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Northwest Passages

Funding local journalism
since 2017


With Karen Wickre and Tess Vigeland


Stories tagged: mining

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 5, 2017

Feds plan to remove protections for 10 million acres of sage grouse habitat

The Interior Department said Thursday it is withdrawing protections for 10 million acres of federal lands used by the threatened sage grouse to open it up for energy development.

UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 2, 2017

Holden Village finds new beginning after test of fire, massive mine cleanup

A wildfire and a massive mine cleanup tested Holden Village, a Lutheran retreat center in the North Cascades. About 4,000 people visit the village each year, which operates in a …

UPDATED: Fri., Sept. 22, 2017

Groups sue to stop mining exploration north of Yellowstone

Opponents of mining outside Yellowstone National Park are challenging a decision by Montana environmental regulators to allow a Canadian company to explore for precious metals just north of the park.

Interior secretary pushes mining ban outside Yellowstone

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says he wants to speed up a proposal to block new gold mining claims on public lands near Yellowstone National Park and will consider blocking other …

Exploratory mining near Mount St. Helens by Canadian company gets U.S. OK

The U.S. Forest Service has accepted a Canadian company’s application to conduct exploratory mining about 12 miles northeast of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument boundary.

Froma Harrop: Way of life versus fossil fuels

The fight is about more than environmentalism versus fossil fuels. It’s about money versus money. And if that’s the case, why would fossil fuel interests win over ranching, farming and …

Power plant operator reverses course, says it’s staying

The operator of one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the Western U.S. says it intends to keep running the 2,100-megawatt plant after declaring last year that a new …

UPDATED: Wed., Aug. 2, 2017

Lucky Friday miners rally at Hecla headquarters in Coeur d’Alene

More than 100 Lucky Friday mine workers and their families, retirees and union workers from across the U.S. gathered Wednesday to rally in front of Hecla’s corporate headquarters in Coeur …

Then and now: Hutton Building

Fueled by a lucky stake in a productive silver mine, Levi “Al” Hutton and May Arkwright built the Hutton building in 1906.

In depths of Atlantic, a quest for diamonds

Deep beneath this frigid stretch of the Atlantic Ocean, some of the world’s most valuable diamonds are scattered like lost change.

Burying gold in the Silver Valley: Mining family returns to Wallace to dig brother’s grave

When Andy Kannegaard died in 1995, it was only natural that his children would gather in his hometown of Wallace, Idaho to dig his grave themselves.Now, 22 years later, they …

100 years ago in near Butte, Montana: Nearly 200 feared dead in Speculator Mine fire

The shocking news of the day came from across the mountains: 193 miners were feared dead after a fire in the Speculator Mine near Butte, Mont. This “appalling calamity” was …

Limited experience noted among coal miners who died

Federal officials say seven U.S. coal miners have died in accidents so far this year, compared with eight deaths all last year, most involving miners with less than one year …

UPDATED: Tue., June 6, 2017

Environmental analysis starts for proposed Idaho gold mine

Federal officials have started an environmental analysis of a Canadian company’s proposal for three open-pit gold mines in central Idaho.

Board rules in favor of southern Oregon miner

Miners rejoiced after the Josephine County Board of Commissioners ruled that a man doesn’t need county permission to mine for gold on a property in the Sunny Valley near Grants …

UPDATED: Wed., May 31, 2017

Court ruling sets back Montanore mine under Cabinet Mountains Wilderness

Some government agency approvals for a proposed Hecla mine that would drill under the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness

UPDATED: Mon., June 5, 2017

Worn-out brakes caused accident that killed truck driver at Buckhorn Mine

Worn-out brakes on a dump truck caused a December accident that fatally injured a contract worker at the Buckhorn Mine in Okanogan County, the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration …

China says no mining in its immediate plans for Antarctica

China plans to expand its scientific research in Antarctica in coming years amid worries over the area’s susceptibility to climate change, but has no immediate plans to mine or develop …

UPDATED: Thu., May 18, 2017

Canadian company says it wants to buy Bunker Hill Mine for $30 million

There’s talk once again of reopening the storied Bunker Hill Mine in the Silver Valley.

Mining waste cleanup to create 400 summer jobs in Silver Valley

If you don’t like dump trucks, stay out of Idaho’s Silver Valley this summer. More than $20 million work of environmental cleanup work in the historic mining district this year …

UPDATED: Wed., April 26, 2017

Trump orders review of national monuments

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday instructing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review any national monument created since Jan. 1, 1996, that spans at least 100,000 acres in …

Then and Now: Patsy Clark Mansion

Patsy Clark’s mansion is one of the most recognizable homes in Spokane. It ranks high among the palatial homes built by Spokane’s early millionaires.

Sibanye gets U.S. security nod to buy Stillwater mines

The U.S. cleared the sale of the country’s sole provider of platinum and palladium to a miner whose biggest investor is Chinese, providing the first indication that the Trump administration’s …

UPDATED: Mon., March 13, 2017

Silver Valley miners strike, shutting down Lucky Friday mine

Miners went on strike today at the Lucky Friday Mine in Mullan, Idaho.

UPDATED: Wed., March 8, 2017

Trump’s trillion-dollar plan has mining companies and other backers thinking big

As the nation’s largest silver producer, Idaho-based Hecla Mining Co. is fired up over the possibilities in President Donald Trump’s plan to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure projects.

Mining workers from France, Tanzania kidnapped in Congo

Five workers have been kidnapped from a gold mine in eastern Congo, including ones from France and Tanzania, and rebels are demanding $1 million in ransom, a local official said …

Trump administration blocks changes on coal mining royalties

The Interior Department has put on hold changes to how the federal government values huge volumes of coal extracted from public lands, primarily in the Western United States, after mining …

UPDATED: Fri., Feb. 24, 2017

EPA delays rule for miners to give cleanup assurances

Facing pushback from industry and Republicans in Congress, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency delayed on Friday a proposal that would require mining companies to show they have the financial wherewithal …

UPDATED: Thu., Feb. 23, 2017

Hecla Mining posts $69 million profit in 2016 on strong performance from its silver mines

Hecla Mining Co. had a turnaround year in 2016, reporting $69 million in profits from strong performances at the company’s silver mines.

Brimming toxic pit nears critical level after bird deaths

It was an unusual and unfortunate confluence of events: A larger-than-normal number of geese was making a later-than-normal migration over Montana when a snowstorm blew in at the wrong time …