mining

Cariboo Regional District Emergency Operations Centre

A dam break at a central British Columbia mine could threaten salmon fisheries in the Pacific Northwest.

The decreasing price of gold has gotten a lot of attention among investors in recent weeks. The price of silver has received fewer headlines, but it's also dropped. That price has real economic impact in north Idaho, which has one of the richest silver deposits in the country.

There's not much wiggle room when silver drops down to $22 an ounce. That's only a little more than it costs the Galena Mine near Kellogg, Idaho, to get the silver out of the ground. Owner U.S. Silver has placed a hiring freeze on the mine and plans to cut costs by $1 million this year.

Controversial Dredge Mining Ban Advances in Oregon Senate

Apr 18, 2013
Amelia Templeton / EarthFix

A bill that restricts motorized mining in salmon and trout streams advanced in the Oregon Senate Wednesday evening. Amelia Templeton from our EarthFix team reports.

The family of a silver miner killed in north Idaho has filed a lawsuit against the Hecla Mining Company. The suit claims the mine managers’ attempt to extract more silver caused the cave-in that killed Larry Marek exactly two years ago Monday.

EPA Requiring Dredge Mining Permits in Idaho

Apr 5, 2013

Anyone who wants to mine gold in Idaho streams with a suction dredge will need to get a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency.

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho – Idaho is losing one of its oldest silver mining companies to Chicago. The Coeur d'Alene Mines Corporation announced Wednesday it plans to move to the Windy City by the end of September.

The company employs 65 people at its headquarters in Coeur d'Alene in north Idaho. But the firm known as "Coeur" hasn't had any holdings in the state since 2006.

Company spokeswoman Stefany Bales says Coeur managers need easier access to properties in Mexico, Bolivia and Australia.

Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

Mining pumps on average nearly a billion dollars into Idaho’s economy every year. Idaho, along with Nevada and Utah are considered mining friendly states. But the industry is frustrated that it can take years before permits are issued and work can get underway. That’s why mining officials appealed to state lawmakers this week to help speed up the regulatory process. As Earthfix reporter Aaron Kunz explains it’s a proposition that has environmentalists worried.

Audit Pushed To Rekindle Mining Act Reforms

Dec 12, 2012
Eric Guinther / Wikimedia Commons

A report released today indicates the United States Government has no idea exactly how much gold, silver and copper is being dug up from public lands. Lawmakers say it’s one more reason to overhaul a mining law from the 1800s.

Cleaning Up Legacy Mines, One at a Time

Nov 5, 2012

The Pacific Northwest is scattered with thousands of abandoned mines. Most have been abandoned for more than 50 years. But hard metals are still leaching out from some sites. Things like arsenic and lead. The U.S. Forest Service is working to clean up these mines. One-by-one. Reporting for EarthFix, Courtney Flatt visited one of Washington’s abandoned mining cities.

Mining Gold In The Northwest Causes Conflict

Sep 20, 2012
Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

A recreational gold miner in Idaho now has the exclusive right to mine for gold on a stretch of the Salmon River. But the lease process approved by the Idaho Land Board this week raised some questions about the process he will use to get the gold. Aaron Kunz with EarthFix explains.

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