Let us help you recover valuable metals. 888-437-1187


All Articles

Legislative and Regulatory Update

• Court says ESA listing bogus
The Pacific Legal Foundation announced they were successful in their lawsuit against the federal government regarding the listing of Coho salmon under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the Klamath River Basin.

Judge Michael Hogan agreed with the Pacific Legal Foundation that the government violated the ESA when it failed to consider hatchery fish when deciding whether or not to list Coho salmon as endangered in northern California and southern Oregon rivers.

You may remember that farmers in the Klamath Basin were devastated when the federal government cut off their water supply in early 2001.

“This victory came too late for the farmers who where pushed into bankruptcy and the businesses that were forced to close to protect fish that were never endangered,” said Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Russ Brooks. “Our rivers and streams are teeming with salmon, yet the Klamath community was practically destroyed because of environmental politics run amok.”

The case, Grange v. National Marine Fisheries Service, had been stayed by Judge Hogan pending environmentalists’ attempts to appeal PLF’s landmark victory in Alsea Valley Alliance v. Evans (2001). In that case, Judge Hogan held that the government had illegally listed Coho along the Oregon coast as threatened when it excluded hatchery Coho from fish counts. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the appeal in February, 2004.

In this ruling, however, Judge Hogan did not set aside the illegal listing, but left it in place while the agency completes the review of 26 west coast salmon listings, which it agreed to undertake as a result of its loss in Alsea. In June, 2004, NOAA proposed a new hatchery policy, but simultaneously announced that it would result
in the relisting—not delisting—of west coast salmon and steelhead populations.

However, Judge Hogan also indicated that if a federal agency took a specific enforcement action on behalf of the illegal listing which caused harm, those harmed could go to court and ask to have the federal action stopped.

“In other words, as long as the federal government complies with Judge Hogan’s ruling that the listing is illegal, there won’t be a problem. But if they try to cut off the water again or take some other similar action, we’ll be back in court,” Brooks said.

In November, 2004, PLF announced it will file a sweeping lawsuit challenging all 26 listings if NOAA enacts the proposed policy and continues to distinguish between hatchery and naturally spawned fish. The final rule is scheduled to be published in June, 2005.

Visit www.pacificlegal.org for more information.

• Comments needed for Idaho project
Comments are needed on Desert Mineral Mining’s plans to operate a gold mine 20 miles south of Boise, Idaho. The public comment period has been extended to February 4, 2005.

The company plans to utilize a closed cyanide processing system housed in a building to process approximately 120,000 tons of ore per year. Even more valuable than the gold may be the organic fertilizer the company plans to produce from the tailings.

More information can be found by visiting www.deq.state.id.us and clicking on the Public Info & Input tab. Click on Public Comment Opportunities, then scroll down to the draft mining permit. You can also reach the Idaho Dept. of Environmental Quality by phone at (208) 373-0502.

Comments can be mailed to Department of Environmental Quality, Waste Management and Remediation Division, 1410 N. Hilton, Boise, ID 83706; faxed to (208) 373-0154; or emailed to tgregory@deq.idaho.gov

Company president Dan Terzo said he expects to employ 20 at the operation once it gets underway.

• Crown Resources finally receives patents
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has issued mining patents to Crown Resources. The company wants to build a gold mine on Washington’s Buckhorn Mountain, a move backers hope will give the project a long-awaited boost.

BLM Director Kathleen Clarke issued the mining patents on December 21 after 12 years of review.

Crown Resources, based in Denver, wants to dig a 1.2 million-ounce gold deposit from Buckhorn Mountain, near the Canadian border in northern Okanogan County.

“We’re really hoping the agencies will view this as an opportunity to expedite the process,” said Clyde Gillespie, project manager for Kinross Gold, a Toronto-based company that is acquiring Crown Resources.

Kinross hopes to receive necessary environmental permits soon and begin construction in late 2005, he said.

The state Department of Ecology and US Forest Service are preparing a revised environmental impact statement for the proposed mine.

The recent deal transfers ownership of about 154 acres of Okanogan National Forest land to Crown Resources.

Mine opponents contend the BLM actions are a giveaway of public land that allows the company to remove the gold without paying royalties.

“It means that there’s less land in the public domain, and a half a billion dollars worth of gold gets given away for no return,” said Dave Kliegman, director of the Okanogan Highlands Alliance.

Opponents obviously do not consider the benefits of millions of dollars collected by state and federal agencies in fees and permits, and employment and sales taxes generated from high paying jobs the mine will create.

Kliegman said it was not clear whether his group can appeal the BLM’s decision.

The planned underground mine replaces a proposed open-pit mine project that collapsed in 2001 after failing to secure state and federal operating permits. Crown Resources and partners had spent 11 years and an estimated $60 million trying to open the Crown Jewel Mine.

Crown Resources last year submitted a revised plan scrapping the open pit and moving ore processing off-site. Instead, ore will be trucked for processing to a Kinross mill at Republic.

The project will support about 190 jobs at the mine and mill, Gillespie said. Many of the mining jobs will be offered to current Kinross employees, he said.

A BLM news release about the mining patents stated that under the 1872 Mining Law, the BLM director is obligated to issue a mining patent if the applicant has met the requirements.

Brenda Lincoln, a BLM spokeswoman in Portland, Oregon, said Crown Resources paid a total of $24,969 for the 154 acres, including public notification and land surveys.

Congress placed a moratorium on the processing of mineral patents in 1994. Crown Resources’ 1992 patent applications weren’t subject to the moratorium.
© ICMJ's Prospecting and Mining Journal, CMJ Inc.
Next Article »« Previous Article

Add a Comment

Additional articles that might interest you...

Mining Gold at 16,000 Feet

The view from the pass at 16,500 feet elevation was astonishing. In one direction, one range of the Andes Mountains rose to over 18,000 feet, while in the other direction the peaks soared to almost 20,000 feet.

The Bawl Mill

• Office supplies—$83.00. Gas for your government car—$29.00. Using your government credit card to pay for your vacation—Priceless.
• Australian government creates a haven for criminals

The Bawl Mill

• By the numbers
• Apparently Americans deserve more of the same...

Angkor Gold's Cambodia Projects

Several nations around the world are working diligently to make their countries more attractive to resource development as a means of improving economic development. One such nation is Cambodia, located west of Vietnam, south of Laos and due east of Thailand.

Drive Under Way to Restore the Rights of Suction Dredgers

California Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 670 on August 6, 2009, which temporarily halts suction dredging in California until a new Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is completed. This was despite a request from...

Agreement Allows Pogo Mine to Resume Construction

An agreement between developer Teck-Pogo and an environmental group will allow construction work to resume on the Pogo gold mine.

Let’s Go Crevicing for Gold

People have been looking for gold in every manner possible since the big gold boom in 1849, so what chance do we have of getting anything in today’s world where literally thousands of prospectors and fortune seekers have been before us?

Subscription Required:
The Bawl Mill   • Shortage of Mining Engineers Projected   • Ex-MarketWatch Mining Promoter Settles Charges   • Carbonatites   • Sage-Grouse Listing Denied   • The Art of Finding Coarse Gold—Part III   • Tongass Approves Kensington Mine Plan   • PLP Interim Rule Raffle   • California Miners Locate Rich Pocket of Specimen Gold   • The Lucky Shot Mine   • BC Premier Heralds "Golden Decade" in Forestry and Mining   • Drywashing for Eluvial Gold in the Desert—Using a Portable Drywasher and Hand Tools   • Claim Filings Up in the Northwest   • Canadian Officials Foresee Little Impact From Mine   • Coeur d'Alene Mines Sees Future in Bolivia   • The Golden Highway—Nevada County   • Melman on Gold & Silver   • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices   • Looking Back



Garrett Electronics - trusted by real miners & prospectors!
Precious Metals Recovery plants and equipment
Fighting to keep public lands open to the public
Specializing in the processing of precious metal ores!
Watch prospecting shows on your computer right now
Free Online Sample Issue