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 »

posted in Gold and Silver, International Media Resource Articles, Latin America Mining, Mining Conflict | 0 Comments

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 »

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13th August 2014

NEWS RELEASE: Ontario Coalition of Aboriginal People opposed to Goliath Gold Project Wastewater Plans

(WABIGOON, ON – August 11, 2014) The Ontario Coalition of Aboriginal People (OCAP) is strongly opposed to the plan of Treasury Metals’ Goliath Gold Project to discharge effluent into Blackwater Creek or pipe it directly to Wabigoon Lake through a submerged diffuser. The recent catastrophic spill of wastewater and tailings waste in British Columbia is a warning to everyone in this region of the importance of protecting Wabigoon Lake.

It has come as a surprise to many people in the Dryden region that Treasury Metals plans to submit their environmental impact study and that they don’t see any red flags concerning the project. These facts contrast strongly with the concerns about the health and environment from Aboriginal Peoples and others living in the region.

“Wabigoon Lake is of great importance to Aboriginal Peoples in this region and the name itself is Ojibwe for ‘flower’. The pristine waters of the lake are a major attraction for recreational boaters and anglers and this generates significant economic benefits. Allowing metal mining corporations to use our lake as a dump for their wastewater and tailings is a pollution risk that we should not be taking,” said Brad Maggrah, OCAP President.

The concerns and issues of Aboriginal Peoples about federal and provincial environmental policies, which allow mining companies to destroy lakes and waters with toxic tailings, have fallen on deaf ears. Aboriginal Peoples have a deep respect and spiritual connection to lands and waters, and the pollution of our freshwater lakes is of great concern. Read the rest of this entry »

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12th August 2014

Welcome to Guatemala: gold mine protester beaten and burnt alive – by David Hill (The Guardian – August 12, 2014)


Indigenous people speak out against the Marlin mine run by Canadian company Goldcorp

“They took him and poured gasoline all over him. Then they struck a match and lit him.”

Doña A – not her real name, for security reasons – was standing up, arms crossed, lightly leaning against a ladder, and speaking in her language, Maya Mam, while a friend, a relation by marriage, translated into Spanish. There were 20 or so Mams in the room – mostly women, some children, one elderly man – and we were in an adobe-brick house in the highlands of far western Guatemala, not far from the border with Mexico, and just around the corner from an open sky and underground gold- and silver-mine called Marlin.

The Mams had gathered there – at some personal risk – to speak about the mine and how it impacts them. “Her husband was killed by workers of the company,” someone had said suddenly, meaning Doña A, “but she doesn’t speak much Spanish”, although it was quickly suggested she could talk in Mam and a friend would translate for her.

“We heard the screams and the yellings but we didn’t know what was happening,” she continued. Her husband’s two brothers were with him: they had to run away or would be burnt alive too.

“He didn’t want to die,” she said. “It was the rainy season. There was a little bit of water which he tried to jump into and the fire sort of went away.” Read the rest of this entry »

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11th August 2014

[India]‘Madhya Pradesh copper mine threatens local communities’ – by Shuriah Niazi (Vancouver Desi.com – August 9, 2014)


Malajkhand (Madhya Pradesh), Aug 10 (IANS) — What is said to be Asia’s largest copper mine in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh has become a threat for the tribals and the indigenous communities living in the area, environmentalists charge.

People in the Malajkhand area of the Balaghat district, some 370 km from state capital Bhopal, are suffering from the loss of farmland and the degradation brought about by the mining activities, environmentalists say. Now, the state-owned Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL) plans to more than double its production from two million tonnes per annum (MTPA) to five MTPA after it receives the necessary clearances from the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Environmentalists fear this will accelerate the destruction of forests and lead to further contamination of the surrounding environment.

The Malajkhand area, 20 km from the Kanha National Park, contains 70 percent of India’s copper reserves and accounts for 80 percent of HCL’s production.

The Centre of Environmental Science and Engineering at the Bhilai Institute of Technology had pointed out that the mineral processing plant in the area is causing serious damage to the environment and harming the health of both humans and animals. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Asia Mining, Copper, Mining Conflict, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media | Comments Off

7th August 2014

UPDATE 2-China’s Ramu nickel mine in PNG restarts after attacks – embassy – by Sonali Paul, Melanie Burton and Polly Yam (Reuters India – August 7, 2014)


Aug 7 (Reuters) – A Chinese-owned nickel mine in Papua New Guinea has resumed production three days after an attack by armed villagers forced work to halt, a Chinese embassy official in the South Pacific country said on Thursday.

The $2.1 billion mine, forecast to produce 22,000 tonnes of nickel in 2014, is operated by Ramu NiCo, which is majority owned and run by Metallurgical Corporation of China Ltd (MCC) .

Equipment including nine excavators, a fuel truck and a lighting vehicle were burned and five Chinese workers were injured in the attack on Monday, the embassy said, confirming earlier media reports.

“The embassy strongly condemns these brutal attacks and makes urgent request to the PNG Government to take immediate and effective measures to prevent the violence from recurring and ensure the safety of the personnel and properties, and to bring those attackers to justice to deter such criminal acts,” an embassy official said in an emailed response on Thursday.

“With the assistance of the police force, now the situation is under control and the mining production has been resumed.”

Mining and energy projects are the major source of income for Papua New Guinea, but outbreaks of violence sparked by landowner disputes and environmental concerns are not uncommon. Read the rest of this entry »

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6th August 2014

15,000 Oregonians sign petition opposing nickel project – by Dorothy Kosich (Mineweb.com – August 6, 2014)


More than 15,000 Oregonians have signed a petition advocating the withdrawal of lands, located in SW Oregon watersheds, from mining and exploration.

RENO (MINEWEB) - More than 15,000 petition signatures, in favor of a mineral withdrawal for public lands in southwest Oregon watersheds, were delivered Tuesday to the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to be presented to the U.S. Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture.

The named “critical” watersheds include the North Fork Smith River, Baldface Creek, Rough & Ready Creek, and Hunter Creek.

“These signatures build upon the request of a broad coalition of local and national conservation groups to withdraw these public lands from mining in response to proposals for nickel strip mining in the area,” said a news release published Tuesday by Washington, D.C.-based environmental NGO, Earthworks.

The petition not only calls for the immediate withdrawal of the Rough & Ready and Baldface Creek watersheds from mining under the Mining Law of 1872; it also urges the enactment of legislation “to protect them from destructive nickel strip mining and permanently preserve their unique natural values”.

Minerals withdrawals from the 1872 Mining Law of up to 20 years can be issued by the Secretary of Interior under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA). Read the rest of this entry »

posted in International Media Resource Articles, Mining Conflict, Nickel, United States Mining and History | Comments Off

29th July 2014

Insight – Gold, diamonds feed C. African religious violence – by Daniel Flynn (Reuters India – July 29, 2014)


NDASSIMA Central African Republic – (Reuters) – Three young rebels, their AK47s propped against wooden stools in the afternoon heat, guard the entrance to the giant Ndassima goldmine carved deep into a forested hilltop in Central African Republic.

Sat in a thatched shack at the edge of a muddy shantytown, the gunmen keep the peace – for a price – among hundreds of illegal miners who swarm over the steep sides of the glittering open pit, scratching out a living.

The mine, owned by Canada’s Axmin (AXM.V), was overrun by the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels more than year ago. It now forms part of an illicit economy driving sectarian conflict in one of Africa’s most unstable countries, despite the presence of thousands of French and African peacekeepers.

Seleka fighters – many from neighbouring Chad and Sudan – swept south to topple President Francois Bozize in March last year. Months of killing and looting provoked vicious reprisals by Christian militia, known as “anti-balaka”, that pushed the rebels back, splitting the landlocked country of 4.5 million people into a Muslim north and the Christian south.

“We control the mine. If there is a problem there, we intervene,” said Seleka’s local commander Colonel Oumar Garba, sipping tea outside a villa in Axmin’s abandoned compound. “People don’t want the French peacekeepers here because they know they’ll chase them away from the mine.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

8th July 2014

Mining for the truth in Guatemala – by Melinda Maldonado (MACLEAN’S Magazine – July 8, 2014)


What lawsuits claiming rape and murder in a Guatemalan jungle mean for Canadian companies abroad

Rosa Elbira Coc Ich was warming tortillas when the men came. Their trucks rumbled down the dirt road toward her home, a shack she’d rebuilt in eastern Guatemala after a forced eviction 12 days earlier. It was Jan. 17, 2007, and as hundreds of police, military and private security workers returned, she heard their voices pierce the thick tropical brush as they called out for the leaders of the community.

Nine of the men pushed their way into her home.

“Where’s your husband?” a policeman asked, pressing a gun to her temple, according to documents filed as part of a lawsuit in an Ontario court. When she couldn’t answer, the officer said he was going to kill her. Then the men pushed her to the floor, ripped off her clothes and covered her mouth. Ich claims all nine of them raped her.

Nearby 10 other women from the Mayan Q’eqchi’ community say they experienced the same ordeal—gang rapes at the hands of police, military and private security from the Fenix nickel mine, 300 km northeast of Guatemala City—during evictions from the homes they’d built on the mine’s property. Read the rest of this entry »

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7th July 2014

Taseko sees ‘positive future’ for New Prosperity mine after high court ruling – by Gordon Hoekstra (Vancouver Sun – July 6, 2014)


Tsilhqot’in Nation says company is in denial about central-B.C. project, mine is dead

A Supreme Court of Canada decision may have opened the door to a twice rejected gold and copper mine mired in a legal battle.

That’s because the $1.1-billion New Prosperity mine falls outside the 1,750 square kilometres of territory in central B.C. for which the Tsilhqot’in now has title and where consent is needed for industrial projects, says Taseko Mines Ltd.

The aboriginal title question always hung over the project, and now it’s settled, says the company. “It’s the only mine development deposit (in British Columbia) that people now know for sure is not in aboriginal title area,” says Brian Battison, vice-president of corporate affairs for Taseko.

The Tsilhqot’in continue to oppose the project, citing hunting and trapping rights, and admonish the company for continuing to push a project unwanted by First Nations. “I think Taseko has a very twisted view of things. I think it’s very, very irresponsible,” said chief Joe Alphonse, tribal chairman of the Tsilhqot’in.

The continuing dispute over New Prosperity shows how the complex nature of resource development in British Columbia — where aboriginal, industrial, government and local non-native interests often overlap — will continue to pose a challenge despite the landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, British Columbia Mining, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Mining Conflict | Comments Off

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