JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking the first steps toward possibly restricting or even prohibiting development of a massive gold-and-copper prospect near the headwaters of a world-premier sockeye salmon fishery in southwest Alaska.
The federal agency will ask the state and those behind the proposed Pebble Mine to make their case for the project.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Tear apart an electric car's rechargeable battery and you'll find a mineral normally associated with No. 2 pencils.
And experts say the promise of expanded uses for "pencil lead" in lithium-ion batteries — used in cars, cellphones and tablet computers — as well as a decrease in supply from China has helped touch off the largest wave of mining projects in decades.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — BHP Billiton, the world's biggest miner, Tuesday reported a better-than-expected half year profit of $8.1 billion as cost cuts offset lower commodity prices.
The Anglo-Australian company's shareholders could participate in a company share buyback in six months. Chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said net debt could be down to $25 billion by then, a level he has previously said could trigger a capital return.
BHP's net profit for the July-December half year jumped 83 percent to $8.1 billion from $4.4 billion a year earlier.
Stripping out one-time gains and losses, profit was up 31 percent to $7.8 billion. That was well ahead of analyst forecasts of about $7 billion.
Investigators for Democrats on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee said in a report that the Bureau of Land Management's coal leasing program has allowed some companies to pay low rates for leases and benefit from low royalties at taxpayer cost, The New York Times reports.
In contrast to Democratic arguments that a GAO report highlights problems with the federal coal leasing program, Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said the $1 billion in leasing revenue detailed in the report proves the economic necessity of the program, The Hill reports.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Congressional investigators have found problems with federal coal sales that might have cost taxpayers $200 million or more in lost revenue, a senator said Tuesday.
Citing a new report by investigators at the non-partisan U.S. Government Accountability Office, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., called for the sales to be suspended until the problems are rectified.
More than 40 percent of U.S. coal production — or about 450 million tons a year — comes from public lands leased by the government to mining companies under the century-old Mineral Leasing Act. Those leases bring in more than $1 billion in annual revenue.
RENO, Nev. (AP) — An assistant U.S. secretary of labor has criticized a Nevada gold mine for failing to protect its workers after federal inspectors issued more than 60 citations and orders involving health and safety violations subject to more than $200,000 in potential penalties.
A review issued Wednesday noted that Veris Gold USA Inc., owner and operator of the Jerritt Canyon mine in Elko County, didn't have to report an electrical explosion and fire that injured two employees there on Dec. 19 because inspectors for the Mining Safety and Health Administration were already on site documenting infractions.
The violations included blocked emergency escape routes, faulty pressure relief valves and improperly stored hazardous chemicals at the operation that has 120 workers about 50 miles north of Elko, the mining administration said.
The Senate has voted to end debate on the nominations of Jeffery M. Baran and Stephen G. Burns to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with a final confirmation vote expected Tuesday afternoon, The Hill reports.
A study being published Tuesday in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America makes specific links between wastewater injection and earthquakes in the area of the Raton Basin using seismic monitors and fluid-injection data, The Wall Street Journal reports.
A combination of growing supply from Libya at a time when statistics are indicating weaker demand from the world’s big economies was continuing to pressure oil prices Tuesday. U.S. benchmark crude for October delivery was 22 cents lower to $92.70 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London November Brent dropped 8 cents to $97.80, Reuters reports.
Under terms of its initial public offering announced Monday, Vantage Energy -– an oil and gas company operating in the Barnett and Marcellus Shale plays -– hopes to sell 23,550,000 at $24 to $27 a share, the Denver Business Journal reports.
The California Independent System Operator has directed its participants to limit maintenance in the Southern California region, as well as marshalling extra electricity generation throughout the state in response to additional demand caused by this week’s heat wave, Platts reports.
Two Nevada fire chiefs say they are concerned that smart meters may have been responsible for nine recent fires over the past two years, even though NV Energy has installed 1.1 million of them, The Associated Press reports.
A proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency to collect fines and other debts by garnishing people’s wages would be blocked under legislation introduced by Sens. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., and John Thune, R-S.D., The Hill reports.
A patch of algae bloom in the north Atlantic converted 24,000 tons of CO2, nearly two thirds of it in a week, before it was killed by a virus that then helped it sink to the ocean floor, according to researchers – including some from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute -- who published their findings in Current Biology, E&E reports.
Data from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies released Monday showed that 2014 saw the warmest August since records began 130 years ago, although director Gavin Schmidt said statistically the difference is slight and the significance is to be found in long-term trends, The Weather Channel reports.