Legislative and Regulatory Update
October 2008 by Scott Harn• Voters say "yes" to mining in Alaska
Alaska voters defeated an attempt by environmentalists to place severe restrictions on mining.
Measure 4 would have imposed two water quality standards on any new large-scale mines in Alaska. Had it passed, it would have restricted new large mines, like the $300 billion Pebble project, from releasing chemicals that could be deemed toxic into waterways.
The measure was defeated, 43% in favor to 57% opposed.
• Colorado cyanide ban case presented
The Colorado Mining Association’s challenge of a cyanide ban in Summit County reached the Colorado Supreme Court. Arguments were presented on September 9.
Summit County banned the use of cyanide for mining in 2004. The mining association was able to get the ban overturned in district court, but the state Court of Appeals later sided with the county. Additional counties followed with their own cyanide bans, including Conejos, Costilla, Gilpin and Gunnison.
The case is No. 05CA1996.
• New small-scale regulations released in Washington State
The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) released new regulations governing small-scale mining in mid-August, following literally years of negotiations with stakeholders.
While the resulting regulations are much better than what the WDFW was trying to force on miners at the start of the process, the new regulations still leave much to be desired. The agency still attempts to rely on data that they have not been able to back up with science to establish "timing windows" for prospecting in waterways in Washington State.
Unfortunately, the comment deadline on the new regulations was September 26, 2008. The short deadline did not allow us time to notify all of our readers who may have been interested in submitting comments. We did, however, post this information on our website, and many concerned readers have commented on the regulations.
Mark Erickson of the Resources Coalition, a group that has been leading the battle to rewrite Washington’s overzealous regulations, stated, "The regulations are much better than what Fish and Wildlife tried to implement initially. We’ve made some really good progress. But they still won’t provide the science to support these timing windows."
• Colorado roadless areas
The US Forest Service has published rules pertaining to roadless areas in Colorado. The full document is lengthy—23 pages total—and can be viewed at: http://roadless.fs.fed.us/documents/colorado_roadless/fr_co_rule.pdf
We have also placed a link to the document on our website under the Pending Rules & Regulations tab.
Those who wish to maintain access to current or historic mining areas should send in constructive comments. Comments are due by October 23, 2008.
Written comments can be submitted to:
Roadless Area Conservation—Colorado
PO Box 162909
Sacramento, CA 95816–2909
Comments can be faxed to: (916) 456-6724
Comments can be emailed to: COcomments@fsroadless.org
The beautiful province of Quebec, known in French as “La Belle Province,” is not only famous for its scenic attractions and world-renowned cities such as Montreal and Quebec City, but also as being one of the most attractive places for mining...
On a personal level, I have been part of the business, brokerage and financial columnist worlds for 45 years, since the mid-1960s, and in all those years, I have never seen a collection of negative news items similar to what has been published during the past month. In short, taken together they may very well be describing the end of the economic world systems as we know them.
Ready, Set, Go! The stopwatch clicks on and the panner starts like being fired out of a cannon. It’s the Labor Day weekend and the State Championships are on their way.
He got out his new salt gun and began searching for the source of the intruder. He soon isolated the sound to a point in the rafters above the stove.
• Should I introduce mercury in the centrifugal bowl to aid gold recovery?
Behind every diamond engagement ring, every diamond earring, every glittering, multicarat expression of true love once loomed the shadow of De Beers, the cartel that controlled—and, some argue, created—the international diamond industry.
…At present we may be entering a period of relative stability on many economic fronts and, therefore, our focus is now trending more toward social upheaval and the resultant increase in tensions as the prime movers for the precious metals.
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