Ex-Montana gov, others seek money for mine access

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A group of investors that includes former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer is seeking $10 million from a mining company in exchange for access to a huge copper and silver reserve — a move the company's chief executive said Wednesday was "extortion" and included a threat to stir up negative publicity for the project.

Schweitzer, who has hinted at a 2016 presidential run, rejected the accusation and said he had been making a good-faith effort to resolve the dispute with a cash and stock settlement.

License stay lifted for proposed SD uranium mine

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A federal panel has lifted a temporary hold on the operating license for a proposed uranium mine in western South Dakota.

The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board in late April issued the stay on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission license granted to Powertech Uranium Corp. The stay was to ensure historic and cultural sites in the Black Hills aren't damaged by work at Powertech's proposed Dewey-Burdock mine near Edgemont.

Pebble suing EPA over steps that could bar mine

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A group seeking to develop a massive gold-and-copper prospect near the headwaters of a world-premier salmon fishery in Alaska is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for taking steps that could result in development being restricted or prohibited.

The Pebble Limited Partnership alleges in its lawsuit that the EPA exceeded its authority when it initiated the rarely used process under the Clean Water Act after concluding that large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed posed significant risks to salmon. Pebble fears the agency will kill the project before mine plans are finalized or it's evaluated through the permitting process.

Federal board hears arguments on temporary Powertech stay in SD

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A company proposing a uranium mine near Edgemont needs better studies to ensure that its operations won't hurt cultural and historic sites in the Black Hills, an attorney representing the Oglala Sioux Tribe said Tuesday.

Three administrative judges of the federal Atomic Safety and Licensing Board listened to telephone arguments on its April decision to put a temporary hold on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission operating license for Powertech Uranium Corp.

8 miners died in accidents Jan. to March 2014: MSHA

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration is reporting that eight miners died in mine accidents in the first three months of 2014, three in coal mining accidents and the rest in metal and other mines.

Joseph Main, the assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health, says they've seen a spike in deaths thus far in the second quarter, primarily in metal and other non-coal mining.

Since October, there have been 19 mining fatalities.

Pebble Mine owners ready challenge to EPA move to delay project

The Hill

It’s expected that the Pebble Partnership will make a formal response Tuesday to the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to use the Clean Water Act to hold up the permitting process for the copper and gold mine, The Hill reports.

SD tribe invokes treaties against new uranium mine

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The Oglala Sioux Tribe in southwestern South Dakota is invoking federal treaties and international agreements in protest of a proposed uranium mine in the western part of the state.

Tribal president Bryan Brewer is demanding protection from the federal government from "immediate threat of contamination and irreparable harm."

Perez to unveil new coal dust rule today

The Associated Press

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez is headed to Morgantown, W. Va. today to unveil the Obama administration's long-awaited rule to limit miners' exposure to coal dust, The Associated Press reports.

DeFazio tours abandoned mine Superfund site

RIDDLE, Ore. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio on Thursday toured an abandoned copper mine in southwestern Oregon that is on the Superfund list of major pollution sites as he prepares to file legislation to overhaul the nation's primary mining law.

DeFazio, D-Ore., said the Formosa Mine, which is on federal and private land outside Riddle, illustrates what is wrong about the 1872 Mining Act: The Canadian companies that reopened the mine in the 1990s have disappeared, the bond put up for cleanup was nowhere near enough to cover the true costs, and the federal government never got a penny in royalties.

SEC's conflict minerals rule violates 1st amendment: Appeals Court


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit threw out a so-called "conflict minerals" rule from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which had mandated that companies state whether their goods may have originated in the strife-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo, E&E reports.


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