Tag: Mines and Mining

In Coal Country, the Mines Shut Down, the Women Went to Work and the World Quietly Changed

FLEMING-NEON, Ky. — In the pre-dawn hours when all is dark and quiet, Amanda Lucas leaves her house and begins the long drive to her job at a hospital an hour away. In years past, it was the men who would empty out of the hollows of Letcher County before sunrise. All day long they […]

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The Florida Activist Is 78. The Legal Judgment Against Her Is $4 Million.

STUART, Fla. — Maggy Hurchalla’s piece of Florida heaven is a patch of pristine Atlantic shore accessible only by boat in St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park. She and her husband nicknamed it the “End of the World” when they first came upon it half a century ago, after paddling south along the barrier island […]

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What Draws Hundreds to This Lake Bed? Spellbinding Crystals

Surfacing Welcome to Gem-O-Rama, California’s new gold rush. ImageReeve Peterson, a gem dealer, feels for pink halite crystals at Gem-O-Rama in Trona, Calif.CreditBrian Guido for The New York Times Rockhounds dig for hanksite, borax, trona and other minerals during the “Mud Trip.”CreditBrian Guido for The New York Times At the 77th Annual Gem-O-Rama last October, […]

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Amazon Forests Are Being Razed at Breakneck Speed, and Not Only in Brazil

Three years of relative peace with rebels in Colombia has opened once-forbidding jungles to settlers. Illegal gold mining is fueling forest loss in Peru. Cattle ranchers in Bolivia are razing rainforest to meet beef demand in China. Deforestation at breakneck rates is depleting vast expanses of Amazon forest contained in South American countries neighboring Brazil. […]

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Conviction of Don Blankenship, Ex-Coal Baron, Should Be Overturned, Judge Recommends

A federal magistrate judge in West Virginia on Monday recommended overturning the conviction of Donald L. Blankenship, a former coal executive who served one year in prison after a deadly 2010 explosion at his company’s mine, saying prosecutors withheld evidence that could have led to his acquittal. Mr. Blankenship was convicted in 2015 of conspiring […]

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Trump’s Greenland Plan Shows He Has No Idea How American Power Works

President Trump announced on Tuesday that he would postpone a planned trip to Denmark because Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen refuses to consider selling Greenland to the United States. Ms. Frederiksen called the idea “absurd.” It might be, but it was also revealing. In seeking to purchase Greenland, Mr. Trump did more than rattle an ally. […]

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Gina Lopez, Who Led Crackdown on Mines in the Philippines, Dies at 65

MANILA — Gina Lopez, a former environmental activist who introduced a broad crackdown on Philippine mining companies after she was appointed the country’s environmental secretary in 2016, died on Monday. She was 65. Her death, from multiple organ failure, was confirmed by the ABS-CBN Foundation, a social development group of which she was the longtime […]

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Unpaid Miners Blocked a Coal Train in Protest. Weeks Later, They’re Still There.

CUMBERLAND, Ky. — A little after 4 p.m. on Friday, four hulking big-rig cabs, facing each other in pairs and taking up both lanes, brought the Kingdom Come Parkway to a standstill. On the highway between the trucks, eight out-of-work coal miners raised a banner: “No Pay We Stay.” That is the miners’ plan in […]

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The World Has a Diamond Glut. Why Is That a Problem?

LONDON — Is it ever possible to have too many diamonds? For many in the business of producing and trading these gems in recent years, the answer is yes. The top diamond miners in the world, including the two largest, Alrosa and De Beers, have an inventory problem. So do many of the cutters and […]

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How One Billionaire Could Keep Three Countries Hooked on Coal for Decades

Want climate news in your inbox? Sign up here for Climate Fwd:, our email newsletter. SYDNEY, Australia — The vast, untapped coal reserve in northeastern Australia had for years been the object of desire for the Indian industrial giant Adani. In June, when the Australian authorities granted the company approval to extract coal from the […]

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The New Threat to Endangered Species? The Trump Administration

Endangered species come on lists. But lists obscure relationships. What can it mean that a few mussels, some snails we’ve never heard of, obscure crayfish in marginal headwaters and some island-confined songbirds are vanishing? Some 1,650 species of animals and plants in the United States are listed under federal law as endangered or threatened. But […]

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Miners Kill Indigenous Leader in Brazil During Invasion of Protected Land

RIO DE JANEIRO — Several dozen heavily armed miners dressed in military fatigues invaded an indigenous village in remote northern Brazil this week and fatally stabbed at least one of the community’s leaders, officials said Saturday. The killing comes as miners and loggers are making increasingly bold and defiant incursions into protected areas, including indigenous […]

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This Guy Got Republicans to Vote for a Democrat

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Remember representative democracy? The kind where we voters pick the least objectionable politician to defend the Constitution while we pay our taxes and live our lives? Consider my governor, Steve Bullock of Montana. He is so reasonable, trustworthy and effective that before he started running for president a couple of months ago […]

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This Land Was Your Land

For the past 10 years I’ve been documenting the fate of the least protected and most at-risk portion of the national commons: the roughly 450 million acres across 12 Western states overseen on our behalf by the United States Bureau of Land Management and the United States Forest Service. It’s an astonishingly diverse landscape of […]

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People in Coal Country Worry About the Climate, Too

Dwayne Thomas, who is 70 years old and president of his local chapter of the United Mine Workers of America in southwestern Pennsylvania, spent 43 years working in Appalachian coal mines. For generations, in mines and the nearby steel mills that coal made possible, his family, like many others, has relied on jobs in the […]

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A Plan to Mine the Minnesota Wilderness Hit a Dead End. Then Trump Became President.

ELY, Minn. — In the waning months of the Obama administration, a Chilean conglomerate was losing a fight with the United States government over a copper mine that it wanted to build near a pristine wilderness area in Minnesota. The election of President Trump, with his business-friendly bent, turned out to be a game-changer for […]

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Australia, in a Victory for Coal, Clears the Way for a Disputed Mine

Plans for a fiercely contested coal mine in northeastern Australia received a long-awaited government green light on Thursday, less than a month after conservative politicians who champion coal triumphed in national elections. An environmental permit issued by the Queensland State government cleared the way for an Indian company, the Adani Group, to start work on […]

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He Was Looking for Opals. Instead He Found a New Dinosaur Species.

SYDNEY, Australia — Lightning Ridge is a town about 450 miles inland from Australia’s eastern coast, yet as he mined for opal there 35 years ago, Bob Foster would find remnants of fish bones and mussels. Forty feet below the surface, where water might have flowed some 100 million years ago, animals died and their […]

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