Grand Canyon and uranium: a majority of democrats used an obscure provision of the law to try to stop the staking of new mining claims for uranium near the Grand Canyon—leaving in place about 10,000 claims staked before the politicians got around to acting.
Alaska Lake Tailings Disposal: The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal from a ruling by the Ninth Circuit court which essentially stopped plans to dispose of tailings in a lake off Juneau, Alaksa by Coeur d’Alene mines.
In the first case there is a clear statement that mining uranium adjacent to the Grand Canyon should not occur. Personally I would like to know who the mining companies are that have staked 10,000 claims in the area. Are any of them majors or is this a case of thousands of juniors seeking an ephemeral dream?
No doubt uranium prices are high and likely to increase. But there is surely lots of uranium in other deposits in the south west in areas where mining is likely to be easier and more profitable. There is just something wrong with this story and we do not have the complete story yet. This fight is far from over, but it will take a lot more clear-headed information and analysis before we see resolution.
The second case hinges on the right of federal agencies to exercise their discretionary powers regarding permit granting. I doubt we will see the Supreme Court get into the merits of lake disposal of tailings. Rather, very much like that Canadian case of the Red Chris mine, they will rule on the narrow legal issue of whether the US Forest Service and the Corp of Engineers correctly exercised their right to make certain administrative decisions. And then send the case back to lower courts to decide if the right was appropriately exercised. This mining fight is far from over and it is not yet time to bid up the price of shares.