Monday, January 12, 2009

Supreme Court to rule on depositing tailings in lake

Because it is more expensive to actually build an artificial lake to deposit tailings from copper and gold mines, companies prefer to dump them in natural lakes.

According to the Canadian Press:

Canadian mining regulations come under the scrutiny of the United States Supreme Court on Monday as environmentalists from both countries try to prevent American miners from depositing tailings in an Alaskan lake.

"Canada is a cautionary tale," said Catherine Coumans of Ottawa-based MiningWatch, who helped write the brief to be presented in a hearing in Washington, D.C.

"What I'm hoping is that the Americans won't make the same mistake we've made."

The court is preparing to rule on the legality of allowing tailings from Alaska's Kensington gold mine to be dumped into nearby Slate Lake. It's the first such permit to be issued in the U.S. under mining regulatory changes made in 2002.

Check out the full article.

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