17th December 2014

Obama tightens environmental noose around resource-rich Alaska – by Dorothy Kosich (Mineweb.com – December 17, 2014)

http://www.mineweb.com/

Will the president’s permanent ban on oil & gas development in Alaska’s Bristol Bay weaken Northern Dynasty’s chances for Pebble project approval?

RENO (MINEWEB) – Pebble Partnership CEO Tom Collier told Mineweb Tuesday that the decision by President Barack Obana to indefinitely withdraw more than 52,000 square miles of waters off Alaska’s coastline (including Bristol Bay) from oil and gas exploration or drilling “doesn’t apply to us at all”.

In a video release from the White House, Obama called Bristol Bay one of the country’s great natural resources, which is “something too precious for us to be putting out to the highest bidder”.

“It supports about $2 billion in the commercial fishing industry,” he said. “It supplies America with 40% of its wild-caught seafood.” Bristol Bay also hosts one of the world’s largest wild salmon runs and is home to threatened species and the endangered North Pacific Right Whale.

However, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and the incoming chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said, “I think we all recognize that these are some of our state’s richest fishing waters. What I do not understand is why this decision could not be made within the context of the administration’s upcoming plan for offshore leasing—or least announced at the same time.” Read the rest of this entry »

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

15th December 2014

Cree walkers against uranium mining arrive in Montreal after 850 km walk (CBC News Montreal – December 15, 2014)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal

Group delivers message to environmental protection agency on final day of hearings into uranium mining

A group of Cree protesters have reached their final destination after completing an 850-km march to protest against uranium exploration and mining in Quebec.

The group arrived in downtown Montreal today to deliver a message to the province’s environmental protection agency, known as the BAPE, which is holding the last of a series of public hearings on uranium exploration. They will make a presentation at the hearings this evening.

About 20 people made the full journey, walking an average of about 30 km a day over a three-weeks period, often in frigid temperatures.

The group left Mistissini, Que., a town northeast of Chibougamau, in the James Bay region, in late November. Youth Grand Chief Joshua Iserhoff said those they met along the way overwhelmingly supported a ban on uranium mining.

Uranium extraction has been on the table in Mistissini since 2006. A Boucherville-based company, Strateco Resources, has invested $120 million into developing a uranium mine in Mistissini in the last ten years. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Mining Conflict, Quebec Mining, Uranium | 0 Comments

15th December 2014

UN, aid groups overstretched by crisis in Congo’s mining heartland – by Aaron Ross (Reuters Africa – December 14, 2014)

http://af.reuters.com/

PWETO, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) – Faced with a dearth of United Nations peacekeepers, lack of funding and competition from other global crises, relief agencies are struggling to contain a growing humanitarian disaster in Democratic Republic of Congo’s mining heartland.

More than a decade after the official end of a 1998-2003 war that killed millions of people in Congo, mostly from hunger and disease, donors are keen to switch from emergency aid to longer-term development projects in the vast central African country.

But the deteriorating situation in the copper and cobalt-rich southeastern province of Katanga, which the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) labelled “catastrophic” last month, throws into sharp relief the gaping humanitarian needs.

The number of displaced people in Katanga has leapt to nearly 600,000, from 55,000 three years ago, mostly due to violence by armed groups, including the secessionist movement Bakata Katanga.

The crisis has taken Congo’s humanitarian community by surprise after a decade spent focusing on the eastern border provinces of North and South Kivu, a volatile patchwork of rebel and militia fiefdoms that never fully emerged from the war.

“Suddenly, we turn to a zone where there is a major crisis in the process of developing but where there are not enough humanitarian actors,” Moustapha Soumaré, the U.N.’s humanitarian coordinator in Congo, told Reuters. Read the rest of this entry »

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

11th December 2014

Editorial: Friendly Manitoba, slow Manitoba – by John Cumming (Northern Miner – December 10, 2014)

The Northern Miner, first published in 1915, during the Cobalt Silver Rush, is considered Canada’s leading authority on the mining industry. Editor John Cumming MSc (Geol) is one of the country’s most well respected mining journalists.  jcumming@northernminer.com

One of the hottest topics on the sidelines of the recent Manitoba Mining and Minerals Convention in Winnipeg was the provincial lawsuit launched by two prospectors against the Manitoba government for allegedly failing in its “duty to consult” with the Manto Sipi Cree First Nation community near the duo’s mineral claims, which effectively ruined their business.

The statement of claim filed in October by Manitoba prospectors James Campbell in Winnipeg and Peter Dunlop in The Pas may stem from a bureaucratic nightmare that directly impacts only a handful of people, but it’s the kind of conflict that is becoming all too common across Manitoba and Canada.

For that reason, the plaintiffs say they have drawn sympathy and moral support from mining industry professionals and associations across Manitoba and beyond.

The lawsuit centres around Campbell and Dunlop’s Godslith lithium claims in the Gods Lake region of northeastern Manitoba. While the ground had seen earlier exploration by companies such as Inco, Dunlop staked the ground in 1988 and transferred it to Campbell in 2004, who in turn optioned it to Golden Virtue Resources (formerly named First Lithium Resources) in 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Manitoba Mining, Mining Conflict | 0 Comments

5th December 2014

Congress Raids Ancestral Native American Lands With Defense Bill [Resolution Copper] – by Michael McAuliff (Huffington Post – December 3, 2014)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/politics/

WASHINGTON — When Terry Rambler, the chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, woke up Wednesday in Washington, D.C., it was to learn that Congress was deciding to give away a large part of his ancestral homeland to a foreign mining company.

Rambler came to the nation’s capital for the White House Tribal Nations Conference, an event described in a press announcement as an opportunity to engage the president, cabinet officials and the White House Council on Native American Affairs “on key issues facing tribes including respecting tribal sovereignty and upholding treaty and trust responsibilities,” among other things.

Rambler felt things got off to an unfortunate, if familiar, start when he learned that the House and Senate Armed Services Committee had decided to use the lame-duck session of Congress and the National Defense Authorization Act to give 2,400 acres of the Tonto National Forest in Arizona to a subsidiary of the Australian-English mining giant Rio Tinto.

“Of all people, Apaches and Indians should understand, because we’ve gone though this so many times in our history,” Rambler said.

Rambler knew there was a possibility that supporters of the move — which failed twice on the House floor last year — would slip the deal into the must-pass legislation, but aides and officials involved had declined to reveal it. Even Tuesday evening, when Republicans and Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee released summaries of the bill, the land deal was left out. Read the rest of this entry »

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

21st November 2014

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

http://in.reuters.com/

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 »

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17th November 2014

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

http://tucson.com/

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 »

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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 | Comments Off

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)

http://juneauempire.com/

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 »

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6th November 2014

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

http://www.mineweb.com/

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)

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/

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)

 http://in.reuters.com/

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 »

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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 | Comments Off

30th October 2014

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

http://www.alaskajournal.com/

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 »

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7th October 2014

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

http://in.reuters.com/

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 | Comments Off

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