Mining

U.S. Supreme Court Deals Oregon Small Miners A Blow

The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has declined to review the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Bohmker v. Oregon, holding that Oregon’s five-year moratorium on the use of motorized mining equipment in rivers and streams that contain essential salmon habitat is not preempted by federal law. The Oregon law was passed following California’s revisions to California Fish […]

California Court Places a Limit on the Expansion of Legal Nonconforming Mining Operations

On March 6, 2019, the California First District Court of Appeal, in Point San Pedro Road Coalition v. County of Marin (2019) 245 Cal.Rptr.3d 580, considered whether import of asphalt grindings was within a mine’s legal nonconforming use or whether it was an impermissible expansion or enlargement. The court found that the import improperly expanding […]

Barrick Gold Proposes Purchase of Newmont Mining Corp.

Barrick Gold Corp. proposed a merger with Newmont Mining Corp. based on an unsolicited, all-share deal. The offer values Newmont at $17.85 billion and would combine the world’s two largest gold mining companies. Barrick argues that the merger will allow the company to trim costs while combined assets, especially in Nevada, will open up additional […]

Mining Companies Fight Tribal and Environmental Groups’ Challenges to an Issued BLM Permit

Constantine Metal Resource Ltd., Alyu Mining Co. Inc., and Haines Mining & Exploration Inc. fought back last Thursday against the Chilkat Indian Village and Southeast Alaska Conservation Council’s claims that the BLM violated NEPA when it issued Constantine a permit for mineral exploration in Alaska. The environmental and tribal groups believe that the permit allows […]

Proposed Revisions to the Clean Water Act: EPA’s Veto Power Thwarted

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced on June 27, 2018 that Administrator Scott Pruitt wants to do away with the agency’s power to veto permits allowing material from mining and infrastructure projects to impact waters of the U.S. Pruitt directed the agency to put together a proposal to change regulations controlling the agency’s authority […]

Impact of Electric Car Demand on Copper Mining

Electric vehicles, an early harbinger of the adoption of greener technologies in many states, will be one of the largest drivers of the expected increase in demand in copper over the next five years, says commodity analyst Robert Edwards. Today, less than 1% of the world’s vehicles are electric, but experts believe that by 2040 […]

Two-year mining moratorium on millions of acres of federal land set to end this weekend

Consistent with President Trump’s rollback of several Obama-era moratoria on mining on federal lands, the Interior Department is expected to let lapse the two-year moratorium on new mining claims in several Western states. On September 24, 2015, former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell signed a federal administrative order withdrawing from new mining claims 10 million acres […]

Supreme Court Justices Ask Trump Administration to Weigh In on California Mining Prohibition

The U.S. Supreme Court is requesting that the Trump administration evaluate the extent to which states can prohibit mining activity on federal lands. Earlier this week, the Justices asked the acting solicitor general to weigh in on a case brought by a part-time prospector who hopes to knock down a specific California ban on a […]

President Trump’s Nominees for Interior and Energy Easily Approved By Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Secretary of the Interior nominee Ryan Zinke and Secretary of Energy nominee Rick Perry were approved by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, paving the way for their confirmation by the full Senate. The committee approved Zinke by a 16-6 vote, and Perry by a 16-7 vote. Angering the Democrats on the Committee, […]

Mining Industry Prepares for Incoming Trump Administration

The mining industry is optimistic that the Trump administration will reduce regulatory burdens on mining and support efforts to open new mines. Several lawmakers have already introduced mining-related bills, and the American Exploration & Mining Association is working on a “wish list” of mining related asks for the incoming administration.  For example, the mining industry […]

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