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Navajos Observe 30th Anniversary of Uranium Spill

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CHURCH ROCK, N.M.—Community members and environmental activists commemorated July 16 as the 30th anniversary of a massive uranium tailings spill that Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. called “the largest peacetime accidental release of radioactive contaminated materials in the history of the United States.”

The accident occurred when an earthen dam, operated by the United Nuclear Corp., failed and let loose 94 million gallons of toxic wastewater into the north fork of the Rio Puerco on Navajo Nation lands. Within days, contaminated tailings liquid was found 50 miles downstream in Arizona.

About 100 Navajos and non-Navajos, including members of the Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE) and other environmental groups, walked a five-mile stretch through the remote mesa lands of Church Rock to the site of the July 16, 1979 spill. They stopped at Larry King’s ranch along New Mexico Highway 566 for a speech by the Navajo president.

http://www.reznetnews.org/article/navajos-observe-30th-anniversary-uranium-spill-36890

Land purchased for area’s Shoshone tribe

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An international gold mining company has purchased more than 3,600 acres in Northern Nevada to be set aside for the Western Shoshone, who consider the land historic and sacred, the company said.

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Great Basin Gold Ltd. said it purchased the Rock Creek Canyon property in Lander County for $825,000 late last week from Colorado-based RLF Nevada Properties.

The company said it also is providing seed money for a planned conservancy fund and has retired the mineral rights.

http://www.rgj.com/article/20090619/BIZ/906190383/1071/Land-purchased-for-area-s-Shoshone-tribe

Navajos seek help for families of uranium miners

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SHIPROCK, N.M. (AP) — Navajo Nation members will travel to the nation’s capital this summer to try to obtain compensation for as many as 15,000 dependents of former uranium mine workers who are suffering from disease and birth defects.

The Navajo Nation Dependents of Uranium Workers Committee members will lobby congressional leaders and request a congressional field hearing on the issue in Shiprock or Window Rock, Ariz.

The committee also wants to amend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to extend compensation to the family members of former uranium workers.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/N/NM_NAVAJOS_URANIUM_NMOL-?SITE=NMSAN&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Groundwater movement from Northern NV mines

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http://media.lasvegassun.com/media/img/photos/2009/04/20/090421WEB-gold.jpg

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Source: Las Vegas Sun

Closing mine part of bigger battle

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This open pit gold mine is part of a complex operated by Newmont Mining Corp. near Carlin. The EPA alleges that one of the Carlin mines and another in Nevada improperly disposed of mercury, allowing it to leach into the ground from tailings ponds. The company says it sells, not disposes of, most mercury from the site.

A Northern Nevada gold mine that was recently allowed to reopen after being among the region’s worst emitters of airborne mercury had its roasting operations halted recently by state regulators.The company had failed to install state-mandated mercury reduction equipment on time.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/jun/03/closing-mine-part-bigger-battle/


Native Title Tribunal stops mining lease

http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-national/native-title-tribunal-stops-mining-lease-20090528-bowc.html

An Aboriginal land corporation has had a historic win in the National Native Title Tribunal by blocking a company’s application for a mining lease.

In the first case where a company has failed to win a mining application on land granted under the Native Title Act, Reward Minerals Ltd subsidiary Holocene Pty Ltd was denied a lease over Lake Disappointment in Western Australia.

The Western Deserts Lands Aboriginal Corporation (WDLAC), which holds the native title area on trust for the Martu people, hailed the decision as “a historic and special day”.

http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-national/native-title-tribunal-stops-mining-lease-20090528-bowc.html