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Mining for renewable energy could worsen threats to biodiversity

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Nature Communications A University of Queensland photo. Threats to biodiversity could increase in the future as more mines target materials used for renewable energy production, suggests a study in Nature Communications. Renewable energy production is necessary to mitigate climate change. However, only 17% of current global energy consumption is achieved through renewable energies. Generating the required technologies and infrastructure will lead to an increase in the production of many metals, which may create potential threats for biodiversity. Laura Sonter and colleagues mapped mining areas globally and assessed their coincidence with biodiversity conservation sites. The authors found that mining potentially influences approximately 50 million km2 of the Earth’s land surface with 82% of mining areas targeting materials used in renewable energy production. When looking at the spatial overlap between mining areas and conservation sites, they found that 8% of mining areas c

Is Manitoba's Brokenhead River about to become a dumping ground for an Alberta-based sand-mining company?

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by Don Sullivan Kayakers on the Brokenhead River. A Wikimedia photo. The Brokenhead River begins in the wetlands of Sandilands Provincial Forest, located in Southeastern Manitoba. It ultimately drains 200 kilometres later into Lake Winnipeg. Most of the river is navigable by canoe or kayak. This meandering river is now under threat. It might very well become a toxic dumping ground for CanWhite Sands Corp (CWS) of Alberta. Last month, CWS  filed a proposal under Manitoba's Environment Act, for approval to construct a silica sand processing facility near Vivian in Southeastern Manitoba. The closing date for commenting on this proposal is August 25th, 2020.  If you have concerns, you have between now and then to express them, here.  Once the processing facility receives government approval, CWS intends to submit a second application. This would be for both the mine, where the sand will be obtained and for the methods the company will use to extract it. The splitting of a

Massive Canadian mines pose transboundary risks

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Science Magazine In 2019, Canada approved an extension of the deadline to start one of the world’s largest copper and gold mines in the headwaters of the transboundary Unuk River ( 1 ). The plan for the Kerr-Sulphurets -Mitchell (KSM) mine is to dig one of the largest human-made holes on earth, erect one of the highest dams in North America, and operate water treatment for 200 years after the mine closes ( 2 ). Mines such as KSM pose long-term risks to downstream water quality, fish, and people ( 3 ). Given that mine contamination is not constrained by political boundaries, U.S., Canadian, and Indigenous governments must urgently engage in collaborative evaluation and regulation of mines in internationally shared rivers. Shortfalls in mine assessments and permitting policies should be addressed. Mine assessments underestimate risk at high environmental cost. Contributing factors include the ecological complexity of rivers, policy shortcomings in weighing environmental risk

China Wrestles with the Toxic Aftermath of Rare Earth Mining

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Yale Environment 360 A rare earth mine in Bayan Obo, China. Photo by NASA. China has been a major source of rare earth metals used in high-tech products, from smartphones to wind turbines. As cleanup of these mining sites begins, experts argue that global companies that have benefited from access to these metals should help foot the bill. Story here.

When mines poison waterways in British Columbia, Canada, taxpayers swallow the costs

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Dogwood The Mount Polley mine - Jul. 2014 - about a week before the infamous breach of its earthen containment dam. After the breach, massive amounts of wastewater surged into nearby creeks & lakes. Photos by NASA. Outdated laws, weak enforcement leave the public on the hook for cleanup.  Story here.

Green Party of Manitoba opposes "frack" sand operation

Green Party of Manitoba. A Green Party of Manitoba Environment Advocate Dave Nickarz has sent a letter to Minister squire in opposition to the proposed Wanipigow Sand Extraction Project. For a copy of that letter, click here. RELATED: " Peace camp set up in Manitoba's Hollow Water First Nation to oppose sand mine project."

Peace camp set up in Manitoba's Hollow Water First Nation to oppose sand mine project

APTN national news. A proposed silica sand mine project on Lake Winnipeg has one First Nations community divided. Story here. Related: Frack sand mining coming to Manitoba. And soon.

Imperial Metals: drop your mine project in BC's Clayoquot Sound. PLEASE SIGN PETITION!

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+SumOfUs The company responsible for the worst  mining disaster in Canadian history wants to build a new open-pit copper mine   in the heart of the pristine rainforests of Clayoquot Sound. PLEASE SIGN! Clayoquot Sound - Vancouver Island. Photo by  Adam Jones, Ph.D.