SCOTUS to consider cyanide leach mining

Soon we’ll see which end of the political spectrum truly has “activist” judges. The twice-successful Montana state ban on cyanide “heap-leach” gold mines may be considered by the Supreme Court:

Canyon Resources Corp. is hoping the Supreme Court will take the case, and ultimately find that the ban constituted an illegal taking of property. The company estimates its loss from roughly $80 million it sunk into the McDonald project near Lincoln to as much as $550 million for the value of the minerals it could have mined.

[snip]

The mine operators say their property rights were denied when the state passed the ban on the use of cyanide in new gold mines. The company needed to use the banned process, which separates precious metals from ore, to profitably mine gold at the proposed Lincoln and should be compensated for the loss.

Basically the mining company is asking for special privileges that you or I, as private citizens, would never see. No one has a right to recoup losses on property for business activities that might have happened before those activities were banned, especially if those activities put human lives at risk.

(Could you imagine a remote trailer-home owner suing the state over the illegalization of crystal meth because of the income his property lost as a potential meth lab?)

In effect, this lawsuit, if considered and favored by the SCOTUS, will mean an end to state initiatives to better the environmental quality of their communities and endanger any such initiative – federal or state – in the future. If the state and federal government had to pay all companies whose profits were affected by environmental regulations, our governments would be bankrupt.

So we’ll see whether the SCOTUS, despite its new corporate- and executive-friendly members, will uphold the existing decision and the democratically-realized will of the citizens of Montana, or will favor its big-money benefactors at the cost of our health.

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  1. Touchstone over at 4&20 reminds Montana’s Blogosphere that the Cyanide Fight is not over yet. Frankly for anyone who has followed this absurd story for the last 8 years, this should come as no surprise.

  2. Hey, I 110% agree with the last few comments. This blog has great opinions and this is why I continue to visit, thanks! Ms. gold detecting

  3. Dang! I think I just got my first spam comment!

    If you follow the link to “Ms. Gold Detecting,” you’ll see it leads to a gold purchasing website. My guess is that they didn’t bother reading my post, ha ha.

  1. 1 Montana’s March roundup « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] of regulatory change. Most thought the initiative is anti-democratic, because it would protect large mining companies from local environmental […]




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