Mining

Dominican president vetoes new national park

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) — A proposal to create a new national park that would have blocked the expansion of a nickel mine in the forested mountains of the central Dominican Republic was vetoed Tuesday by President Danilo Medina.

Medina sent the measure back to the Senate with a letter saying he had "serious doubts," about the effects of the proposed creation of the Loma Miranda National Park in an area where a multinational company was seeking to expand its mining operations.

The president also said there had not been any studies that concluded it was environmentally necessary to protect the area, covering about 16 square miles north of the capital with a national park designation.

Battle renews over reviving California gold mine

Source: 
The New York Times

Tim Callaway is making another push to resume mining for gold in the Sierra foothills of northern California in the face of opposition from his neighbors, The New York Times reports.

Mexican mining firm complains about probe of spill

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A mining conglomerate charged Thursday that it is being subjected to "punitive" legal actions by Mexican officials because one of its mines spilled acid-laced copper sulfate and heavy metals into two rivers.

Environmental authorities have ordered a full inspection of Grupo Mexico's Buenavista copper mine near the U.S. border and threatened possible fines of up to $3 million. Prosecutors, meanwhile, have filed a criminal complaint over the spill, which caused water supplies to be shut off for tens of thousands of people in northern Sonora state.

Late Wednesday, the Mexican Senate passed a nonbinding resolution calling for the government to cancel the mine's operating concession, a move that could affect the $1 billion-a-year mining company that provides 9,000 jobs in the area. The mine produces about 200,000 tons of copper annually.

Glencore swings to profit, announces buyback

GENEVA (AP) — Commodities and mining group Glencore PLC says it will buy back up to $1 billion of its own shares as profit for the first half of the year rose 8 percent.

The Swiss-based company, which created an industry giant through the merger between Glencore and Xstrata, says the repurchasing of shares will run through the end of March.

In its financial statement released Wednesday, the company says its adjusted net profit was $2.01 billion in the first six months of the year, up from a restated $1.86 billion in the comparable period of 2013.

Mexico says mine firm lied about chemical spill

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's top environmental official said Tuesday that a mining company lied about a spill of millions of gallons of acids and heavy metals that contaminated two rivers and a dam downstream.

Environment Secretary Juan Jose Guerra Abud said the mine falsely claimed the spill earlier this month was caused by unusually heavy rain. Officials say a construction defect at a holding pond allowed mining waste to flow out.

BHP plans asset split, posts $13.8 billion profit

SYDNEY (AP) — BHP Billiton, the world's biggest miner, said Tuesday it plans to split off some of its smaller assets into a separate company, as it posted a $13.8 billion annual profit.

Melbourne, Australia-based BHP said the reorganization will allow it to concentrate on its mainstay iron ore, copper, coal, petroleum and potash businesses.

The new company, which will have BHP's current chief financial officer Graham Kerr as its CEO, will include some of BHP's assets from five countries, including aluminum, nickel, manganese, silver and coal.

Mexico says mine slow to report huge acid spill

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A civil defense official says a private mine in northern Mexico did not immediately report a massive acid spill, allowing it to flow into a river that supplies water to tens of thousands of people.

Carlos Arias, director of civil defense for the northern state of Sonora, said the spill at a copper mine near the U.S. border was caused by defects in newly constructed leaching or holding ponds.

Such ponds hold the overflow of acids used to leach metal out of crushed rock. But Arias said a pipe either blew out or became unseated on Aug. 7, allowing about 10 million gallons (40,000 cubic meters) of mining acids to flow downstream into a river.

Study: Oceans more tainted with man-made mercury

WASHINGTON (AP) — In much of the world's oceans, levels of the metal mercury are double to triple what they were before the industrial revolution, a new study says.

Researchers found there's more mercury from human sources — mostly burning fossil fuels and mining for gold — than scientists had thought.

The study assessed inorganic mercury, which in the ocean gets converted into the toxic methylmercury found in seafood. When pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children eat too much methylmercury-tainted seafood, there's an increased risk of nervous system problems in the developing child.

Ad targets Murkowski for backing Pebble Mine

Source: 
The Hill

Tribal advocacy group Nunamta Aulukestai is running an ad across Alaska for a week, targeting the state’s Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski for her support of the controversial Pebble Mine project in Bristol Bay, The Hill reports.

Next Pebble Mine move officially rests with EPA’s McLerran

Source: 
E&E

Even though debate about barring the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska has gone all the way to the White House, the official recommendation to Environmental Protection Agency water officials about the project's future will come from EPA's Region 10 Administrator Dennis McLerran, E&E reports.

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