Interior Department Solicitor Robert Anderson released an opinion on Tuesday clarifying how mining companies can legally store mining waste on public lands.
Prompted by recent court decisions regarding the defeated Rosemont Copper mine in Arizona and the proposed Thacker Pass lithium mine in Nevada, the new opinion offers guidance for companies to site waste rock and tailings from mining operations on federal lands under the General Mining Act of 1872. In doing so, the agency appeared to resolve remaining legal questions surrounding the massive and controversial Thacker Pass mine.
Interior Deputy Secretary Tommy Beaudreau said the opinion is “one step of many the Department of the Interior is taking to update guidance for mining companies to reflect the realities of the 21st century.” Even so, Native Americans have been staging a protest since last week near the site of the Thacker Mine, saying that federal law prohibits construction near a site where dozens of Paiute tribal members were massacred by the U.S. cavalry in 1865. If completed, the open pit mine would be deeper than the length of a football field.
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Quote of the day
One of the best things that people in Colorado who are concerned about the environment, the air quality, and their own health can do is shift away from gas-powered yard equipment. Mowing your lawn and maintaining your landscape doesn’t mean spewing pollution into the air.”
Powerful, aggressive, territorial and tenacious. Known for their fearless nature, wolverines roam remote and rugged sections of the U.S., embracing the extreme cold and challenging terrain, like those found at @GatesArcticNPS in Alaska. Photo by S. Behrns / NPS
(Nevada mining operation. Photo: BLM Nevada, Flickr)