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Mining the Earth

Mining the Earth:

AK-Canada. Seabridge Gold owns KSM mine for which it has “early construction permits from the British Columbian government”.  The mine is in “the transboundary Unuk River watershed” between BC and Alaska, which makes for a very interesting problem.  First Nations and environmentalists are very concerned about the mine.  Now AK Senators Mark Begich (D) and Lisa Murkowski (R),  and Representative Don Young (R), are involved, too.

*AZ.  There’s a “rich copper vein on public and private lands” near Superior that Resolution Copper, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto and BHPBilliton, wants.  A public campground, excluded from mining, sits atop part of the vein, so Resolution Copper is working toward getting legislation passed to fix that.  While “birders, campers, climbers and hikers” enjoy access to the campground, the area is sacred to the San Carlos Apache Tribe which has been joined by several other Apache tribes, AZ Intertribal Council and the National Congress of American Indians in fighting Resolution Copper’s action.

*MN.  Antofagasta, “Chilean mining giant”, partnered with Toronto’s Duluth Metals to develop “a massive underground mine near Ely . . . [in] what could be the world’s largest untapped source of copper and other precious metals valued at perhaps $100 billion.”  Antofagasta is now buying the entire operation from Duluth Metals for $85 mllion.  Residents in and around Ely are not pleased and Friends of the Boundary Waters aren’t either.

*MN.  Momentum is building among opponents of frac sand mining in Houston County.  They’ve recently presented local officials with a petition, singed by 450 people, to ban frac sand mining in the county.

*WI.  University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire researchers are monitoring the air around frac sand mining sites.  “The study showed particulate levels between five to fifty micrograms per cubic meter” around the sites while the EPA “says levels at or below twelve micrograms per cubic meter are safe.”  More to come on this.

*Canada.  A Chinese firm will “help design a process to help [a Yukon mine owned by Copper North Mining] recover copper, gold and silver.”  They’ll also be shipping equipment to Canada.  As a result of this arrangement, costs could be reduced by up to 40%.  Reduced costs, of course, result in increased mining.

*Canada.  The new “Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act” is supposed to “deter and detect corruption by requiring companies [publicly traded in Canada] to report payments [of at least $100,000] they make to governments in Canada and abroad.”

*Canada.  The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) held a public meeting regarding the Canadian government’s “voluntary” approach for mining companies’ behavior in Latin America.  “[D]eaths, injuries, rapes and other abuses” have allegedly occurred at mining sites, as well as “long-term environmental damage, illegal community displacement and subverting democratic processes.”

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