Mining

News & Analysis as of

2015 Summary of Key Maine Environmental Legislation

The Pierce Atwood Environmental and Land Use Practice Group is pleased to provide the 2015 Summary of Key Maine Environmental Legislation enacted or carried over in the First Regular Session of Maine's 127th Legislature...more

Proposed Rule from US Department of the Interior Increases Pressure on Coal Mining Industry

On July 27, 2015, the US Department of the Interior, through its Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), proposed to revise regulations adopted under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of...more

MSHA Workplace Examination “Clarification” Places Enforcement Target Squarely on Operators

Over the years, the Mine Safety Health Administration (MSHA) has tried on two different occasions to overhaul the workplace examination standard at 30 CFR §56/57.18002 by issuing program policy letters. The agency’s primary...more

Struggling U.S. Rare Earth Industry is Vital to a Stable Global Economy

Rare earth elements are found in nearly every aspect of our lives. Televisions, smartphones, tablets, computers, stereos, and cars all contain rare earth elements. Our national security also relies on rare earths in...more

Here We Go Again—The Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act

For the fourth time since the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion in April 2010, a Congressional bill proposes to further amend the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977. The Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act...more

Miners & Marijuana

As in other industries, mining companies must contend with employees and contractors using or being under the influence of illegal drugs in the workplace. Marijuana is one of the most prominent substances detected in drug...more

Dangers of a Self-Drafted Letter Agreement

Court Unwilling to Impose a Reasonableness Limit on Expenditures - Exploration expenditures incurred to earn into a mining claim did not have to be reasonable, the B.C. Court of Appeal recently held in American Creek...more

Environmental Notes - July 2015

Clean Water Rule Opens Litigation Floodgates - With much fanfare, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) recently issued a final rule clarifying which bodies of water are “waters of the United States” protected...more

Africa Update - July 2015 #2

In This Issue: - Leading the News - United States – Africa Relations - North Africa - East Africa - West Africa - Sub-Saharan Africa - General Africa News - Excerpt from Leading the...more

Caveat Optionor: Canadian Court Strikes a Blow for Mineral Exploration Companies

A recent judgment from the British Columbia Court of Appeal provides insight on the interpretation of exploration option agreements. This decision is part of protracted litigation between the parties, American Creek Resources...more

Boom, borrow, build, bust–and bounce? The fortunes of the mining and metals markets may have shifted up and down in recent years,...

Amid ongoing realignment in the mining and metals markets, industry participants have already begun seeing and seizing extraordinary opportunities—including those created by companies reacting to the boom-bust cycle. In...more

The “American Rule” Prevails: The Supreme Court denies certain fees in bankruptcy cases

In 2005, ASARCO LLC, a copper mining, smelting and refining company, was in financial trouble and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Relying on §327(a) and §1107(a) of the Bankruptcy Code, ASARCO retained two law firms to...more

Red Notice Newsletter - June 2015

This month on the anticorruption front, an energy company announces the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has declined to bring charges following an Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)-related investigation, the protracted...more

Publicly Traded Partnership Proposed Regulations

Widely held partnerships are a significant source of funding for oil, gas and certain natural resources projects, but the publicly traded partnership (“PTP”) rules can cause such partnerships to be treated as corporations for...more

Drilling Down on Transparency: Quebec Introduces Bill Requiring Reporting For Mining, Oil & Gas Industries

On June 11, 2015, Quebec’s Minister for Mines introduced a bill before the Quebec National Assembly that proposes to impose mandatory reporting requirements on businesses operating in the mining and oil and gas sectors. The...more

Guide To Doing Business in Australia: Minerals Exploration & Mining (Updated)

MINERALS EXPLORATION AND MINING: Minerals exploration and mining is a very important industry in Australia. Australia has significant reserves of minerals including iron ore, coal, gas, uranium, nickel, gold and rare...more

Alaska Supreme Court Says Exploration is a Transfer of Interest in State Land, Cannot Be Allowed Without Full Public Notice and...

The Alaska Supreme Court’s recent decision in Nunamta Alukestai v. Pebble Limited Partnership, No. 7011 (Alaska filed May 29, 2015) significantly alters the permitting process for projects within the jurisdiction of the...more

Special Session Set For Today

After weeks of negotiations, speculation, and a late night caucus, Governor Mark Dayton called the Special Session for today at 10 a.m. The six bills on the approved agenda are the three budget bills that Dayton vetoed at...more

Bureau of Land Management Releases Conservation Plans for Greater Sage-Grouse

On Thursday, May 28, 2015, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released fourteen final Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) that incorporate greater-sage-grouse conservation measures into the land-use plans for about 50...more

Are your sponsorship and hospitality controls enough to satisfy the FCPA? Maybe not

On May 20, 2015, the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) settled an administrative proceeding with global mining /commodities producer BHP Billiton, resolving allegations that the company violated the books and records...more

Status of Oil and Gas-related Bills Proposed in California’s 2015-2016 Legislative Session

June 5, 2015 marked the deadline for lawmakers to pass bills out of their house to the opposite house. Bills that did not pass in their house of origin by that date have effectively died (unless such bill has been identified...more

Despite Fewer Citations Issued Since 2008, the Percentage of “Significant and Substantial” Citations Is Holding Steady

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) recently released mining industry and enforcement data that reflects noteworthy changes the industry has experienced over the last six years. Of particular significance in the...more

Deal or no deal?

Energy and resources companies that have been steering clear of the complexities of three distinct but overlapping Iran sanctions regimes would have been encouraged by an interim deal between Iran and international community...more

A Watershed Moment for Business, Industry, and Agriculture: EPA Releases Final Clean Water Rule

On May 27, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") and Army Corps of Engineers jointly released a final rule clarifying what bodies of water are subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water...more

Shining a Light on Payments to Governments: The Current State of “Publish What You Pay” Rulemaking Around the World

Over the last few years, a number of key jurisdictions have adopted regulations requiring companies engaged in natural resource extraction activities to disclose the payments they make to governments and state-owned...more

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