Today I rode up the trail between the trees & ferns dappled by sun & blue sky. After a long uphill climb with leg muscles screaming in pain, I came on the downhill section. Changing gears, I sped up and sped faster and faster down. Coming on a turn I have taken many times, something went wrong. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Colorado’ Category
Posted in blogs, Colorado, Enviromental, environmental, Investing & Finance, Jobs and Salaries, North America, Oil sands, Uranium, tagged Grand Canyon, Pebble Mine, Saskatchewan, uranium mining on January 10, 2012 | 4 Comments »
Posted in About the news, California, Colorado, consulting, Jobs and Salaries, Latin America, Mining history, Oil sands, Peru, tagged 2012, Canada, jobs, mining, opportunities on January 5, 2012 | 88 Comments »
In a previous posting on this blog, I made my mining predictions for 2012. One of them was that we would be regaled by a continuing plethora of articles saying mining will be detrimentally affected by a shortage of workers. Here is one comment on that posting (I edit for spelling and punctuation): (more…)
Mining reporters with short memories, or selective vision, still write glowing articles about Robert Friedlund and what he will do for Mongolia by opening another mine. The latest article, however, has a twist that bites. Seems the Mongolian parliament rejected a deal with Mr. Friedlund and sent the prime minister off to Japan, where he is quoted as saying:
Montrose, Colorado is up in arms about a proposed new uranium mill. Half the county residents want the mill and the work. Half the county wants to develop the area into a string of organic vegetable farms. The report tells us:
The towns of Nucla and Naturita boomed along with the uranium industry,but few jobs remain, and many townspeople want the 85 jobs Energy Fuels says its mill would create. Others, though, don’t want a uranium mill and its radioactive materials, especially farmers in the Paradox Valley, which is quickly ecoming a popular place for organic agriculture.
I know and love the area, having being involved in clean up of the uranium mill tailings at Naturita, Uravan, and so on. It is hard to believe there is not room in that wide country for a mill and another tailings impoundment built to last a 1,000 years. As well as room for many organic vegetable farms on soils entirely free of the constituents that gave rise to the mines and mill of old.
I cannot but have some sympathy with these ladies, for I too grew up on the South African gold mine slimes dams:
Sisters Patty Geer and Cindy Carothers grew up in the area. Their father worked in the mines, and they played on mine tailings without any negative health effects, they said. Carothers held a sign that read “Uranium helps your organics grow” – a reference to the opposition to the mill from the valley’s organic farmers.
These sad pictures of protesters and organic farmers in a fight with uranium producers so graphically captures the dilemma that is today’s US economy. Should we simply stop producing anything that can be obtained more cost-effectively elsewhere, particularly if there is an “industrial” component involved? For I suspect it is much easier and cheaper and less polluting of the US to get uranium from Canada and Australia. Afterall we do not have that many nuclear power plants to begin with–import the stuff–you can always devalue the dollar when the bill shows up.
If we are to take the protesters and organic farmers at their word, and I hate to think of the energy involved in organic farming in that part of the world, America is on the road to a new Utopia of wind to pump infinitely renewable groundwater to churn out vegetables that grow in cow manure and are transported by bicycle to the local market. I suppose it is possible. Certainly if the Chinese lend you the money to do it.
This scrap between producing uranium versus organic vegetables, is a scrap about the vision of a free society. Personally, I am convinced we can do both. But the purists on either side seem so singular in their vision and purpose, that I must wonder whatever happened to a the notion of a complex, interdependent society.
But then, subtle and complex are not the gut stuff of home-grown politics.