21st November 2014

EXCLUSIVE-Foreign firms challenge Poland over access to mine concessions – by Adrian Krajewski and Anna Koper (Reuters India – November 21, 2014)


WARSAW, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Two foreign-owned mining firms have challenged the Polish government over what they see as the unfair allocation of copper and potash extraction permits to state-controlled miner KGHM.

Poland’s environment ministry, which allocates concessions, denied it gave preferential treatment to KGHM over Canadian Miedzi Copper, which has filed a lawsuit, or British firm Darley Energy, which has submitted an appeal.

KGHM, Europe’s second-largest copper producer and an industrial champion for Poland, is 31.8-percent owned by the state. It said it did not limit competition.

Whatever the outcome, the row could rattle foreign investors at a time when Poland’s resource sector, struggling with low prices on the world market, badly needs investment.

The government is also anxious to bring investors into shale gas, which it hopes will reduce its reliance on imported Russian gas. But a number of firms have pulled out, citing difficult geology and unclear regulations. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Copper, Europe Mining, International Media Resource Articles, Mining Conflict | 0 Comments

17th November 2014

Florence copper leaching project stalls – by Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services (Arizona Daily Star – November 15, 2014)


PHOENIX — A state board has blocked construction of a controversial copper leaching operation beneath Florence — at least in the form it was proposed.

The Arizona Water Quality Appeals Board accepted the findings of an administrative law judge, who concluded that the state Department of Environmental Quality’s permit allowing Curis Resources to pump acid into the ground would not adequately protect water quality. The judge’s report found a series of shortcomings.

But board members did not kill the project outright. They rejected Diane Mihalsky’s recommendation that the permit for Florence Copper Inc. be entirely voided, concluding that would place an “unnecessary burden” on both the company and the DEQ. Instead, they agreed to give the state and Curis a chance to change the operating plan — and the conditions DEQ is imposing — to put the proposed mining operation in compliance with state laws and regulations.

DEQ spokesman Mark Shafer defended his agency’s original decision as justified.

“We issued an environmentally protective permit,” he said, but acknowledged the judge disagreed. “Given that, we think the appeals board made the correct decision in remanding the case back to DEQ to take a look at it again.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Copper, International Media Resource Articles, Mining Conflict, United States Mining and History | 0 Comments

14th November 2014

Mining company under fire for Kamloops election letter – by Pauline Holdsworth (Globe and Mail – November 14, 2014)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

VANCOUVER — The company behind a proposed open-pit gold and copper mine that will fall partly within Kamloops city limits has waded into the waning days of the civic election campaign, sending a letter to voters listing candidates who oppose the mine.

The letter has increased tensions ahead of Saturday’s vote. KGHM International’s Ajax mine project, which would be within three kilometres of a school, has emerged as a divisive issue, even though the province, not municipal leaders, will decide whether it goes ahead.

The company sent the letter late last week, and KGHM registered with Elections BC as a third-party sponsor on Monday. According to Elections BC rules, a company must register before sending such information to voters.

Kamloops resident Michael Crawford, a former federal NDP candidate, complained about the letter to Elections BC. “Whatever social licence or trust this company has in this community I think has been shaken,” Mr. Crawford said.

The letter included a list compiled by the Facebook group Support Ajax Mine that categorizes candidates as either “opposed to Ajax” or “waiting for scientific studies.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in British Columbia Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Mining Conflict | 0 Comments

7th November 2014

My Turn: Transboundary mines a looming problem [Mining on British Columnbia/Alaska border] – by Joe Mehrkens (The Juneau Empire – November 7, 2014)


Joe Mehrkens is a retired forest economist living in Petersburg.

On Oct. 24, a public forum was held on the potential impacts to the Southeast fishing industry from new large mines in British Columbia. This is not the same old battle between greenies and boomers over development. It is a large, growing problem that has no institutional mechanisms to ensure environmental safeguards or provide any means to compensate third parties for potential damages.

This summer, a large tailings dam failed at the Mount Polley mine. The broken dam dumped 14.5 million cubic feet of water and slurry into salmon waters (Polley Lake, Hazeltine Creek, Quesnel Lake and Cariboo Creek). Even more disturbing, these polluted waters are a tributary of the Frazier River — the most productive sockeye salmon river in British Columbia. While total damages will be not quantified for years, it is characterized as Canada’s worst environmental disaster in modern times. Many more large mines are planned as BC expands its energy grid to new mineral deposits.

The Mount Polley failure may be a harbinger of the future. Environmental restoration will be minimal or nonexistent, and there will be no compensation for damage to non-mining interests — on either side of the border. Even if damaged parties successfully sue for damages, the mining company can go bankrupt. That process can result in shallow pockets when it comes to damage awards. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in British Columbia Mining, Canada Mining, International Media Resource Articles, Mining Conflict, United States Mining and History | 0 Comments

6th November 2014

Alaska Legislature inherits mother of political footballs – the Pebble Project – by Dorothy Kosich (Mineweb.com – November 6, 2014)


Another ballot measure has thrown yet another hurdle into Northern Dynasty’s quest to develop the Pebble Project.

RENO (MINEWEB) – As Alaskan voters demonstrated they are more than willing to tax and regulate the production, sale and use of marijuana in the state, and resoundingly voted to increase the state’s minimum wage, they are not about to make it easy for the Pebble Mine near Bristol Bay.

Ballot Measure 4, or the “Bristol Bay Forever” initiative, was aimed squarely at the proposed Pebble copper-gold-molybdenum mine in the Bristol Bay region of Southwest Alaska. The measure was passed by a resounding margin of 65.32% to 34.68%, according to the Alaska Division of Elections.

Officially described as “An Act Providing for Protection of Bristol Bay Wild Salmon and Waters Within or Flowing into the Existing 1972 Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve”, the measure requires the Alaska Legislature to “approve future large-scale metallic sulfide mines in the Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserves (BBFR) by passing a law”.

“The law would have to find that any proposed mine would not endanger the BBFR fishery. The approval would be in addition to any other required permits or authorizations,” according to the full ballot summary. Read the rest of this entry »

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5th November 2014

B.C.’s mines minister in Alaska to ease concerns over provincial mining – by Dirk Meissner (Canadian Press/Winnipeg Free Press – November 5, 2014)


VICTORIA – British Columbia’s Energy Minister Bill Bennett is in Alaska to soothe concerns about the province’s mining industry, which he says is perceived by many Alaskans as a threat to their environment and salmon fishery.

Bennett will address the annual Alaska Miners Association convention in Anchorage, and meet with state officials, commercial and sport fishing organizations and aboriginal groups during his two-day visit.

“There is this impression in some parts of Alaska that our environmental standards, compliance and enforcement efforts are not as strong as theirs,” Bennett said in an interview. “My purpose in going up there … is to talk to folks about how our process actually works. How do you get a mine permitted in B.C.”

The minister will be accompanied on his trip by Chad Day, the Tahltan Central Council president, along with senior government environment and energy officials.

Bennett said concerns about B.C.’s plans to expand its mining interests in the province’s north have heightened since last summer’s massive tailings pond failure at the Mount Polley mine in the central Interior. Read the rest of this entry »

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5th November 2014

CORRECTED-Gold, diamonds fuelling conflict in Central African Republic- U.N. panel – by Daniel Flynn (Reuters India – November 5, 2014)


DAKAR, Nov 4 (Reuters) – Gold and diamond sales are being used to finance conflict in Central African Republic and United Nations peacekeepers should monitor mining sites to clamp down on illicit trade, a U.N. panel of experts said.

In a report, the panel also said the peacekeeping mission (MINUSCA) should deploy troops to the remote north of the country and use drones to monitor the rebel-controlled region to put an end to simmering violence there.

The mission, which launched in September, is operating at only two-thirds of its planned 12,000-strong capacity.

Central African Republic was plunged into chaos when northern, mostly Muslim Seleka rebels seized control of the majority Christian country in March 2013, prompting a vicious backlash by the largely Christian ‘anti-balaka’ militia.

The panel said that some 3,000 people had been killed between December 2013 – when the U.N. Security Council imposed an arms embargo – and August this year. The number of civilian deaths was falling, however, the panel said. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Africa Mining, International Media Resource Articles, Mining Conflict | 0 Comments

4th November 2014

PRESS RELEASE: Northern Superior Resources Announces June 1, 2015 Trial Date for Litigation Against the Ontario Government

SUDBURY, ONTARIO, Nov 04, 2014 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — Northern Superior Resources Inc. (“Northern Superior” or the “Company”) (SUP) is pleased to provide the following update on the litigation proceedings against the Ontario Government concerning the Company’s Thorne Lake, Meston Lake and Rapson Bay properties.

– The Superior Court Judge overseeing the Company’s litigation against the Ontario Government has fixed June 1, 2015 as the trial date.
– Four weeks have been set aside for the trial.
– At the October 30, 2014 Case Conference, the sixth one in the case, Northern Superior proposed an aggressive timetable for getting the case
ready for trial, which after consideration by Ontario will be fixed by the Judge on November 7, 2014.
– The pre-trial steps agreed on include holding a mediation before an independent third party on or about February 1, 2015.

Dr. T.F. Morris President and CEO states: “I am obviously pleased that a fixed date for the trial has been set. This clearly provides some finality to what has been a long process. Northern Superior looks forward with confidence to the trial date.”

About Northern Superior Resources Inc.:

Northern Superior is a junior exploration company exploring for gold in the Superior Province of the Canadian Shield. The Company is currently focused on exploring its Croteau Est property in Quebec. The Company has a number of 100% owned properties (see Company web site, www.nsuperior.com) in the Stull-Wunnumin and Chibougamau gold districts of Ontario and Quebec. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Mining Conflict, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

30th October 2014

Controversial Canadian KSM mine gets key govt. permits – by Mary Catharine Martin (Alaska Journal of Commerce – October 30, 2014)


JUNEAU — Kerr Sulphurets Mitchell, a British Columbia mine in the transboundary Unuk River watershed that concerns many Southeast Alaska fishermen, Native organizations, tourism and environmental groups, has received early construction permits from the British Columbia government.

“I think people are feeling not just a sense of urgency, and being threatened, but anger, too,” said Heather Hardcastle, commercial fishing outreach coordinator for Trout Unlimited. “To hear that they have these preliminary permits, road construction permits — it seems like such a slap in the face, because the project doesn’t yet have federal approval from the government in Canada.”

KSM has received provincial approval; Seabridge Gold, the company behind the project, expects the federal decision in November.

KSM, while a large mine, is just one of a handful Southeast Alaskans are concerned about. They and Alaska’s congressional delegation are working to spur international cooperation on the larger issue of mines in transboundary watersheds. Sen. Mark Begich hopes to soon jump-start that coordination.

Rob Sanderson, Jr., Co-Chair of the United Tribal Transboundary Mining Work Group and 2nd Vice President of Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, or CCTHITA, said the provincial approval and permitting “comes as no surprise.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in British Columbia Mining, Canada Mining, International Media Resource Articles, Mining Conflict, United States Mining and History | 0 Comments

7th October 2014

UPDATE 1-Goldcorp’s El Morro mine halted by Chile Supreme Court (Reuters India – October 7, 2014)


Oct 7 (Reuters) – Chile’s Supreme Court has halted the development of the El Morro gold and copper mine owned by Canada’s Goldcorp, saying that local indigenous groups who oppose the $3.9 billion project need to be better consulted.

The court said on Tuesday that an environmental permit awarded last year should be stopped until a fresh consultation, based on an International Labor Organization convention, has taken place with the local Diaguita community.

Goldcorp has just received the ruling and is reviewing it, spokeswoman Christine Marks said. “Goldcorp remains committed to open and transparent dialogue with its stakeholders.”

The decision is the latest in a string of rulings that have found against mining companies looking to invest in the top copper exporter. Like many of its resource-intensive Latin American peers, Chile is struggling to find a balance between mining-led growth and environmental protection.

Billions of dollars worth of projects have been put on ice or delayed in recent years, snarled up in red tape and opposed by local communities. Read the rest of this entry »

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30th September 2014

Many months, probably years for nonferrous mining in Northern Minnesota – by Aaron Brown (Minnesota Star Tribune – September 29, 2014)


It’s been several months since the public comments period closed for the environmental review and permitting process for PolyMet, a controversial proposed nonferrous mineral mine in Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota. Most had hoped for news about the completion of the Environmental Impact Statement and a clearer timeline for the final permitting by this fall. However, a Marshall Helmberger interview of DNR commissioner Tom Landwehr in the Sept. 24 issue of the Timberjay shows that it could be years, not months.

For those following this issue closely, Helmberger’s story is a must-read.

The reason for the delay, according to Landwehr, is the unprecedented number of primarily critical comments, many of which involve unique and extremely detailed scientific questions and concerns. About 58,000 written comments were received, which raise between 7,000 and 8,000 unique concerns or questions about the massive Draft EIS document discussed last winter.

From the story:

Indeed, it’s by far the largest such undertaking in state history, and that makes it difficult for state officials to even estimate when the job might be completed. Landwehr was blunt: “We don’t know how long it will take. We can’t even say months.” Read the rest of this entry »

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10th September 2014

First Nations protesters shut down northern B.C. drilling site – by Mark Hume (Globe and Mail – September 9, 2014)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

VANCOUVER — After a summer of protests aimed at mining companies, members of the Tahltan Nation in northern B.C. say they have shut down an exploratory drilling operation by taking over the site.

“HAPPENING RIGHT NOW!!!!” states a Monday night posting on the Facebook page for Tahltan elders. “The Klabona Keeper members are occupying a black hawk drill pad above Ealue Lake!!!”

The elders’ group, which is based in Iskut just south of Dease Lake, has staged several protests in the area in recent years blocking resource companies from working in a place known as the Sacred Headwaters. The region is highly valued by the Tahltan because it holds the headwaters of three important salmon rivers – the Stikine, Skeena and Nass.

Rhoda Quock, a spokeswoman for the Klabono Keepers, said Tuesday a group of protesters hiked to the remote drill site and took it over.

She said Black Hawk Drilling Ltd., a Smithers, B.C., company that works for Firesteel Resources Inc. of Vancouver and OZ Minerals of Australia, flew its drilling crew out after the occupation began. Read the rest of this entry »

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3rd September 2014

Mining threatens to eat up northern Europe’s last wilderness – by John Vidal (The Guardian – September 3, 2014)


Vast network of rivers, lakes and mountains in Finland, Sweden and Norway at risk from being exploited for rare earth and other minerals

Great stretches of Europe’s last wildernesses risk being damaged and polluted as the international mining industry gears up to develop northern Finland, Sweden, and Norway in search of uranium, iron ore, nickel, phosphorus, and valuable rare earth minerals, according to environmentalists.

The prize for British, Australian, Canadian and other companies is billion-dollar mega mines in Lapland, a region which covers all three countries and Russia, able to supply burgeoning industry in Asia.

But conservationists say the rush could bring permanent damage to the vast network of rivers, lakes and mountains which are home to many of Europe’s largest mammals, such as the lynx, wolf, bear and wolverine.

In addition, human rights groups argue that Lapland and Sami indigenous commuities who live by reindeer herding and fishing will be hit, along with the region’s tourist industry, which depends on pristine nature.

The polar mining boom, which mirrors the oil industry’s search for oil and gas, is heating up as climate change makes new areas and sea routes accessible and world prices of iron ore continue to soar. Read the rest of this entry »

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28th August 2014

NEWS RELEASE: Northern Superior Reports on Progress of its $110 Million Lawsuit Against Government of Ontario

SUDBURY, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Aug. 27, 2014) - Northern Superior Resources Inc. (“Northern Superior” or the “Company”) (TSX VENTURE:SUP) reports the following progress on the Company’s $110 million lawsuit against the Government of Ontario:

Since the appointment at the Company’s request of a Judge to manage its case against the Ontario Government, lawyers for Northern Superior and the Government of Ontario have attended three (3) case conferences before Mr. Justice Lederer of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice;

As a result of these case conferences, various outstanding procedural issues have now been resolved and the case can now move to the next stage;

Northern Superior obtained further documentation previously undisclosed by the Ontario Government, and on August 21, 2014 delivered its final “Reply” in response to the Ontario Government’s “Fresh and Amended Statement of Defense” (copies of all pleadings can be found on “Northern Superior’s website www.nsuperior.com under the heading “Claim”); and

Northern Superior and the Ontario Government have agreed that in addition to managing procedural aspects of the court action, Justice Lederer will also hear and rule on the merits of the case. Read the rest of this entry »

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14th August 2014

MiedziCopper loses concessions in Poland – by Northern Miner (August 13, 2014)

The Northern Miner, first published in 1915, during the Cobalt Silver Rush, is considered Canada’s leading authority on the mining industry. 

Ross Beaty isn’t the type of businessman who normally airs his grievances in public. But when two of his copper concessions in Poland were apparently revoked by the Polish government, he felt he had no choice.

On July 30 Poland’s Minister of the Environment revoked two concessions awarded to MiedziCopper, a private copper exploration company in which Beaty’s Lumina Capital investment group has a large stake. The ministry also cancelled a third concession that it awarded to MiedziCopper’s rival KGHM Polska Miedzi (WSE: KGH), Poland’s largest copper producer and a company in which the government owns 63.6 million shares or about 31.79% of the share capital.

Beaty alleges that KGHM brought political pressure to bear on the Ministry of Environment to reverse its decision awarding two of the concessions to his group and MiedziCopper is now suspending all new investment in Poland.

MiedziCopper has invested about $35 million on exploration in the country since 2010 and had planned to spend a further $65 million over the next few years. The company continues to hold 11 concessions in the country on which it has carried out extensive geochemical, geophysical, geological and drilling activities. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Copper, Europe Mining, Mining Conflict | Comments Off

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