Archive | Mining Conflict and Opposition

Pebble Partnership CEO resigns over leaked tape – by Editor ( – September 23, 2020)

Northern Dynasty Minerals (TSX: NDM, NYSE: NAK) announced Wednesday that Tom Collier, CEO of its US-based subsidiary Pebble Limited Partnership, has submitted his resignation in light of comments made about elected and regulatory officials in Alaska in private conversations videotaped by an environmental activist group.

The announcement comes as doubts about the proposed Pebble copper-gold-molybdenum mine have steadily risen over recent months.

In September, short seller J Capital Research accused Northern Dynasty management of “gaslighting investors” and said the mine plan “is on its face absurd.” Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto promised to respect indigenous people. It has a chance to in the U.S. – by Lauren Redniss (Washington Post – September 22, 2020)

Earlier this month, the Anglo-Australian mining conglomerate Rio Tinto announced its chief executive, Jean-Sébastien Jacques, and two other top executives would step down as the company reckons with its decision last May to bulldoze ancient rock shelters in Australia’s Juukan Gorge to gain access to iron ore.

For the Indigenous Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people, the rock shelters were sacred sites. Archaeologists have found evidence of 46,000 years of human presence at the gorge.

In June, Rio Tinto issued an apology. But pressure from Indigenous groups and Rio Tinto’s shareholders pushed the company to take a stronger stand. Continue Reading →

Special report: Pebble Mine, the people’s story spanning more than two decades – by Sandy Szwarc (Must Read Alaska – September 19, 2020)


Pebble Mine is just weeks away from clearing the last hurdle to a federal permit − after nearly two decades of scientific, engineering and environmental studies, and wading through the permitting process.

It reached this point despite well-organized and massively-funded opposition from Outside special interests that have done everything in their power to block the permit. Across the country, many believe that those behind the opposition are grassroots environmentalists, unbiased experts, local fishermen, and Native American Indians.

But virtually none of them are who they appear to be. Attempting to mislead the public with huge media campaigns repeating the same scary sounding claims and misinformation, and efforts to stop the mine permit with an army of lawyers, their goals have nothing to do with the mine itself or saving the environment. Continue Reading →

Mining petition to be aired, should government stand – by Michael Swan (The Catholic Register – September 20, 2020)

If the Liberal government stands past the Sept. 23 throne speech, Martin Blanchet’s seven-year battle to get somebody with authority to look into how Canadian mining companies and others treat workers, communities and the environment in poor countries will finally get an airing in the House of Commons.

More than 6,000 people have signed a petition Blanchet launched over the summer through the Parliamentary online petition system. The petition calls for stronger investigatory powers for the Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise and Blanchet’s MP, Edmonton-Strathcona MP and NDP deputy house leader Heather McPherson, is anxious to present it in the House of Commons.

In addition to the petition, McPherson is preparing her own private members’ bill to strengthen the new system for monitoring overseas operations of Canadian companies. Continue Reading →

Opinion: Coal mining in Alberta must be carefully assessed before allowing expansion – by Bill Trafford (Calgary Herald – September 11, 2020)

Bill Trafford is president of the Livingstone Landowners’ Group., which represents landowners and supporters of the Livingstone-Porcupine area in southwest Alberta.

In his piece in the Calgary Herald on Aug. 26, Robin Campbell, president of the Coal Association of Canada, asks that the true facts about coal mining become known. Unfortunately, in his article, Mr. Campbell ignores multiple inconvenient truths.

He writes as if the Vista decision was the only coal mine that Ottawa decided to review. More accurately, there will now be reviews of two proposed mines, one in Alberta and one in B.C. Continue Reading →

‘A sacred spot’: why goldmining threatens Nova Scotia’s ‘wildest’ river – by Zack Metcalfe (The Guardian – August 31, 2020)

The extractive industries have their sights set on Nova Scotia as a literal goldmine, and decades of conservation efforts – as well the future of a beloved river – hang in the balance.

Three years after Atlantic Gold opened a goldmine north-east of Halifax, the mining company intends to open three more across Nova Scotia. One of the mines has been proposed alongside the St Mary’s River, Nova Scotia’s longest single waterway – and in the opinions of many, its wildest, supporting both endangered species and ecosystems.

This, the so-called Cochrane Hill goldmine, has become the focal point of mounting public opposition to goldmining in Nova Scotia. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Legal Action Launched Against Ontario’s Omnibus Bill 197 (August 31, 2020)

Defending the health and prosperity of communities and the environment

Toronto, August 31, 2020 – In the wake of the passage of Ontario’s controversial Bill 197, a legal challenge against the legislation has been commenced by Earthroots; Canadian Environmental Law Association; Ontario Nature; Cooper Price, a 16-year old activist; and Michel Koostachin, who was born and raised in Attawapiskat.

These parties have jointly filed an application for judicial review that asks the Divisional Court to issue declaratory relief and other remedies in relation to the omnibus legislation, which overhauls the Environmental Assessment Act and amends other provincial laws.

“Bill 197 holds true to an insidious pattern of environmental deregulation that reflects neither the values nor the long-term interests of Ontarians who understand the importance of a healthy environment,” says Caroline Schultz, Ontario Nature’s Executive Director. Continue Reading →


Thunder Bay, ON– Following the passing of Bill 197 – Ontario’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Act on July 21, 2020 which has instituted strategic revisions to the Environmental Assessment Act and weakened the requirements of Ontario’s Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) to oversee and monitor the environmental impacts of resource extraction authorized by the Ministries of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and Energy, Northern Development and Mines (ENDM)—the Matawa Chiefs Council issued this statement today rejecting the Ontario Crown’s tactics to unlawfully access the wealth of the north:

At the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Ontario government declared a black-out on environmental reporting requirements and now the big reveal is the stripping of all ‘red-tape’ for the mining, forestry and energy industries who are eyeing the resources of the North. The Ontario government has used the cover of COVID-19 to make legislative, regulatory and policy changes that attempt to diminish the obligations of Ontario to honour the constitutionally-protected Inherent Aboriginal and Treaty Rights of First Nations across Ontario. Continue Reading →

Northern Dynasty stock plummets further with Pebble project in limbo – by Staff ( – August 25, 2020)

Northern Dynasty Minerals (TSX: NDM) shares continued to crater on Tuesday as doubts grow over whether the company can clear regulatory hurdles for its Pebble project in Alaska.

The stock declined nearly 32% by 2:20 p.m. ET after falling by more than 40% during the previous session, leaving the company with a market capitalization of just over C$410 million.

On Monday, the US Army Corps of Engineers gave the company 90 days to explain how it would offset “unavoidable adverse impacts” to more than 3,200 acres (1,295 hectares) of wetlands were the mine to be developed. Continue Reading →

Native Americans: Rio’s copper plan belies gorge vows – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – August 21, 2020)

Native American groups say Rio Tinto’s plan to build a big copper mine on one of their sacred sites contradicts the company’s vow to improve management of cultural heritage in the wake of this year’s Juukan Gorge debacle in Western Australia.

The comments from Apache and environmental groups in the US highlight the global ramifications of Rio’s decision to blast through the culturally sensitive gorge in May, and how inconvenient the timing could be for the company’s plan to build a big new copper mine in Arizona.

US regulators were scheduled to file their final environmental impact study into the Resolution Copper project in July, ending eight years of approval processes and triggering a controversial land swap within 60 days. Continue Reading →

DNR deems Twin Metals’ plan for copper mine near Boundary Waters ‘incomplete’ – by Jennifer Bjorhus (Minneapolis Star Tribune – June 24, 2020)

Minnesota environmental regulators have published nearly 800 comments on the Twin Metals plan to build a copper-nickel mine just outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota, deeming the company’s project proposal “incomplete.”

The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says it needs the clarifications and extra information before it can start the required environmental impact statement on the proposed mine, one of the most contentious mine projects in the state’s history.

The comments, dated June 15, are posted on the Twin Metals section of the DNR’s website. The agency has “determined the initial submittal to be incomplete,” it said. Continue Reading →

Papua New Guinea seeks $191-million in back taxes from Barrick, Chinese partner as mining row escalates – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – May 7, 2020)

Papua New Guinea wants Barrick Gold Corp. and its Chinese joint-venture partner to fork over US$191-million in back taxes, as the world’s second biggest gold producer dukes it out in court over whether it has the right to continue mining in the country.

Late last month, Papua New Guinea (PNG) refused Barrick’s request to renew its mining lease on the Porgera gold mine, citing environmental and other legacy issues.

Barrick subsequently took legal action against the government, filing a judicial review with the National Court of Justice. The court ordered both sides to negotiate and report on their progress on Friday. If the two can’t reach an agreement, a mediator will be appointed to hash out a settlement. Continue Reading →

“Get the Hell Off”: The Indigenous Fight to Stop a Uranium Mine in the Black Hills – by Delilah Friedler (Mother Jones – March/April 2020)

Can the Lakota win a “paper war” to save their sacred sites?

Regina Brave remembers the moment the first viral picture of her was taken. It was 1973, and 32-year-old Brave had taken up arms in a standoff between federal marshals and militant Indigenous activists in Wounded Knee, South Dakota, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Brave had been assigned to guard a bunker on the front lines and was holding a rifle when a reporter leaped from a car to snap her photo. She remembers thinking that an image of an armed woman would never make the papers—“It was a man’s world,” she says—but the bespectacled Brave, in a peacoat with hair pulled back, was on front pages across the country the following Sunday.

Brave had grown up on Pine Ridge, where the standoff emerged from a challenge to the tribal chair, whose alleged offenses included scheming to accept federal money for Paha Sapa, also known as the Black Hills. Continue Reading →

The muddied waters of mining in Papua New Guinea – by Scarlett Evans (Mining Technology – April 20, 2020)

Just north of Australia, the island split into Papua and Papua New Guinea is famously underexplored, though over the years inroads have been made and tantalising glimmers of hidden mineral wealth have been quickly followed by some of the world’s biggest miners. Scarlett Evans look at the state of mining in the area, and just what the future holds.

Papua New Guinea plays host to a wealth of mineral deposits – from copper, gold and nickel to liquid natural gas. Yet despite its vast mining potential, the country’s resources sector has a history dented by environmental and social turmoil.

Its largest mines, Ok Tedi and Porgera, were disrupted by a devastating earthquake in 2018, and mining tensions even led to a civil war between 1988 and 1998 – a conflict that saw the loss of 20,000 lives. Continue Reading →

Environmentalists fear more uranium mining near Grand Canyon may be impending – by Debra Utacia Krol (Arizona Republic – March 17, 2020)

Environmentalists and tribal leaders are gearing up to address a long-anticipated recommendation to reopen the Grand Canyon region to uranium mining.

The Nuclear Fuel Working Group, established by President Donald Trump in July 2019 to explore domestic uranium production, is expected to release its findings and recommendations soon. And those recommendations are almost certain to include increasing the domestic supply of uranium, which was named one of the U.S.’s critical minerals in 2018.

That puts uranium on the same footing with minerals like cobalt and lithium, used in the electronics industry, and rare earth elements like titanium and tin. These minerals are so designated because they are essential to the U.S. economy and, because many of these minerals are heavily imported, the supply of one or more may be disrupted, according to the American Geosciences Institute. Continue Reading →