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Apache Stronghold: Ninth Circuit Ruling Does Not Advance Mine

San Carlos Apache Reservation, Ariz.– While the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Friday, March 1, 2024 against the non-profit citizens group Apache Stronghold is extremely disappointing, the ruling does not clear the way for construction of the Resolution Copper Mine. “The culturally and environmentally devastating Resolution project is no closer to construction today than it was before the appeals court ruling,” San Carlos Apache Tribe Chairman Terry Rambler said. “The Tribe will continue to fight construction of the project that would have devastating impacts to the Tribe’s culture, the environment and Arizona’s drinking water supplies.”

Disappointing ´Rush To Judgment´ On China’s Role In The Congo

China’s role has been to bring new, large-scale investment on a new basis: combined financing for industrial mining and public infrastructure – roads, railroads, dams, health and education facilities. The result was “After decades of almost non-existent industrial production, the country became and remains the world’s leading producer of cobalt and, by 2023, became the world’s third largest producer of copper.” The new deal “puts an end to the monopoly of certain Western countries and their large companies whose history shows that this exclusivity has not brought development to the country.” The arrangement has dramatically reduced the role of artisanal mining.

Contentious Copper-Nickel Mine Gets Permit Approval

Saint Paul, MN — On Monday, December 18, the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld a key air permit issued by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for a proposed copper-nickel mine formerly known as PolyMet. The company — NewRange Copper Nickel — views the decision as a victory as it attempts to build the first mine for copper, nickel and other precious metals in Minnesota. Environmental groups and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians filed a lawsuit to overturn the permit, saying that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) failed to consider if the company would expand its operations and thus produce more emissions.

Panama Supreme Court Declares Mining Contract Illegal

The Supreme Court of Panama declared the mining contract which renewed a Canadian mining company’s exploitation concession of the largest open pit copper mine in Central America as unconstitutional. The renewal of this contract triggered a protest movement that has spread for more than a month throughout the country. On Tuesday, November 28, the president of the Supreme Court of Panama, María Eugenia López, stated that the ruling was approved unanimously. The case was opened in response to two appeals presented against Law 406, approved on October 20 by the unicameral Parliament and President Laurentino Cortizo and that contains the contract.

People Of Panama Are In The Streets: ‘Our Homeland Is Not For Sale’

Panama has woken up once again. For several days now, thousands of its citizens have taken to the streets against a nefarious mining contract that would not only put vast areas of the country in the hands of private companies, with headquarters in the North, but would also cause irreparable environmental damage. The unpopular signing of the mining contract with Minera Panama, a subsidiary of First Quantum Minerals, has lit a popular uprising in the country and forcing government of the Democratic Revolutionary to face a new social crisis. Just over a year ago, the Panamanian people were the protagonists of massive protests against President Laurentino Cortizo over the high cost of fuel and food.

Protests Against Mining Concession Given To Company Intensify In Panama

Since early August, Panamanian trade unions, Indigenous groups, and people’s movements have been taking to the streets in different parts of the country in rejection of a concession contract signed in March between the government of President Laurentino Cortizo and Minera Panamá S.A., a subsidiary of the Canadian multinational mining company First Quantum Minerals Limited. The contract allows the mining company to continue operations at one of Central America’s largest open-pit copper mines, Cobre Panamá, for 20 years, with the possibility of extending the period for another 20 years. It also authorizes the company to build a power plant, a process plant, and an international port—providing services that would be charged, but from which the state would not benefit.

In Turkey, Villagers Fight Deforestation In Coal Mine Project

Akbelen forest, western Turkey. Local villagers and environmental activists try to stop the expansion of a coal mine. Just three months after strongman President Erdoğan was re-elected, people flocked here from all over Turkey to try to save the remaining woodland. The protest is a symbol of a wider struggle to protect the environment in Turkey, from companies which often enjoy close relations with the government. The coal giant Limak Holding is a typical example. President Erdoğan dismissed the protesters as ‘marginal’, opposed to the country’s economic development. Despite a nation-wide outcry, the forest clearing continues with the protection of the Turkish security forces.

West Virginia Hearing: Don’t Cut Corners With Miners’ Safety

West Virginia - At 9:00 A.M. sharp on August 10, a small phalanx of smiling, well-coiffed elderly women began herding a crowd of several dozen people into the auditorium of the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beckley, West Virginia. Among the crowd were former coal miners and their spouses, lawyers, pulmonologists, black lung clinic staff, environmental activists, local media, union representatives, and concerned citizens — all there to attend a public hearing for a new proposed rule from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) that seeks to limit silica exposure in the nation’s coal mines to 50 micrograms per cubic meter, down from 100.

Canadian Mining, Oils Sands Companies Saw Huge Revenue Increases In 2022

The Canadian Mining Journal, an industry magazine catered to insiders, has released its annual ranking of Canada’s top 40 miners. Describing 2022 as “a remarkable year” for Canada’s largest mining companies, editor Tamer Elboki praised the Canadian mining sector for “prov[ing] to be as solid and robust as it could be” in the face of the pandemic and geopolitical instability. In 2021, Canada’s top 40 mining companies raked in revenues of $143 billion from mines peppered throughout the world. Last year, these firms made a record $177 billion in revenues—an increase of $34 billion—amid government efforts to increase mining development within Canada and abroad.

Indigenous Resistance Challenges Ontario’s ‘Mining Boom’

As Canada’s governments hungrily scour domestic and foreign territory in search of critical minerals—an essential part of Ottawa’s new Cold War on China—Ontario Premier Doug Ford is attempting to spin demand into a provincial mining boom. Ontario’s first-ever Critical Minerals Strategy (CMS), announced alongside a federal initiative of the same name, proclaims that the province is “incredibly fortunate” and “blessed with exquisite deposits of nickel, lithium, platinum, cobalt and dozens of other strategically important raw materials.” Ford’s economic policies are catering to mining companies that yearn for unfettered access to these resource supplies, even as Indigenous communities organize to resist the extractivist bonanza.

Niger Puts An End To Uranium And Gold Export To France

With immediate effect, the Republic of Niger, under the leadership of new president General Abdourahamane Tchiani, and supported by the people of the country, announced the suspension of the export of uranium and gold to France on Sunday. In parallel to the decision, protestors were surrounding the French Embassy in Niger calling for the end of French colonial practices repeating the slogan “Down with France!” and reaffirming their support to the coup leader, Tchiani. Wazobia Reporters, a Nigerien news website,reported one protestor proclaiming “We have uranium, diamonds, gold, oil, and we live like slaves? We don’t need the French to keep us safe.”

Labor Board Judge Blasts Warrior Met In Dispute With Mine Workers

A National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge has strongly blasted the Warrior Met coal company in its long-running dispute over a new contract with the United Mine Workers—a dispute which led bosses to lock out the firm’s 1,100 miners for more than a year and a half. The judge formally ruled the firm’s unfair labor practices provoked the conflict. In an 88-page ruling, ALJ Melissa Olivero came down particularly hard on company officials for claiming they couldn’t afford the union’s demands for raises in each year of a new contract, and the union’s tries at reclaiming the givebacks the workers had to yield to keep the firm going when it was the old, and bankrupt, Jim Walter mine.

A Just Transition To A New, Greener Life

My blood is as black as coal. We’re all miners in my family: niece, daughter, granddaughter, sister, cousin, wife, mother... It’s not like I was born with a piece of coal in my hand, but almost, like everybody else in these parts. When the coal mine shut down, it was a total disaster. There was no work. Young people started to leave, the villages became desolate, businesses closed. You carry those roots deep inside you. We are a different kind of people. We see things from a different perspective. You get used to living with fear. You make it your ally. When I was little I saw how nervous my  mother was for my father. Later I was the same when my husband and my son also went down the mines.

Virtual Slave Labor In Congo’s Cobalt Mines

Maurice, you and I have talked many times for Black Agenda Report about the wartorn northeastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), North and South Kivu and Ituri. We’ve talked about the Rwandan and Ugandan military aggressors, but in the southeastern provinces—which were once a single province called Katanga—there’s a different, equally horrific kind of violence going on in the vast cobalt mines that we haven’t talked about here. That’s the violence against hundreds of thousands of artisanal miners living in the most horrific conditions, the equivalent of slavery except that they can't be bought and sold.

Police Turned Up To A Coal Mine Operating Without A Licence

Merthyr (South Wales) Limited started operating Ffos-y-Fran, located about 25 miles north of Cardiff, in 2007. It is the UK’s largest opencast coal mine. However, after 15 years of opposition from local residents and ecological campaigners, Merthyr was supposed to stop mining on 6 September 2022. When the day arrived, though, the company simply applied for an extension and continued taking coal from the ground, causing despair for residents and campaigners. Then, on 26 April, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council unanimously rejected the extension. This should have stopped Merthyr completely.
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