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
• Australians know how to do a fundraiser
• She shared a toothbrush but...
• This IRS employee will share her winnings—with the IRS!...
• A diamond is forever (almost)...
• TVI Pacific Inc.
• Sherwood Mining Corp.
• Rubicon Minerals Corp.
• Planet Exploration Inc.
• Goldcorp Inc.
• Placer Dome Inc.
• Wolfden Resources Inc.
• Redstar Gold Corp.
• Oretcch Inc.
• Goldspring Inc.
• McWatters Mining Inc.
• Cambior Inc.
We all know that it was never Congress’ intent to regulate gold panners and other individual mine operators through MSHA. In fact, I believe the concept of owner-operated mines with no employees was so strange a concept to the lawmakers that they never even thought there would be a need for such an exemption.
The intention of this article is to summarize the highlights of the past 25 years which have led up to metal detecting for gold nuggets and to cover some basic information...
This is a story of a bit of our earth, carved by lines of longitude and latitude. There is a deep mystery in this land. The naked mountains speak of long ages of thrusting and rifting—of uplift and erosion. These riddles in the rock defy explanation.
A salvage company struck a 20-year deal with Britain to search for riches in the sunken warship HMS Sussex, which went down in 1694, laden with gold and silver.
Where to process high grade gold ore containing sulfides?
The Bawl Mill • Dredging at Real Del Castillo, Baja • Finding Paystreak Gold With A Metal Detector • General Metals Continues Toward Production • Cedar Rim Opal—Discovery of a Giant Opal Field • "I Got Dusted" • The Trail of ‘98 • Newmont Steps Up For Laid Off Workers • Benton’s Rich Silver • Gold Trader, Employee Charged with Wife’s Killing • Is There A Gold Shortage? • Wyoming Governor Pushes for Uranium Study Release • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices • California State Open and US National Gold Panning Championships