Big miners cut exploration budgets again, could trigger price hikes


Major global mining companies have cut their investment budgets for the second year in a row, and China's relentless demand looks set to continue, which could herald price increases in precious metals, Bloomberg reports.

Omnibus rider blocks EPA from tightening mine waste rules

The Hill

A Republican rider on the omnibus spending bill would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from clamping down further on mining companies dumping waste in streams, The Hill reports.

Mining could devastate Alaska's Bristol Bay region

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A U.S. government report indicates a large-scale copper and gold mine in Alaska's Bristol Bay region could have devastating effects on the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery and adversely affect Alaska Natives, whose culture is built around salmon.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday released its final assessment of the impact of mining in the Bristol Bay region. Its findings are similar to those of an earlier draft report, concluding that, depending on the size of the mine, up to 94 miles of streams would be destroyed in the mere build-out of the project, including losses of between 5 and 22 miles of streams known to provide salmon spawning and rearing habitat.

Up to 5,350 acres of wetlands, ponds and lakes also would be lost due to the mine footprint.

Rio Tinto considers cutting ties to Alaska mine

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — London-based mining giant Rio Tinto announced Monday it plans to conduct a review of the Pebble Mine prospect in southwest Alaska, including whether to cut its ties with the proposed project.

Report: Pentagon's reliance on Chinese rare earths on the decline


The Defense Department said in a new report that its reliance on China for rare earths necessary for military manufacturing has fallen in the past few years as new markets have opened, Reuters reports.

Patriot Coal poised to emerge from bankruptcy

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal bankruptcy court has approved Patriot Coal's reorganization plan, clearing the way for it to emerge from 17 months of bankruptcy, the St. Louis-based company said Tuesday as it finished wrapping up its exit financing.

Drive to mine uranium in Va. comes to quiet pause

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A company is suspending its campaign to mine one of the world's largest known deposits of uranium ore in Virginia, concluding that Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe's opposition presents a significant challenge over the next four years.

China grants approval for six new coal mines


Despite water shortage concerns and an increased effort to scale back air pollution, China approved six new coal mines set for construction next year, Reuters reports.

Gas blast at Chinese coal mine traps 22 workers

BEIJING (AP) — A gas explosion on Friday trapped 22 workers underground in a coal mine in western China.

New Zealand drops charges against mine boss

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand's government on Thursday dropped all charges against the former boss of a coal mine where 29 miners died in an explosion and instead accepted a financial settlement — a decision that left some of the victim's relatives angry.


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