Friday, November 17, 2017

Despite failure of NE Wyoming aquifers mountaintop-removal mine applies for more water


Ogden Driskill is an obese earth hater Wyoming legislator running cattle near Devils Tower National Monument in the Belle Fourche River watershed.

At his request the Crook County Commission is asking the City of Gillette in neighboring Campbell County to allow access to the Madison water pipeline for landowners whose wells have been depleted or compromised by over a century of livestock grazing, coal mining and other extractive industries.
“We’ve got a number of wells that went dry, we’ve got acid in wells – there’s a problem,” said Driskill. He noted that the wells did not dry up slowly, but that the problem appeared virtually overnight. “The City of Gillette is unwilling, partially for liability reasons,” he said. “These guys are hauling water for cows and hauling water for houses. That’s not right.” Commissioner Kelly Dennis, whose own land sits near the affected area, commented he has heard talk that another well may have run dry near Thorn Divide, several miles from where the problem was initially identified. [Sundance Times]
Thorn Divide is visible as an open green rise in front of Mahto Tipila in the background of the above image.

In January of 2016, the US Forest Service suspended the Draft Environmental Impact Study for a Wyoming Black Hills mountaintop-removal mine that would take rare earth minerals in the Belle Fourche watershed.

Now, Rare Element Resources CEO Randy Scott says its project to strip mine a part of the Bearlodge Mountains just upstream of the South Dakota border has a new investor.
RER announced earlier this month that Synchron, an affiliate of General Atomics, has purchased around 33.5 percent of the company’s issued common shares, a total of 26,650,000, for $4.752 million. “We are looking to complete one or two more steps of that to firm up the further downstream separation of the valuable rare earth elements, those that are used primarily in the production of permanent high strength magnets,” Scott says.
Read more here.

At least 23 prehistoric sites near Devils Tower National Monument, some of which are archaeological treasures eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, are also at risk to an 8000-acre expansion of Australia’s largest US aquifer uranium mining operation.

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