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New Mexico lawmakers introduce bill to require uranium mining royalties

Two New Mexico Democrats today introduced a bill that would require uranium mining companies to pay a 12.5-percent royalty on federal lands – a move Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado at least favors studying given the growing interest in uranium mining and nuclear power. The Uranium Resources Stewardship Act introduced by U.S. Reps. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján would shift the regulation of uranium mining from the 1872 Mining Law to the Mineral Leasing Act and require royalty payments to federal and state governments similar to those paid by the coal, oil and gas industries.

Uranium deal with Russians shows need for mining reform, activists say

Mining reform groups over the weekend reacted sharply to Wednesday’s decision by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (pdf) to allow the transfer of two...

Critics: foreign uranium companies ‘taking U.S. minerals for free’

The proposed purchase of a Canadian uranium mining company with Colorado interests by a Russian government-owned conglomerate has sparked more than just national security concerns. Some critics say the United States is getting fleeced by foreign mining companies extracting minerals from federal lands.

Plan to open forestland for mine venting called ‘outrageous’

Even as Gov. Bill Ritter Thursday thanked U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for allowing road building around a coal mine in relatively unmolested Colorado forestland near Paonia, environmental groups and sportsmen harshly condemned the decision for exposing forest but also for flying in the face of smart business efforts to combat global warming.

Colorado closer to tough uranium milling rules, but feds take a...

A proposal to stiffen state requirements for cleaning up uranium processing facilities and notifying area residents of groundwater contamination passed on second reading in...

Water cleanup bill in delicate dance with mining law reform

Just outside of Central City in Colorado's Gilpin County, the historic Perigo gold mine drains metal-laden water at an average of 70 gallons per minute into a small perennial stream known as Gamble Gulch. Below the mine for six miles, the gulch is virtually devoid of life, according to the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety. A design for a proposed project has been completed, but Colorado won’t bid it out for construction because it worries that if it does, it open itself up, in perpetuity, to a lawsuit under the Clean Water Act.

Udall co-sponsoring bill to at last reform 1872 mining law

U.S. Sen. Mark Udall has taken a careful look at mining reform proposals and has announced that he is co-sponsoring the Hardrock Mining and...

Colo. water cleanups hobbled by ‘Good Samaritan’ legal risks

LEADVILLE — It’s a fall morning in the mountains just outside this Lake County town. Contractors in yellow earthmovers are cleaning up acid mine drainage in the Sugarloaf Mining District. They're part of a unique government-nonprofit-college collaboration that has made great strides in improving water quality in the Lake Fork of the Arkansas River. Everyone involved in this feel-good project, however, is a target of potential lawsuits under the Clean Water Act.

Obama, McCain, Salazar put spotlight on Grand Canyon uranium-mining claims

What better way to take your mind off the huge hole the American economy is stuck in these days than to visit the biggest...

Salazar moves to block new mining claims near Grand Canyon

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar today issued a notice of withdrawal of nearly 1 million acres of Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service...