September 20, 2011 |
This far-flung capital of Nevada's Gold Belt is booming - very, very reluctantly. With the price of gold in the stratosphere, the mine-chiseled corner of northeastern Nevada is scrambling to fill thousands of jobs, while newcomers to the barren region beg for somewhere to sleep. The motels: sold out. The apartments: good luck. The RV parks: get in line. Nevada churns out more gold than all but four nations. The Elko area's 7.4% jobless rate is about half that of the once-thriving Las Vegas region.
June 21, 2011 |
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration announced Monday that it intends to place a 20-year ban on mining 1 million acres of land bordering the Grand Canyon, an area where uranium mining claims have spiked 2,000% in the last seven years. The ban would strengthen a moratorium on new mining claims and activity, which the administration placed on Grand Canyon border lands two years ago in response to the jump in uranium stakes. Interior Department officials said the agency initially would extend the current moratorium another six months, until December, in order to complete the steps necessary to establish the 20-year ban. Mines currently in operation would not be affected.
June 2, 2011 |
Wang Wenlin and his family have eked out a living for decades farming and herding sheep and cattle on the vast, unforgiving Inner Mongolian steppes. But the opening three years ago of a nearby colliery and railway line to transport coal across his grazing land has squeezed Wang's livelihood. "My animals only have so much land to graze," said Wang, who earns about $9,000 a year. "In the winter, I'm cut off from the closest city. When it's windy, we get covered in coal dust because it's an open mine.
February 15, 2011 |
A track hoe sidled up to the modest yellow brick church, paused for a moment to position itself, then drove its teeth into the roof with brutal efficiency. Shingles tumbled into the sanctuary. With the second blow, the wall buckled. The track hoe worked its way across the building, finally smashing the wall where a simple cross was emblazoned in red brick. Within 20 minutes, the First Baptist Church was rubble, ready to be loaded in waiting dump trucks and hauled away. Behind the church, a water tower that serves six households bears the legend "Picher Gorillas since 1918.
October 20, 2010 |
China on Wednesday denied reports it would slash exports of rare-earth elements next year, saying it was still formulating a plan to protect its supply of the valuable material needed in advanced industrial products. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce was responding to an article published in the state-owned China Daily that reported Beijing would tighten its virtual monopoly on rare earths by cutting exports 30% in 2011. Despite the denial, the ministry defended China's right to restrict sales of rare earths overseas, a years-old policy that has unnerved foreign countries that rely on the material to make wind turbines, electric cars and state-of-the-art weaponry.
April 9, 2010 |
A third rescue attempt won't be made until at least Thursday evening at the Upper Big Branch mine, where a buildup of poisonous and explosive gases prevented crews from reaching four missing miners who may be housed in refuge chambers after a devastating explosion killed 25 coworkers Monday. Emergency crews have completed drilling a second borehole intended to double the rate of ventilation of the deadly air. Rescue workers won't be sent back into the mine until methane and carbon monoxide concentrations drop to safe levels, a process expected to take until at least 6 p.m. EDT, and possibly much later.