UM graduate student learns deeper history of Anaconda Smelter Stack – by Staff (NBC Montana – March 25, 2023)

MISSOULA, Mont. — A University of Montana Ph.D. student set out to study superfund cleanup in Anaconda, and her conversations with residents often turned to the smelter stack in town. Megan Moore interviewed residents and looked into how memories can offer more insight into mining legacies and cleanup. She found that in Anaconda, people often talked about the 585-foot smelter stack, which closed in 1980.

“I think there’s a tension between some community members about the stack, and that’s something that came through in our interviews and surveys. But what really was important was that people are very connected to it, often in different ways, but it’s something that should be paid attention to here in Anaconda and in other communities,” Moore told NBC Montana.

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What happened to the atomic test dummies? – by Glen Meek (Nevada Independent – March 17, 2023)

St. Patrick’s Day always rocks in Las Vegas, but not like it did 70 years ago when a 16-kiloton atom bomb detonated atop a tower at the Nevada Proving Grounds, 65 miles north of the city.

The March 17, 1953 above-ground nuclear test destroyed or damaged various test objects placed at differing distances from ground zero, including houses, cars and mannequins meant to simulate real people who might get caught in a nuclear blast. The explosion sent a shock wave through southern Nevada and left behind an atom-age mystery: What happened to the life-like mannequins used in the test?

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Mine Tales: Mining district near Tombstone busy for decades – by William Ascarza (Arizona Daily Star/ – February 12, 2023)

The towns of Gleeson and Courtland along the old ghost town trail have an extensive history of mining operations. They are located three miles apart in the Turquoise Mining district in the southeastern part of the Dragoon Mountain Range, about 15 miles east of Tombstone.

The range itself extends northwesterly with a length of 26 miles and a width up to 12 miles. Geologic activity in the district includes faulting and igneous intrusions. Rocks include quartz monzonite, granite and felsite.

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‘Posthistory’ depicts coal region history after King Coal was dethroned – by Ron Devlin (Republican Herald/Yahoo – January 28, 2023)

Jan. 28—POTTSVILLE — The history of anthracite coal in the southern fields usually goes something like this: Necho Allen discovers coal in 1790, igniting an economic engine that burns brightly for 150 years or so.

The black diamonds Allen’s campfire lighted while he slept atop Broad Mountain fueled the Industrial Revolution and remained a vital energy force through World War I and World War II.

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Mine Tales: Arizona features many mines with diverse geology, mineralogy -by William Ascarza (Arizona Daily Star/ – January 8, 2023)

Arizona has the distinction of many mine sites that have diverse geology and mineralogy. Located 20 miles southwest of Tucson, the Sierrita Mine, currently operated by Freeport-McMoran, is one of the largest copper molybdenum mining operations worldwide.

It was originally prospected in 1895, however, it was not until 60 years later that its value as a disseminated porphyry copper deposit was determined by Harrison Schmitt, who recommended its development to the Duval Sulphur and Potash Co., which in turn brought it into large scale production in 1959.

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Jeans pulled from a 19th century shipwreck sell for a fortune: ‘Those miner’s jeans are like the first flag on the moon, a historic moment in history’ – by Scott Sonner (Associated Press/Fortune Magazine – December 9, 2022)

Pulled from a sunken trunk at an 1857 shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina, work pants that auction officials describe as the oldest known pair of jeans in the world have sold for $114,000.

The white, heavy-duty miner’s pants with a five-button fly were among 270 Gold Rush-era artifacts that sold for a total of nearly $1 million in Reno last weekend, according to Holabird Western American Collections.

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When Coal First Arrived, Americans Said ‘No Thanks’ – by Clive Thompson (Smithsonian Magazine – July/August 2022)

Steven Preister’s house in Washington, D.C. is a piece of American history, a gorgeous 110-year-old colonial with wooden columns and a front porch, perfect for relaxing in the summer.

But Preister, who has owned it for almost four decades, is deeply concerned about the environment, so in 2014 he added something very modern: solar panels. First, he mounted panels on the back of the house, and they worked nicely. Then he decided to add more on the front, facing the street, and applied to the city for a permit.

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Toxic mine pollution has turned Ohio rivers orange. Now it’s being made into paint. – by Chelsea Lee ( – August 2, 2022)

(CNN)With rolling hills, forests and hiking trails, Southeast Ohio is a haven for lovers of the outdoors. Yet cutting through the landscape are countless orange-stained streams, colored by the iron oxide pollution that has seeped into them from abandoned coal mines.

These streams are contaminated with a toxic sludge known as acid mine drainage (AMD) — the overflow of highly acidic wastewater from underground mines, created when water comes into contact with exposed mining rocks.

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Mine Tales: Four classic movies with Arizona mining backdrops – by William Ascarza (Arizona Daily Star – March 13, 2022)

Arizona has a rich history in the motion picture industry. Early production years at Old Tucson Studios west of Tucson produced “Arizona,” “3:10 to Yuma” and “Rio Bravo,” to name a few. Another filming location in Mescal, about 45 miles southeast of Tucson, produced such notable films as “Tombstone” and “Tom Horn,” along with serving as an occasional setting for the “Gunsmoke,” “Rawhide” and “Bonanza” TV series.

Aside from established movie sets, Arizona’s mines and their history have contributed to the backdrop and premise of some remarkable films in past decades. Some of these include:

‘Day of the Wolves’

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Uranium Fever – Uranium Mining, Culture, Health and the Environment in the Four Corners Region – Curated by Peter Soland (Centre of Southwest Studies – Fort Lewis College)


Welcome to “Uranium Fever: Uranium Mining, Culture, Health, and the Environment in the Four Corners Region.” This digital museum exhibit showcases images and documents from Fort Lewis College’s Center of Southwest Studies’ collections on uranium mining and uranium mill tailings removal.

During the post-World War II era, government officials and industry executives harkened to a mythologized version of the country’s frontier legacy to promote a uranium boom that fueled the Cold War arms race and nuclear energy development.

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Death Valley Scotty’s gold hideaway: The legend of the self-proclaimed gold prospector, Walter E. Scott – by Angelica Zagorski (CIM Magazine – November 16, 2021)

Deep in the Grapevine Mountains in Death Valley National Park, California, a Spanish colonial-style villa stands as a landmark to Death Valley Scotty. Walter E. Scott, better known as Scotty, was a conman and a self-pronounced wealthy gold prospector, whose legend comes from his tales of owning a secret gold mine in the Death Valley.

No one had ever seen or heard of the gold mine Scott raved about, even Albert Johnson, the treasurer of the National Life Insurance Company of Chicago and Scott’s most loyal investor and friend. In 1904, Scott boarded a train to visit Johnson, supposedly carrying US$12,000 in gold dust, which he later reported was stolen. Scott, who was keen on any form of self-promotion, excitedly spoke with newspaper reporters about the theft, making headlines that week.

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COMMENTARY: The humbling of giants: The rise and decline of the Iron Range — Essay – by Aaron Brown (Minnesota Reformer – September 28, 2021)


Mesabi means giant. That means that I was raised in the land of giants on the Mesabi Iron Range of northern Minnesota. In my youth, I saw those giants as the elected leaders who fought for my homeland in St. Paul and Washington, D.C.

When I was 10 I watched my grandfather, Marvin Johnson, run for the first and only time in my life. Twenty years after his body was crushed in a mining accident, he sprinted into the street to shake then-Gov. Rudy Perpich’s hand at the Keewatin Fourth of July parade. His admiration was greater than the pain.

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100 years since the Battle of Blair Mountain – by Andy Thompson and Jerry White (World Socialist Web Site – September 10, 2021)

This month marks the 100th anniversary since the end of the Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921, when as many as 20,000 coal miners in southern West Virginia waged armed combat against a private army of gun thugs hired by the coal operators.

The pitched battle lasted from August 25 to September 2, 1921, when US military forces deployed by President Warren Harding occupied the coalfields, disarming and arresting hundreds of miners under martial law.

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How yellowcake shaped the West by Jonathan Thompson (High Country News – July 30, 2021)

The ghosts of the uranium boom continue to haunt the land, water and people.

In late August 2018, in the heat of one of the warmest and driest years on record in the Four Corners country, under a blanket of smoke emanating from wildfires burning all over the place, I piloted the Silver Bullet — my trusty 1989 Nissan Sentra — to the quiet burg of Monticello, Utah.

I was on my way from one camping site on the Great Sage Plain to another on Comb Ridge, where I would feed my misanthropic side with a searing hike down a canyon, seeking out potholes that still had a smidgen of stagnant water left over from the last rain.

I took a detour through Monticello to look into one of the most contentious fronts of the long-running public-land wars, the battle over uranium mining and milling and even radioactive waste disposal. San Juan County’s public lands played a major role in what I call the Age of the Nuclear West, which reached its multi-decade apex during the Cold War and hasn’t ended yet.

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New Book Explores Appalachia’s Coal Mined Landscapes – by Robbie Harris (Radio IQ – July 8, 2021)

For more than a hundred years, coal from Appalachia helped power the nation and the world. But that’s changing as new forms of clean energy emerge. A new book documents the rise of coal and its eminent decline, when coal is no longer king.

Without coal, there might never have been an industrial revolution. But the new revolution in cleaner energy is clearly coming, so scientists from Virginia Tech and West Virginia University, set out to document everything they could find, regarding the coal economy of the past 2 centuries and a way of life that sustained communities.

“The title is, “Appalachia, Coal, Mined, Landscapes, Resources, and Communities in a New Energy Era.” Carl Zipper is professor emeritus in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Virginian Tech.

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