Copper mining threatens Afghan site of ancient Buddhist past

MES AYNAK, Afghanistan (AP) — Treasures from Afghanistan's largely forgotten Buddhist past are buried beneath sandy hills surrounding the ancient Silk Road town of Mes Aynak — along with enough copper to make the land glow green in the morning light.

An estimated 5.5 million tons of copper, one of the biggest deposits in the world, could provide a major export for a war-ravaged country desperately in need of jobs and cash. But the hoped-for bonanza also could endanger rare artifacts that survived the rule of the Taliban and offer a window into Afghanistan's rich pre-Islamic history.

Underground bicycle park being built in old Kentucky mine

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — It's the perfect setting: millions of tons of dirt, plenty of space and an atmosphere that stays at a constant 58 degrees.

A new underground bicycle park with miles of dirt trails, jumps and stunt courses is being built inside an abandoned limestone mine in Louisville that has been recycled into a popular tourist attraction. The owners of the 320,000-square foot park say it will be the largest indoor course in the nation.

UN experts: Widespread gold and mineral smuggling from Congo

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Experts monitoring sanctions against Congo are reporting widespread smuggling of gold, minerals and ivory out of the country by elements of the Congolese army and rebel groups among others.

In a report to the U.N. Security Council, the panel of experts also cited violations of the arms embargo and the continuing recruitment and use of child soldiers by rebel group including the FDLR which was formed by extremist Rwandan Hutus who fled across the border after taking part in the 1994 Rwanda genocide and are now the target of a Congolese army-led offensive.

U.S. ‘conflict minerals’ law hits African miners

The Washington Post

A law intended to keep U.S. companies from involvement with so-called “conflict minerals” has had the unintended consequence of throwing African miners out of work, forcing many to join militias to support their families, The Washington Post reports.


Report: Role of 3 big banks in commodities risky

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three big Wall Street banks that have owned commodities such as aluminum exposed themselves to risk and in some cases manipulated prices in a way that raised costs for consumers, a Senate investigation has found.

The heavy involvement of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley in the business of storing and moving commodities like oil, aluminum, uranium and copper also gives them unfair trading advantages in financial markets, according to a report issued Wednesday by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Peru attacks illegal mining ahead of climate talks

TAMBOPATA, Peru (AP) — Peru has sent 1,000 police into its southeastern jungles to dismantle illegal gold-mining camps, just weeks before the country hosts global climate talks.

Even before the officers began blasting away at miners' makeshift shelters, the Amazon rainforest nearby looked like a war-scape, pocked with craters and littered with the trunks of amputated trees.

Ex-coal mine chief joins small club: charged CEOs

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Don Blankenship joined a small club of executives when he was indicted on federal charges in the 2010 West Virginia mine explosion that killed 29 people.

The former Massey Energy CEO is accused of conspiring to violate safety and health standards at Upper Big Branch Mine, site of the worst U.S. coal mining disaster in 40 years. The explosion and investigation led to the overhaul of the way the federal government oversees mine safety.

Ex-CEO of mine that blew up, killing 29, indicted

CHARLESTON, West Virginia (AP) — The former CEO who oversaw the West Virginia mine that exploded in 2010, killing 29 people, was indicted Thursday on federal charges related to a mine safety investigation that followed the blast.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said a federal grand jury indicted former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship on charges that include conspiracy to violate mandatory federal mine safety and health standards, conspiracy to impede federal mine safety officials, making false statements to the Securities and Exchange Commission and securities fraud.

21 trapped miners confirmed dead in China

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities have confirmed the deaths of 21 missing miners who were trapped in an August mine collapse in eastern China, bringing the death toll to 27, state media reported Wednesday.

The official Xinhua News Agency said an explosion ripped through the Dongfang coal mine in the city of Huainan on Aug. 19. The search for the missing miners was hampered by collapsed shafts and gas pockets but ended with the confirmation of the 21 deaths. Six bodies had already been found, while 12 miners escaped, Xinhua reported.

Miners struggling to find more cuts to match falling metal prices

The Wall Street Journal

PricewaterhouseCoopers said in a report that metals companies will have to establish new plans for growth as they have limited room to cut costs as metals prices decline, The Wall Street Journal reports.


Subscribe to Mining