Archive | Mining Conflict

Tsilhqot’in First Nation says no to mineral exploration by Amarc Resources on its Ike prospect – by Derrick Penner (Vancouver Sun – September 20, 2016)

Above the tree line on a mountain in the Southern Interior is a spot most people have never heard of, but is increasingly the centre of attention for a mining exploration company and communities of the Tsilhqot’in First Nation.

It is a mineral claim being prospected by the Vancouver-headquartered company Amarc Resources Ltd. And the property is already spoken of in glowing terms for resembling the mineralization that formed the basis of Teck Resources Ltd.’s mighty Highland Valley copper mine. However, the property known as Ike is also in the last place that the Tsilhqot’in communities want a mine.

The location is above the watersheds of the Taseko and Chilcotin rivers and not that distant from Fish Lake (known to the Tsilhqot’in as Teztan Biny), where the First Nation fought a decades-long battle against the Prosperity and then New Prosperity mine proposals of Taseko Mines Ltd. Continue Reading →

[Resolution Copper mine] Arizona: McCain, Kirkpatrick bet on 7,000-foot hole to victory (Environment & Energy Publishing – September 20, 2016)

The world’s two largest mining companies have dug a 7,000-foot tunnel in Arizona that Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick hope leads straight to the Senate.

Donald Trump’s controversial GOP run for president has helped put the state’s Senate seat in play even though analysts consider it to be reliably red. Arizona has backed a Democrat for president once since 1952.

Most recent polls have incumbent McCain ahead — some by a lot — of challenger Kirkpatrick, but other surveys have shown the five-term senator to be in a dead heat with the three-time congresswoman. Trump, immigration and other issues are dominating the political tilt, but little separates the candidates when it comes to the proposed Resolution Copper mine. Continue Reading →

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada threatened most often by oil, gas and mining – by Samuel Danzon-Chambaud (CBC News Calgary – September 13, 2016)

Physical resource extraction accounts for 31% of threats against natural and cultural sites since 1985

Mining and oil and gas extraction account for nearly a third of threats to UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada over the last 30 years, according to the international organization.

A total of 75 threats against nine designated natural and cultural sites have been documented by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s State of Conservation database since 1985.

Of those, 23 belong to a category called “physical resource extraction,” which consists of mining and oil and gas operations.The next most common threat types are management and institutional factors (13), service infrastructure (10), transportation infrastructure (8) and buildings and development (7). Continue Reading →

Controversy over metal mining in Maine rekindled – by Anthony Brino (Bangor Daily News – September 13, 2016)

A decades-long debate over the prospect of a metal mine in the mountains of Aroostook County will be rekindled Thursday as another proposed overhaul of state mining regulations receives a public hearing.

Opponents again are gearing up to voice their concerns about the potential for mining operations to release waste materials and naturally occurring toxins, such as arsenic and cadmium, from the soil into the surrounding waters and environment.

The Department of Environmental Protection is proposing revised regulations governing large-scale metal mining in Maine under legislation passed in 2012 to replace a 1990 law. Such mining operations haven’t existed in Maine since 1977. The new proposal, which has to be approved by the Legislature, would create permits for different levels of exploration and mining and set up rules for mining, waste disposal and long-term pollution control. Continue Reading →

Two killed in clashes in eastern India as anger over land use rises – by Jatindra Dash (Reuters U.s – August 30, 2016)

BHUBANESWAR, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Two people were killed and more than 30 injured when villagers protesting the loss of their homes to a power plant clashed with police in eastern India, in violence highlighting the disputed nature of land use in the country.

Police opened fire late on Monday in Gola in Jharkhand state after hundreds of villagers demanding more jobs and better compensation from Inland Power Ltd. threw stones and ransacked the company’s offices, a senior police official said.

“A meeting between the displaced persons and the management was going on when some people rushed into the premises and vandalized the property,” said Inspector General M.S. Bhatia. Continue Reading →

Coalition pushes for greater environmental protections for the Grand Canyon – by Megan Janetsky (Arizona Republic – August 24, 2016)

The eve of the 100th birthday of the National Park Service was not met in Phoenix with chipper choruses of “Happy Birthday” but rather with calls by local and national organizations to protect the Grand Canyon by halting uranium mining in the area.

Members of Environment Arizona and the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club, which together form the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument Coalition, gathered Wednesday in downtown Phoenix to announce their petition to take action on uranium mining and old-growth logging in the Grand Canyon.

With the support of 500 local businesses and a half-million signatures, groups like Environment Arizona and Sierra Club are banding together to send a petition to the Obama administration to create a Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument. Some 6,000 of the signatures were gathered in the past week in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado, according to the groups’ spokesmen. Continue Reading →

Crops or carats? The unattended tensions between miners and farmers in Africa. – by Stephen Yeboah (Mail & Guardian Africa – August 24, 2016)

The interaction between artisanal (small-scale) mining and agriculture in Africa still needs to be carefully considered by policy-makers to ensure that people’s livelihoods and countries’ export revenues aren’t threatened. It’s also important that the relationship between the two sectors is optimised to mutual benefit.

Mining occurs in the same geographic areas as agriculture. It competes for similar inputs, like land, water and labour. This means there is a significant risk that agriculture will be adversely affected by mining. Both are vital to the survival of most African economies. They both contribute to export revenues and employ a large number of people.

But research conducted in Ghana, sub-Saharan Africa’s largest gold producer and the world’s second largest cocoa producer, reveals some troubling imbalances between the two sectors. Continue Reading →

Papua New Guinea-Bougainville mine row intensifies – by Rowan Callick (The Australian – August 23, 2016)

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has escalated his feud with Bougainville’s President, insisting his cabinet’s offer to hand over a key parcel of shares in Bougainville Copper to mine landowners is final.

“The distribution of shares for Bougainvilleans will be done by themselves,” Mr O’Neill said.

President John Momis had “furiously” rejected the PNG plan, announced by Mr O’Neill to the parliament last week, to transfer to “the landowners and the people of Bougainville” the 17.4 per cent parcel recently given to the national government by Rio Tinto, the former owner. Continue Reading →

Philippine villagers claim victory over nickel mining firm (Catholic News Service – August 18, 2016)

MANILA, Philippines – Residents of a small island in the central Philippines hailed a government order that stopped one of the country’s largest mining firms from removing nickel ore stockpiles from their village. The removal of the ore was ruining local ecosystems, the residents said.

“We thought we’d see our island waste away first,” Rebecca Destajo, a village leader on Manicani Island off the coastal town of Guiuan in Eastern Samar province, told Aug. 18 after the government announced its decision.

Opposition to mining operations on the island had been ongoing since the Hinatuan Mining Corp., an affiliate of Nickel Asia Corp., acquired rights to mine in the village in 1987. Continue Reading →

‘Remembering the Marikana massacre is critical’NORTH WEST – by Jonisayi Maromo (Independent Online – August 15, 2016)

Marikana – Loud music echoed from a giant stage erected at the Marikana koppie in the Nkaneng informal settlement near Rustenburg on Monday, as preparations for the fourth commemorations of the Marikana tragedy were being finalised.

A few metres away, community members sang along to the loud music as they went on their daily chores in the shacks making up the Nkaneng informal settlement. Maritha Mabasa said in August 2012, she had recently moved to Marikana, from the Free State, when the wage dispute degenerated into chaos.

“What happened there remains vivid in my mind. Who would forget the murder of more than 30 people in one day? And my heart is sore,” said the mother of three, pointing at the koppie. Continue Reading →

Mining in Latin America: From conflict to co-operation (The Economist – February 6, 2016)

Big miners have a better record than their critics claim. But it is up to governments to balance the interests of diggers, locals and the nation

COCACHACRA, PERU – COUPLE of hours drive south of Arequipa, Peru’s second city, the Pan-American highway drops down from the high desert of the La Joya plain and threads its way through tight defiles patrolled by turkey vultures before reaching the green braid of the valley of the river Tambo.

The river burbles past fields of rice, potatoes and sugar cane. It is a tranquil, bucolic scene. The only hint of anything untoward is the five armed policemen guarding the bridge at the town of Cocachacra.

Last April the valley was the scene of a month-long “strike” that saw pitched battles between the police and hooded protesters hurling stones from catapults (see picture). Two protesters and a policeman were killed; 150 police and 54 civilians were hurt. Continue Reading →

Ely calls a truce over mining as tourist economy booms – by Dan Kraker (Minnesota Public Radio News – August 2, 2016)

Tanner Ott and his father John have made a career rehabbing historic buildings. They do it for love and for money, and they believe both can be found now in Ely.

The Otts, who’ve summered here for more than 25 years, have placed a big bet on downtown. Their family’s Missouri-based firm now owns eight long-vacant buildings, including the historic State Theater, which they began renovating in 2014. The marquee came alive Saturday for the first time in 20 years.

They hope to make the 300-seat venue a space for movies, live music, business conferences, weddings, and other events. By the time they’re done, the overhaul may cost $1.5 million — serious money in a town that not long ago appeared to be on the skids. But the Otts are sold on Ely. Continue Reading →

Critics, officials disturbed as Taseko mine plans to conduct test drilling – by Mark Hume (Globe and Mail – July 27, 2016)

VANCOUVER – A proposed $1.5-billion mine that has twice been rejected by Ottawa because of environmental concerns appears to have been given new life, much to the dismay of First Nations and other critics.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Tsilhqot’in National Government, which has been fighting to stop the Taseko Mines Ltd. proposal for years, said it is alarmed the company plans to conduct test drilling for the New Prosperity gold and copper mine.

“It is unbelievable and unacceptable that [Taseko] continues to waste everyone’s time, energy, money and goodwill,” the Tsilhqot’in stated. “The project cannot proceed in the face of the federal government rejection.” Continue Reading →

[Minnesota mining] Both sides steeled for Twin Metals hearings – by John Myers (Duluth News Tribune – July 11, 2016)

The debate over federal mineral leases at the proposed Twin Metals mine near Ely isn’t just a philosophical discussion over copper mining in Northeastern Minnesota. Twin Metals officials say the leases mean life or death for their project and any other future mining in the Rainy River watershed.

The federal leases in question “are really the foundation of our project,” said Bob McFarlin, spokesman for Twin Metals, a Minnesota company wholly owned by Chilean mining conglomerate Antofagasta.

Twin Metals and its predecessor companies already have spent more than $350 million toward the project, McFarlin told the News Tribune, and all of that could be for naught if the U.S. Forest Service withholds the leases. Continue Reading →

Environmental activist murders set record as 2015 became deadliest year – by Oliver Holmes (The Guardian – June 20, 2016)

Global Witness says at least 185 activists were killed and anti-mining activities were the most deadly – with 42 deaths related to protests

At least 185 environmental activists were killed last year, the highest annual death toll on record and close to a 60% increase on the previous year, according to a UK-based watchdog.

Global Witness documented lethal attacks across 16 countries. Brazil was worst hit with 50 deaths, many of them killings of campaigners who were trying to combat illegal logging in the Amazon. The Philippines was second with 33. Colombia had 26 fatal attacks; Peru, 12; Nicaragua, 12; and Democratic Republic of Congo had 11. Continue Reading →