Arizona copper mine stirs debate pitting profits vs religion

SUPERIOR, Ariz. (AP) — Outside of an aging mining town in the mountains east of Phoenix, a copper company has burrowed a shaft 1.3 miles into the high desert landscape in what is believed to be the deepest such mine in the U.S.

Resolution Copper Mining says the mine will usher in a new era of prosperity for Arizona, bringing in the equivalent of roughly a $1 billion worth of revenue annually for about 60 years in a state still trying to emerge from the housing bust.

Environmental groups urge Dayton to wade into mine review

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Environmental advocates trying to stop a proposed copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota launched an ad campaign on Monday aimed not at the company behind the project but at Gov. Mark Dayton, hoping to persuade the Democrat to require stronger environmental protections.

The latest environmental review of PolyMet Mining Corp's open-pit mine, released by the Department of Natural Resources last week, did little to assuage concerns of a coalition of environmental groups called Mining Truth, despite finding that the mine likely wouldn't significantly impact water quality. In a statewide ad expected to begin airing this week, the group shows video of a massive spill of mining waste in Canada and calls on Dayton to reject the mine's waste storage system they say could result in a similar accident in Minnesota.

Molycorp files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (AP) — Rare earth metals company Molycorp has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

President and CEO Geoff Bedford said Thursday that the filings are an important step in helping to restructure its $1.7 billion debt with major creditors.

High court rules against law firm in bankruptcy fee fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that one of the nation's biggest law firms is not entitled to recover $5.2 million in legal fees it incurred in the course of a bankruptcy proceeding.

The 6-3 ruling said the firm Baker Botts could not collect additional fees it billed during a side dispute over whether the firm should be paid $117 million in fees earned representing Tucson-based copper-mining giant Asarco in the underlying bankruptcy.

Miners tighten belts to handle lower prices, report says


An annual report from PricewaterhouseCoopers found the overall market value of mining companies is at a 10-year low in the face of lower prices, and firms cut costs and spending again last year, Reuters reports.

Bankruptcy a threat for rare earths miner Molycorp

The Wall Street Journal

Molycorp Inc., the California rare earths mining company trying to keep afloat amid sliding prices, is expected to announce Monday that it is skipping an interest payment, which could lead to a bankruptcy filing this month, sources tell The Wall Street Journal.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee photo.

Dems, GOP spar over balance between mining, recycling of critical minerals

Democrats on the Senate Energy Committee urged Tuesday that legislation to break the U.S. dependence on imports of critical minerals emphasize recycling. Republicans have drafted a bill that focuses more on mining. 

Lawmakers at Senate Energy Committee hearing agreed that the country must find a way to generate more of its supply of critical minerals - used in energy and defense equipment and consumer electronics - domestically. But there was strong disagreement over how to do it and how much to spend on it.

Democrats criticized a bill proposed by Chairman Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, that would require the federal government to develop a list of critical minerals and metals, expand minerals job training and encourage officials to improve efficiency for permitting for mining projects on federal lands.

Senate Energy hearing on critical minerals bill

Washington, May 12, 2015, 10:00 am

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to hold hearing on legislation a bill aimed to improve critical mineral security. United States Geological Survey Acting Director Suzette Kimball to testify.

China's stimulus moves boosting copper

The Wall Street Journal

Copper prices have been soaring as China – the biggest consumer of the metal – is taking steps to keep its economy growing, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Guatemalan mine manager jailed for alleged river fouling

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — The general manager of a Guatemalan mine has been jailed following a 2012 complaint about contamination of a river with mining residue.

General manager Carlos Roberto Morales was jailed on a judge's order Monday, pending further investigation. The San Rafael mine said in a statement that it does not negatively impact the environment and would appeal the judge's decision.


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