Mining

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

Source: 
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

Source: 
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

Source: 
E&E

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.

Oil

Glencore buys oil-explorer Caracal for $1.35B

GENEVA (AP) — Swiss-based commodities giant Glencore Xstrata Plc says it is buying oil exploration firm Caracal Energy Inc. for about 800 million pounds ($1.35 billion) in cash.

Glencore says it has reached an agreement to buy all outstanding Caracal shares for 5.50 pounds each, a 61 percent premium on the Canadian-based firm's stock price Friday.

US mining deaths up in 2013, injuries down

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Federal mine safety officials say the number of mining deaths in the nation totaled 42 in 2013, up six from the previous year.

The preliminary numbers were released Thursday by the Mine Safety and Health Administration. It reports that the 20 coal mining deaths last year were unchanged from 2012, but deaths at other mining operations were up by six, to 22.

The 2013 deaths were driven by 15 mining fatalities in the fourth quarter of the year. The overall injury rate dipped to a historic low.

McCarthy stands by Bristol Bay mining review

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy on Wednesday defended her review that could potentially restrict or ban surface mining near Alaska's sensitive Bristol Bay, despite complaints that it has put a cloud over the proposed Pebble Mine.

McCarthy's decision to consider a ban on mining in the area came under strong questioning from Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, at a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing on EPA's budget. Murkowski argued that EPA was moving ahead with the review before any formal permit application by Pebble developers.

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