Palladium reaches 13-year high as strike continues

Palladium settled at its highest price in more than a decade as a mining strike in South Africa continues to pinch production of the metal.

Palladium for September delivery rose $5.60 to settle at $860.15 on Wednesday. That's the highest settlement price since February 2001, according to FactSet data.

Negotiations to end the nearly five-month strike ended earlier this week without an agreement. The strike started Jan. 23 and has squeezed supplies of the industrial metal, which is used to make catalytic converters that filter car exhaust.

Troubled mining industry now resurgent in Midwest

WHITE PINE, Mich. (AP) — A way of life dating back more than a century appeared over in Michigan's Upper Peninsula when the last copper mine closed in 1995, idling more than 1,000 employees and turning this once-thriving company town into a forlorn outpost.

Now a Canadian company is planning a new mine at the site a few miles from Lake Superior, where screeching gulls hover over empty buildings and parking lots are littered with broken glass. If Highland Copper Co.'s plans go forward, the area will be astir once more as underground ores are blasted, hauled to the surface and crushed at a mill to extract valuable minerals.

White Pine's impending rebirth is almost miraculous to local residents who have borne the brunt of its demise, but it's part of something even bigger: a surprising resurgence of a mining industry that once was an economic pillar in three Upper Midwestern states but has been in serious decline.

Sierra Leone president fires deputy over mining

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone's president has fired his chief of staff over his negotiating of a mining agreement and granting another company the right to log unlimited amounts of timber.

The statement from President Ernest Bai Koroma's office late Monday said Richard Conteh's negotiation of the mining agreement exposed the government to "potential loss of revenue." Conteh also allegedly issued an order allowing one company to export unlimited amounts of timber instead of the 30 containers stipulated by the president.

As chief of staff, Conteh, who was previously finance minister, was charged with overseeing projects initiated by the president and monitoring the performance of the other ministries.

Spat between Indonesia, Newmont intensifies

The Wall Street Journal

In the latest developments in a dispute over copper exports, Indonesia has slammed Newmont Mining for declaring force majeure – which allows it to back out of contracts without penalty – and says the company isn’t moving quickly enough to comply with local regulations, The Wall Street Journal reports.

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.


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