threw out a junior mining company’s permit for drilling work on Eabametoong First Nation’s traditional territory in northern Ontario after ruling that the company and the province had failed in their duty to adequately consult with the Nation.

Justice Harriet Sachs wrote in a mid-July ruling that Landore Resources Canada and Ontario’s Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) did not meet the required level of consultation to be seen as “upholding the honour of the Crown” when dealing with Eabametoong.

The judge wrote that both Landore and the MNDM dealt with Eabametoong in an opaque way that left the First Nation in the dark about why and how decisions were being made, and excluded them from parts of the process. Continue Reading →

The Timberjay takes on the nation’s most heated mining battle – by Stephanie Pearson (Columbia Journalism Review – July 25, 2018)

“MINNESOTA AS TRUMP COUNTRY? DON’T BET ON IT,” Marshall Helmberger, publisher of The Timberjay, headlined his June 27 editorial, which ran a week after President Trump held a rally in the nearby city of Duluth. Like most of Helmberger’s editorials, the piece was expansive, gutsy, thoroughly researched, and left of center.

It was also written from the heart of the Iron Range, a taconite and iron-ore mining stronghold President Trump has zeroed-in on. There’s a hotly contested US House seat up for grabs in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District, where Trump stumped for Republican candidate Pete Stauber.

And the Trump administration is quietly dismantling environmental regulations to pave the way for Twin Metals, a subsidiary owned by Chilean conglomerate Antofagasta, to build a controversial sulfide-ore copper-nickel mine near the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Continue Reading →