Mining

The fires below
The fires below
The world’s least understood ignition source is causing devastating wildfires across Montana’s Powder River Basin.
At Oak Flat, courts and politicians fail tribes
At Oak Flat, courts and politicians fail tribes
Chi’chil Biłdagoteel exemplifies the larger struggle tribes face over protecting off-reservation, culturally important lands.
The rise of the restoration economy
The rise of the restoration economy
Filling the economic void left by the extraction economy by healing the land.
Deep-sea mining creates a ‘cylinder of sound’ risking impacts on marine life
Deep-sea mining creates a ‘cylinder of sound’ risking impacts on marine life
A new report shows that noise from just one mine could travel more than 300 miles across the ocean.
Copper Mine near Tucson dealt a blow
Copper Mine near Tucson dealt a blow
But the Canadian company gets a win for its other, nearby operation at Copper World.
Worrying about the dust next door in this Montana mining town
Worrying about the dust next door in this Montana mining town
Residents of a Butte neighborhood are concerned about what’s wafting from a nearby open-pit mine that can coat their homes and vehicles.
Who’s after rare metals in the Klamath Mountains?
Who’s after rare metals in the Klamath Mountains?
While the region has a small cache of tellurium, politics and economics are in the way.
Two Southwest tribes raise concerns over uranium storage
Two Southwest tribes raise concerns over uranium storage
Tribal communities in Arizona and Utah face environmental problems connected to the same radioactive resource: uranium.
A terrible lighthouse, swift treasure hunters, and a paranormal ghost town
A terrible lighthouse, swift treasure hunters, and a paranormal ghost town
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.
Russia’s war reverberates in the West
Russia’s war reverberates in the West
Putin’s military moves — and the globe’s response to them — have unexpected consequences for the region.
EVs’ demand for copper escalates threat against Apache’s Oak Flat
EVs’ demand for copper escalates threat against Apache’s Oak Flat
A massive copper mine in Arizona could destroy an Apache community’s most sacred land.
Cows, coal and climate change: A Q&A with the new BLM director
Cows, coal and climate change: A Q&A with the new BLM director
Tracy Stone-Manning discusses how the federal agency sees conservation, the climate crisis and the Indigenous history of public lands.
Cleanup of abandoned uranium mines creates a demand for workers
Cleanup of abandoned uranium mines creates a demand for workers
A growing industry for environmental remediation needs a local workforce with the right training.
The dizzying scope of abandoned mine hazards on public lands
The dizzying scope of abandoned mine hazards on public lands
As many as 500,000 abandoned mine features litter federal land, many posing environmental or physical safety hazards that especially threaten Native communities.
Conservation groups should be able to lease land to protect it
Conservation groups should be able to lease land to protect it
‘Use it or lose it’ rules can bias public-land management in favor of extraction.
Electric vehicles drive up demand for ‘green metals’
Electric vehicles drive up demand for ‘green metals’
The need for energy-transition metals breathes life into new mines in the West.
Biden’s ‘herky-jerky’ first year on Western issues
Biden’s ‘herky-jerky’ first year on Western issues
The new president sacrificed bold executive action to try to win over Congress.
Cultural extraction at the edge of the abyss
Cultural extraction at the edge of the abyss
Butte, Montana, doesn’t have a major art museum. Instead, it has a gigantic toxic pit.
Gold country: A precious metal, a mining mega-corp and a captive workforce
Gold country: A precious metal, a mining mega-corp and a captive workforce
In 2019, two gold-mining giants joined forces, with huge consequences for the Northern Nevada community and economy.
40 years after its closure,  the Jackpile Mine’s toxic legacy continues
40 years after its closure, the Jackpile Mine’s toxic legacy continues
‘They have to look at it every day and wonder if that’s the reason why they’re dying.’
Two Democrats kill chances of reforming outdated hardrock mining law
Two Democrats kill chances of reforming outdated hardrock mining law
The nearly 150-year old law allows mining companies to extract resources like copper and lithium royalty-free.
The Westiest programs in Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
The Westiest programs in Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
The act is the New Deal redux, with a splash of ecosystem restoration.
The hunt for critical minerals in Colorado raises critical questions
The hunt for critical minerals in Colorado raises critical questions
When Earth MRI began surveying, residents grew concerned about the prospect of mining.
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