mining

Bristol Bay Mining
7:10 am
Thu May 31, 2012

Report Details Risks of Proposed Mine Near Alaska's Bristol Bay

Bristol Bay, in Southwestern Alaska, is the home of one of the world’s largest runs of Sockeye salmon. In fact, all five types of salmon spawn in the bay’s freshwater tributaries.

Bristol Bay could also become the home of a new mine to extract copper, gold and other minerals.

The Environmental Protection Agency has released a risk assessment study on how mining could impact the ecosystem there. The Agency will hold a public hearing in Seattle Thursday.

Ashley Ahearn reports that fishermen in the Northwest are watching the process closely.

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Idaho Rare Earths
6:45 am
Wed May 2, 2012

Idaho's Rare Earth Minerals On The Radar

China’s stranglehold on the world’s rare earth mineral supply has re-ignited interest in Idaho. The state’s rare earth minerals run through environmentally sensitive lands. Bonnie Stewart has the story.

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Sunshine Mine Disaster
6:03 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Idaho's Silver Valley Marks 40 Years Since Sunshine Mine Disaster

May 2 marks the 40th anniversary of one of the worst mining disasters in U.S. history. In 1972, a fire broke out underground at the Sunshine Mine in Kellogg, Idaho; 91 men died of carbon monoxide poisoning. The disaster had a devastating effect on Kellogg and the nearby communities in Idaho’s Silver Valley. People who were there still vividly remember the events of that day. Producer Phyllis Silver talks with four people about their memories and how, in a couple of cases, it shaped the rest of their lives.

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Selenium Pollution
5:58 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Two-Headed Trout Spur Scrutiny Of Mine Pollution

A study commissioned by the J.R. Simplot Company on selenium contamination in creeks in southeast Idaho includes photos of deformed Yellowstone cutthroat trout (top) and brown trout (bottom).
Photos courtesy J.R. Simplot Idaho DEQ

Here’s an image you usually don’t see without the help of Photoshop: two-headed fish. Pictures of deformed baby trout with two heads show up in a study of creeks in a remote part of southeast Idaho. The study examined the effects of a contaminant called selenium. It comes from a nearby mine owned by the agribusiness giant, J.R. Simplot. Critics say the two-headed trout have implications beyond a couple of Idaho creeks. Jessica Robinson reports.

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Lucky Friday Miners
4:39 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Employment Up In Idaho’s Silver Valley As Miners Find Work

High prices for gold and silver, plus a shortage of experienced miners, have opened up jobs for miners laid off from the Lucky Friday Mine in Idaho
Photo Credit: Hecla Mining Company Northwest News Network

Laid-off silver miners in north Idaho aren’t staying out-of-work for long. Around 250 miners and contractors lost their jobs at the end of last year when the Lucky Friday Mine was shut down for safety improvements. But since then, the Silver Valley’s jobless rate has actually dropped two percentage points.

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NW Mining Deaths
5:41 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

In NW Mining, Most Deaths Happen Above Ground

A photo from the federal investigation into James Hussey's death shows the site of the accident.
Photo credit: MSHA Photo courtesy MSHA

Federal mine investigators say a Northwest miner died by electrocution because the company that employed him failed to have proper safety procedures in place. The tragedy happened at a gravel pit last September near Pullman, Wash. Most Northwest mine accidents happen above ground.

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