Worry, mistrust meet plans to secure waste from Niger uranium mine (France24.com – March 15, 2023)


Arlit (Niger) (AFP) – Towering mounds dot the desert landscape in northern Niger’s Arlit region, but there is little natural about them — they are heaps of partially radioactive waste left from four decades of operations at one of the world’s biggest uranium mines.

An ambitious 10-year scheme costing $160 million is underway to secure the waste and avoid risks to health and the environment, but many local people are worried or sceptical. From 1978, France’s nuclear giant Areva, now called Orano, worked the area under a subsidiary, the Akouta Mining Company (Cominak).

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State lawmakers join call to feds to intervene in Canadian mining upriver of Alaska – by Sage Smiley (Alaska Public Radio – March 16, 2023)


Southeast Alaska lawmakers are joining tribal and municipal governments, calling on the federal government to stop – at least temporarily – British Columbia’s mining activities in transboundary watersheds.

Southeast Alaska’s major river systems – the Taku, Unuk and Stikine – originate in British Columbia. Those transboundary watersheds are peppered with mineral claims, active mines and shuttered former mining operations.

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Teck Coal appeals B.C. fines for contaminating Kootenay waterways (CBC British Columbia – March 12, 2023)


Local Ktunaxa First Nation upset mining company seeking reduction to $16 million in penalties

A local First Nation says it’s “disappointed” Teck Coal is seeking to reduce the $16 million in fines it was assessed by the B.C. Ministry of Environment in January for polluting waterways in B.C.’s East Kootenay.

In January, the province imposed three administrative penalties on Teck Coal Limited, a subsidiary of Teck Resources, citing the company’s failure to have water treatment facilities ready by a required date. The company had been asked to have the facilities ready in order to limit emissions of nitrate and selenium from its Fording River operations in the Elk Valley.

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Workers Are Dying in the EV Industry’s ‘Tainted’ City – by Peter Yeung (Wired Magazine – February 28, 2023)


In Indonesia, sickness and pollution plague a sprawling factory complex that supplies the world with crucial battery materials.

AFTER DAYBREAK, THE village of Labota begins to shudder with the roar of motorbikes. Thousands of riders in canary yellow helmets and dust-stained workwear pack its ramshackle, pothole-ridden main road, in places six or seven lanes wide, as it runs along the coast of Indonesia’s Banda Sea. The mass of traffic crawls toward the Indonesia Morowali Industrial Park, better known as IMIP, the world’s epicenter for nickel production.

“This is a tainted city,” says Sarida, a woman in her forties buying cough medicine at a roadside pharmacy. Only her eyes are visible; the rest wrapped in a face mask, hijab, and burqa. Behind her, a factory belches out brown plumes as thick as a skyscraper.

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BOOKS: The horrors behind the mining industry that powers your life – by Russ Mitchell (Los Angeles Times – February 13, 2023)


You, the smartphone addict. The modern nomad, lugging your fancy laptop. The electric car driver, smug in your certainty that you’re making the world a better place. Look over here, under this rock; look at what you’d rather not see.

That’s what Siddharth Kara invites you to do in his damning new book, “Cobalt Red: How the Blood of the Congo Powers Our Lives.” Maybe you already know our booming battery-based economy depends on cobalt mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo. You’ve heard things are bad there. But I’d guess that, like me — smartphone addict, laptop lugger, owner of an electric car — you had no idea just how bad.

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B.C. fines Teck Coal $16 million for contaminating Kootenay waterways – by Winston Szeto (CBC News British Columbia – February 8, 2023)


The company failed to treat effluent for selenium and nitrate, Ministry of Environment says

A Canadian mining company has been fined more than $16 million for polluting waterways in B.C.’s East Kootenay.

The B.C. Ministry of Environment has imposed three administrative penalties on Teck Coal Limited, a subsidiary of Teck Resources, citing the company’s failure to have water treatment facilities ready by a required date to limit emissions of nitrate and selenium from its Fording River operations in the Elk Valley.

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‘We need to restore the land’: as coal mines close, here’s a community blueprint to sustain the Hunter Valley – by Kimberley Crofts and Liam Phelan (The Conversation – February 7, 2023)


The decline of the coal industry means 17 mines in the New South Wales Hunter Valley will close over the next two decades. More than 130,000 hectares of mining land — nearly two-thirds of the valley floor between Broke and Muswellbrook — will become available for new uses.

Restoring and reusing this land could contribute billions of dollars to the Hunter economy, create thousands of full-time jobs and make the region a world leader in industries such as renewable energy and regenerative agriculture that improves soil and water quality and increases biodiversity and resilience. But to unlock these future opportunities, we must first clean up the legacy of the past.

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ANALYSIS-Can mining clean up its act to meet soaring demand for green metals? – by Jack Graham (Thomson Reuters Foundation – January 27, 2023)


LONDON, Jan 27 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – In January 2019, a tailings dam from an iron ore mine burst near the southeast Brazilian town of Brumadinho, unleashing a deadly avalanche of muddy waste that killed an estimated 270 people.

The anniversary of the disaster – Jan. 25 – is a painful day for Angelica Amanda Andrade, whose sister Natalia died aged 32. “My life changed completely four years ago,” said Andrade, 28, a teacher who is campaigning for safer mining practices on behalf of her community.

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Abandoned mines among most expensive territorial contaminated sites – by Emily Blake (Canadian Press/Toronto Star – January 22, 2023)


Environmental advocates say costly cleanups of former non-renewable resource projects in the North show the need for better planning.

YELLOWKNIFE – Environmental advocates say costly cleanups of former non-renewable resource projects in the North show the need for better planning.

Three of Canada’s top five most expensive federal contaminated sites are abandoned mines in the North: Giant Mine in the Northwest Territories at an estimated $4.38 billion and the Faro and United Keno Hill mines in Yukon at $1 billion and $125 million, respectively.

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The green revolution is fuelling environmental destruction – by Matt Oliver and Jack Ryan (Telegraph – January 20, 2023)


Net zero warning as the staggering true cost of going green is revealed

Roughly 80 miles off the coast of Yorkshire, the new generation of offshore wind turbines being built at Dogger Bank will be taller than some skyscrapers.

Along with masses of solar panels and electric cars, these feats of human engineering will become the backbone of a new, green economy that will emerge as we abandon fossil fuels. Yet as we embrace net zero carbon emissions in the name of saving the planet, growing tensions are emerging over what must be done to achieve this goal.

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Toxic Towns: Don’t hold your breath – by Malone Mullin (CBC News Interactives – November 28, 2022)


In Baie Verte, N.L., a mine that once brought prosperity now symbolizes pain, suffering and death. Nobody knows how to get rid of it.

This is Part I of a three-part series on contaminated sites in Newfoundland and Labrador.

In Émile Zola’s 1885 novel Germinal, a French mining town, filled with families dependent on coal, is plotting a strike. It’s not an idyllic existence, living in 19th-century Montsou. Workers and their families sleep in shacks, eat mostly bread and rarely embrace leisure.

Eventually, they’re consumed by the massive beast whose tendrils reach deep underground. The mine, named Le Voreux, holds such sway over the townspeople’s lives that it transforms into a character in itself; figuratively speaking, by the end of the book, it eats its servants alive.

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Canada’s top five federal contaminated sites to cost taxpayers $4.38-billion to clean up – by Emily Blake (Globe and Mail/Canadian Press – November 28, 2022)


With a cost estimate of $4.38-billion, remediation of the Giant Mine, one of the most contaminated sites in Canada, is also expected to be the most expensive federal environmental cleanup in the country’s history.

The figure, recently approved by the Treasury Board of Canada, spans costs from 2005 until 2038, when active remediation at the former Yellowknife gold mine is anticipated to end. That includes $710-million the federal government said has already been spent, but does not include costs for long-term care and maintenance.

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Can you put a price on the impact of Yellowknife’s Giant Mine? – by Sidney Cohen (CBC News North – November 16, 2022)


Quantifying, in dollar terms, the effect of the mine on the economy, environment and people is complicated

Last week, the federal government revealed that cleaning up Yellowknife’s Giant Mine is now projected to cost $4.38 billion instead of $1 billion. This is, by one measure, greater than the mine’s total estimated revenues during its operation.

Quantifying, in dollar terms, the impact of the mine on the local economy, the environment, and the people who live on and use the area’s land and water is complicated, if not impossible.

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There are 280 billion tons of mining waste. This startup is putting it to good use – by Adele Peters (Fast Company – November 7, 2022)


Phoenix Tailings uses new technology to get key minerals out of mining waste.

Digging up and extracting the minerals needed to make electric car batteries or wind turbines comes at an environmental cost, using huge amounts of energy and dangerous chemicals and creating toxic pollution. But one Boston-area startup is getting some key materials in a different way: Instead of mining them from the ground, it uses new technology to extract them from mining waste.

“For us, it’s about figuring out how can we extract the most from the waste that has already been mined,” says Anthony Balladon, cofounder and VP of partnerships at the startup, Phoenix Tailings. “It has already been dug out of the ground. How can we make the most of what we’ve already done, rather than dig up new holes somewhere else?”

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Aluminum-based material can scrub CO2 from coal-fired power plants’ exhaust – by Staff (Mining.com – November 6, 2022)


An international team of researchers is proposing the idea of using aluminum formate – a metal-organic framework (MOF) – to remove carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants’ exhaust before the greenhouse gas reaches the atmosphere.

In a paper published in the journal Science Advances, the research group explains that MOFs have exhibited great potential for filtering and separating organic materials—often the various hydrocarbons in fossil fuels—from one another.

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