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 »

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

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 »

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

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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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7th July 2014

Canadian company hopes to find copper in Methow Valley – by Craig Welch (Seattle Times – July 5, 2014)


Less than 2 miles from the heart of one of the most popular outdoor recreation spots in Washington, a Canadian company plans to drill holes to hunt for copper. The Forest Service says it doesn’t have the authority to stop the project.

MAZAMA, Okanogan County — Behind the general store and the outdoor gear shop — above the inn and horse corral — granite walls and pine-covered hills rise thousands of feet to form a towering nob called Goat Peak.

This fixture overlooking the North Cascades’ upper Methow Valley — one of the most popular outdoor playgrounds in the state — is where residents and visitors, including many from Seattle, walk dogs, run trails, cross-country ski, snowmobile, hike, bike and even paraglide.

Now a Canadian mining company wants to explore the earth beneath this recreation hot spot to see if metals marbled into the rock are plentiful enough for a copper mine. And despite mountains of opposition, the U.S. agency overseeing exploration maintains it’s powerless to stop the project.

Not 2 miles from the heart of Mazama, Vancouver-based Blue River Resources is proposing to drill as many as 15 bore holes 1,000 feet deep to see how much copper and molybdenum ore is there. The drilling could go on 24 hours a day for months, and would require the company to haul thousands of gallons of water up the mountain. The drilling could start later this summer. Read the rest of this entry »

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

4th July 2014

Kyrgyzstan’s Centerra Gold shares vulnerable to possible seizure after key court ruling – by Peter Koven (National Post – July 4, 2014)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

TORONTO – The government of Kyrgyzstan has lobbed many nationalization threats at Centerra Gold Inc. over the past 17 years. But a court ruling has turned the tables and made a large chunk of the government’s own Centerra shares vulnerable to potential seizure.

The strange turn of events is tied to Canadian junior miner Stans Energy Corp., which is also active in Kyrgyzstan. In 2012, a parliamentary committee revoked Stans’ licence for a rare earths project under highly suspicious circumstances, and the company launched legal action to protect its rights.

Those efforts culminated in a key ruling this week, as an arbitration court in Moscow ordered Kyrgyzstan to pay US$118.2-million to Toronto-based Stans.

It is highly unlikely that Kyrgyzstan will respect the ruling and pay out any cash. That leaves Stans the option of securing verdicts against one or more of the state’s foreign assets. And a logical one to go after would be Kyrgyzstan’s 32.7% stake in Centerra, currently worth almost $500-million.

David Vinokurov, vice-president of corporate development at Stans, declined to comment on whether the company would target Centerra, also based in Toronto, shares for payment. But he acknowledged that it would be a logical place to look. Read the rest of this entry »

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24th June 2014

Coal mines in Ukraine could close as fighting continues – by Sam Dodson (World Coal – June 24, 2014)


As fighting continues between Ukrainian military forces and pro-Russian separatists, coal mines in the country face possible shutdowns, according to DTEK, Ukraine’s largest mining and power group.

Months of hard fighting

The insurgency in the largely Russian-speaking east erupted in April after street protests in the capital Kiev toppled the Moscow-backed leader Viktor Yanukovich. Russia subsequently annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and the West has accused Russia of supporting the insurgency.

Following months of hard fighting, on Monday 23 June, pro-Russian rebel leader Alexander Borodai said the separatists would observe a ceasefire for five days. However, attacks on both Ukrainian military forces – and on civilians – were reported as recently as the 22 June.

With the continued fighting, the country’s resources have been threatened repeatedly. DTEK issued a statement a day after the separatists attacked its Komsomolets Donbassa, one of the largest coalmines in Ukraine, detaining the coal mine’s top management and confiscating assets, including coalminers’ monthly pay, 22 vehicles and office equipment. Read the rest of this entry »

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

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