Archive | Mining Conflict and Opposition

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

http://abcnews.go.com/

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)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/

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)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/

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)

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/

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)

https://www.reuters.com/

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)

https://www.bna.com/

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)

http://www.cnn.com/

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)

http://www.latimes.com/

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)

http://thechronicleherald.ca/

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)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

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)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/

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 →

Environmental assessment sinks proposed Ajax mine near Kamloops (CBC News B.C. – December 14, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/

The provincial government has opted not to issue an environmental assessment certificate for a proposed open-pit copper and gold mine near Kamloops, prompting applause from the city and local First Nations.

The 1,700-hectare Ajax mine proposed by KGHM would have been located about 10 kilometres southwest of Kamloops on the traditional territories of the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwépemc Nation (SSN), Ashcroft Indian Band, Lower Nicola Indian Band and Whispering Pines/Clinton Indian Band.

According to a statement from the provincial environment and mines ministries, an environmental assessment found too many negative impacts for the proposal in areas such as air quality and local ecosystems. Continue Reading →

Community leaders from Mexico protest in Canada against Almaden’s operations – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud (Mining.com – December 13, 2017)

http://www.mining.com/

A protest action took place in Vancouver the same day Almaden Minerals announced the completion of a social impact assessment for its Ixtaca project, located in Mexico’s Ixtacamaxtitlán municipality in the eastern-central Puebla state.

The evaluation of Almaden’s gold-silver project was carried out by GMI Consulting and, according to a press release issued by the miner, it concluded that Almaden had consulted widely with the focus area communities, that the Ixtaca project was well understood, and that the SIA itself was successful in providing people with an opportunity to express their views on the impacts of the mine.

As this media statement was published, four community leaders from the Ixtacamaxtitlán Municipality led a rally near the company’s headquarters in Vancouver. Ignacia Serrano, Alejandro Marreros, Francisca Zamora, and Ignacio Carmona, accompanied by the Latin American not-for-profit organization PODER, protested against what they call “irregular operations” by Almaden Minerals in Mexico. Continue Reading →

U.S. court upholds Grand Canyon uranium mining ban, but allows mine nearby – by Valerie Volcovici (Globe and Mail/Reuters – December 12, 2017)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

A U.S. federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a lower-court ruling keeping a ban on uranium mining around the Grand Canyon, but also upheld a separate decision allowing a uranium mine nearby to open.

The decisions by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, related to cases argued last December, come as Congress and the Trump administration seek to expand mineral extraction on public lands.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last month proposed lifting the Obama-era mining ban on land near Grand Canyon National Park, an area of natural beauty in the western United States that also historically served a number of uranium mines. Continue Reading →

Sulfide mining: the most fateful decision Minnesota will ever make – by C.A. Arneson (Minn Post.com – December 12, 2017)

https://www.minnpost.com/

On Nov. 28, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Superior National Forest Land Exchange Act of 2017 (HR 3115) [PDF], facilitating perpetual pollution of Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Sponsored by Rep. Rick Nolan, HR 3115 has been received in the U.S. Senate; if attached to another bill it could slide through, selling Minnesota’s birthright to the highest bidder with scarcely a whimper.

If it passes the U.S. Senate, HR 3115 would exchange lands acquired for watershed protection for use by the most water polluting industry on the planet. It would render the pending lawsuits against the PolyMet land exchange for its proposed NorthMet mine null and void, the people’s right to seek justice in the courts stolen.

Where is the outrage? Minnesotans need to speak loudly, clearly – with the ballot if necessary – declaring they will not allow their representatives to turn our lake country into a sulfide mining cesspool. Water is becoming desperately scarce worldwide. Minnesota’s clean – incredibly rare – wealth of freshwater is its future. Continue Reading →