Saturday, June 23, 2018

Company prepares to mine former national monument in Utah

A Canadian company’s plans to mine for copper and cobalt on Utah lands that were cut from the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by President Donald Trump are angering conservation groups that are suing to keep the lands under monument protection. Conservation and paleontology groups called attention this week to plans announced earlier this month by Glacier Lake Resources Inc. The company said in a news release it would begin surface exploration this summer and that drilling will be permitted shortly. But officials from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining told the Deseret News that the company hasn’t filed any paperwork seeking permission. A phone call and email message left for the company were not returned on Friday. There’s been no known extraction work on lands cut from Grand Staircase and the Bears Ears national monuments since the window opened for requests in February. Glacier Lake said in the June 13 news release that the area where the company intends to mine, called the Colt Mesa deposit, was discovered in 1968 and was mined intermittently from 1971 to 1974. The deposit is part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument cut out from the original boundaries created by President Bill Clinton in 1996. Other lands taken out of the monument contain coal that a company was preparing to mine before the designation in the mid-1990s. It appears unlikely, however, that any company will immediately jump at the chance this time because of a decline in demand for coal production in Utah, state officials have said...MORE

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