mining

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Australia to Mining Firm: Rebuild Those Ancient Caves

Rio Tinto detonated explosives to access iron ore

(Newser) - Calling the destruction of 46,000-year-old Aboriginal caves "inexcusable," lawmakers in Western Australia have ordered a mining firm to rebuild caves that are among the country's most significant archaeological sites, the BBC reports. The company, Rio Tinto, detonated explosives in May to access $96 million in iron...

To Get to $7B in Gold, They Have to Wrangle Rare Rodents

Ed Stoddard at Undark describes the conservation project around Chilean mine

(Newser) - An effort to pull 3.5 million ounces of gold from a site high in the mountains of northern Chile is expected to cost $860 million—$400,000 of which has already been spent on rodents. A colony of 25 endangered short-haired chinchillas has made a home at the site...

Miner Cashes In Again

New find brings $2M, after a $3.4M haul in June

(Newser) - The small-scale miner in Tanzania who sold two of his finds for $3.4 million in June has made another big sale. Saniniu Laizer collected $2 million for a 14-pound Tanzanite stone, the BBC reports. The rare gemstones—which a geologist said could be gone in 20 years—are found...

With 2 Rocks, Small-Scale Miner Strikes It Rich

Saniniu Laizer earns $3.4M from sale of 2 largest known tanzanite gems

(Newser) - A miner in Tanzania has become an overnight millionaire with the discovery and sale of the two largest known tanzanite gemstones ever found. Until last week, the largest known chunk of tanzanite—one of the world's rarest gemstones, believed to be found only in a small northern region of...

Mining Giant: Sorry We Blew Up 46K-Year-Old Site

Rio Tinto blew up ancient Aboriginal rock shelters in Australia

(Newser) - Rio Tinto has apologized to the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people after setting off explosives last week that destroyed two ancient rock shelters in Western Australia. The sacred Aboriginal site, in the Juukan Gorge in the north of the territory, dates back 46,000 years, SBS News reports. "...

How Trump's Moon Plan Might Actually Pan Out

There really are plans to mine the moon

(Newser) - President Trump issued an executive order last month allowing US companies to mine the moon, but—is this really possible? Sure enough, Popular Mechanics lays out enough of the science, current projects, and history of moon-mining enthusiasm to make it seem real. "We've just been moving in a...

Hundreds Storm Open-Pit Mine

Thousands took part in the protest, activist group says

(Newser) - Hundreds of climate change activists broke through a police cordon and stormed into one of Germany's biggest lignite coal mines Saturday, two days after European Union leaders disagreed on a plan to make the bloc carbon neutral by 2050, the AP reports. Police ordered protesters to leave the vast,...

See What's Dumping 50M Gallons of Bad Water Daily

US mines are behind the ghastly pollution

(Newser) - Every day many millions of gallons of water loaded with arsenic, lead, and other toxic metals flow from some of the most contaminated mining sites in the US and into surrounding streams and ponds without being treated, the AP has found. That torrent is poisoning aquatic life and tainting drinking...

Brazil Dam Collapse Could Be Among Deadliest in 50 Years

Death toll in Brumadinho tragedy jumps to 58, with hundreds still missing

(Newser) - Officials in Brazil feared they'd find many more bodies after a dam collapse in Brumadinho on Friday. Those fears have been realized, with the death toll climbing from under a dozen to now nearly 60. Authorities have confirmed 58 people perished and up to 300 are still missing, and...

Sea of Mud and Waste Leaves 9 Dead, 300 Missing

Dam collapse devastates Brumadinho, Brazil

(Newser) - Rescuers in helicopters on Saturday searched for survivors in a huge area in southeastern Brazil buried by mud from the collapse of a dam holding back mine waste, with at least nine people dead and up to 300 missing. Nearly a full day since the disaster happened, finding many more...

Runaway Train Dramatically Derails After 57 Miles

Aussie freight train rolled away after driver got out to inspect an issue

(Newser) - The driver of a freight train in Western Australia got out to inspect an issue with one of its 268 wagons early Monday—and it kept going without him. The train, loaded with iron ore, hurtled across 57 miles of the remote Pilbara region before it was deliberately derailed from...

Zinke Signs Mining Ban Near Yellowstone

'There are places to mine and places not to mine'

(Newser) - Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke approved a 20-year ban on new mining claims in the towering mountains north of Yellowstone National Park on Monday after two proposed gold mines raised concerns that an area drawing tourists from the around the globe could be spoiled. As Zinke signed the mineral ban at...

A Hot New Precious Metal Lures Miners to US

Cobalt mining ramps up here for the first time in decades

(Newser) - For the last four decades, cobalt mining has been almost non-existent in the US. That's changing now with what the BBC labels a rush for the precious metal recently named as critical to the US economy. With increases in price and demand for the silver-blue mineral—used in everything...

Men See Gold, Brazil Sees Jobs, Critics See Disaster

Brazil dissolves protected status of vast region, opening part of it to mining

(Newser) - The government says it's looking out for the economy and job growth; critics say it's "the biggest attack on the Amazon of the last 50 years." The BBC reports on a big move out of Brazil, where a protected area will be protected no more—at...

Obscure Act, Used Only Once, Could Undo Obama Rules

House Republicans voted to repeal 2 regulations

(Newser) - Moving to dismantle Barack Obama's legacy on the environment and other issues, House Republicans approved a measure 228-194 Wednesday that scuttles a regulation aimed at preventing coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby streams. Lawmakers also voted 235-187 to rescind a separate rule requiring companies to disclose payments...

Obama Administration Blocks Mining Near Yellowstone

Feds stepping up efforts to stop development

(Newser) - US officials on Monday blocked new mining claims outside Yellowstone National Park as the Obama administration races in its last days to keep industry out of natural and environmentally sensitive areas. Mining claims on 30,370 acres north of the nation's first national park would be prohibited for at...

Desperate Venezuelans Turn to Mines, Find Malaria

Disease makes a resurgence in dire times

(Newser) - More than a half-century ago, the World Health Organization recognized Venezuela as the first nation to wipe out malaria in its populated areas. It was even ahead of the US on that count. Today, though, the disease is making a ferocious comeback in the nation, even if the government fails...

How a Gold Rush Sickened 50K in Peru

Mining process sends mercury into waterways

(Newser) - Gold miners hoping to strike it rich in Peru appear to have inflicted the miserable side effect of mercury poisoning on an estimated 48,000 people. Peru's government declared a 60-day health emergency last month after Duke researchers analyzed hair from a sample of 3,000 Madre de Dios...

Officials Agree to Move City 2 Miles East

Kiruna, Sweden, is built on shaky iron mines

(Newser) - What do you do when a city is sinking? Why, you move it, of course. That's what the Swedish city of Kiruna has decided because iron mining below it has weakened the foundations of houses and buildings, Tech Insider reports. Now LKAB, the state-owned company behind the mining, is...

One of World's Best-Performing CEOs Dead in Plane Crash

'Iron Man' Roger Agnelli, banker turned mining magnate, dies with wife, 2 kids, 3 others

(Newser) - "We have lost a Brazilian of extraordinary entrepreneurial vision," Dilma Rousseff, the country's president, said in a statement Sunday, per Reuters . Her mournful message announced the death of 56-year-old banker Roger Agnelli, who turned a Brazil mining company into the world's largest iron-ore producer and made...

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