Canadian company moves to mine on lands cut from Grand Staircase-Escalante monument

In this 2017 file photo, protesters gather outside of the Utah State Capitol where President Donald Trump spoke to local representatives on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in Salt Lake City. Roughly 3,000 demonstrators lined up near the State Capitol to protest Trump’s announcement of scaling back two sprawling national monuments, and his declaring that “public lands will once again be for public use.” | Photo by Benjamin Zack/Standard-Examiner via The Associated Press, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Canadian company’s plans to mine for copper and cobalt on Utah lands that were cut from the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by President Donald Trump are angering conservation groups that are suing to keep the lands under monument protection.

Stock image, St. George News

Conservation and paleontology groups called attention this week to plans announced earlier this month by Glacier Lake Resources Inc. The company said in a news release it would begin surface exploration this summer and that drilling will be permitted shortly.

But officials from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining told the Deseret News that the company hasn’t filed any paperwork seeking permission to start operations.

A phone call and email message left for the company were not returned on Friday.

There’s been no known extraction work on lands cut from Grand Staircase and the Bears Ears national monuments since the window opened for requests in February.

The Bureau of Land Management had received four mining claims on the lands cut from Grand Staircase as of June 19, but none of those was from Glacier Lake Resources, said agency spokeswoman Kimberly Finch. The four companies that have expressed interested had not taken the next required step of submitting an operations plan and undergoing an environmental review, Finch said.

She didn’t immediately have information about claims put on the lands cut from Bears Ears.

The Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining has not heard from company either, spokeswoman Hollie Brown told the Deseret News.

Several conservation and environmental groups sued to overturn the decision by Trump in December to shrink Bears Ears National Monument by about 85 percent and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by nearly half.

Those lawsuits are pending. In the meantime, conservation groups are watching closely to ensure no lands are disturbed in the short-term, hoping a judge will side with them and return the monuments to the original boundaries.

Trump’s decision earned him cheers from Republican leaders in Utah who lobbied him to undo protections by Democratic presidents that they considered overly broad.

Conservation groups called it the largest elimination of protected land in American history.

Nada Culver, senior counsel to The Wilderness Society, said in a news release her organization will monitor Glacier Lake Resource’s plans and “will not stand by and watch mining companies rush to leave irreplaceable scars and damage the natural values of these lands.”

Glacier Lake said in the June 13 news release that the area where the company intends to mine, called the Colt Mesa deposit, was discovered in 1968 and was mined intermittently from 1971 to 1974.

The deposit is part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument cut out from the original boundaries created by President Bill Clinton in 1996.

Other lands taken out of the monument contain coal that a company was preparing to mine before the designation in the mid-1990s. It appears unlikely, however, that any company will immediately jump at the chance this time because of a decline in demand for coal production in Utah, state officials have said.

Written by BRADY McCOMBS, Associated Press writer.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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24 Comments

  • comments June 23, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    drill baby! drill!

  • John June 23, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    All Progressive (AP), Fake news again folks! Officials from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining told the Deseret News that the company hasn’t filed any paperwork seeking permission to start operations.

    • mesaman June 23, 2018 at 9:12 pm

      I immediately thought the same, John. What a great ploy from disgruntled people such as SUWA, STCG (Save the Crab Grass), or the like, to make a statement that would rekindle the angst and animosity of those on the other side.

      • John June 23, 2018 at 9:42 pm

        You just can’t trust any of the news outlets anymore, you have to learn to read between the lines..All they do is try to get the leadable lunatic left chasing another imaginary carrot. Yes it’s true! Even the ASSociated Press does it!

        • jaybird June 24, 2018 at 7:28 pm

          Call Vickers. He was ALL IN this project.

          • John June 24, 2018 at 7:40 pm

            The first 3 letters in ASSociated Press describe you to tee!

          • jaybird June 25, 2018 at 9:47 am

            You are dumb as a bag of nails.

          • John June 25, 2018 at 10:58 am

            hahahahahaha!! your’e an idiot

      • John June 23, 2018 at 9:48 pm

        Mesaman, have you seen this one about TV news?
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWVgDLDNp5w

        • jaybird June 24, 2018 at 7:31 pm

          Yeah, you CANNOT TRUST SINCLAIR NEWS. Thats what this video is all about. Fake News!

          • John June 24, 2018 at 7:39 pm

            YAWN!! Bubba’s waiting in your cell jailturd..

    • Chris June 23, 2018 at 10:52 pm

      As usual, the idiots of STG news (John and mesaman) have not done an ounce of research before spouting off. The president and CEO of Glacier Lake Resources stated: “Surface exploration work will start this summer on the Colt Mesa property and drill permitting will be initiated shortly,” Easily found at:
      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-21/copper-mine-planned-for-utah-national-monument-shrunk-by-trump.

      • John June 24, 2018 at 9:32 am

        WITHOUT PERMITS? the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining told the Deseret News that the company hasn’t filed any paperwork seeking permission to start operations. SORRY BUT THE RESEARCH IS DONE MORON..Chris, your’e a stupid sheeple!

      • John June 24, 2018 at 10:59 am

        No permits have been applied for as of now. No permits have been approved. No guarantee they will be approved.. All just another carrot to chase to keep your liberal panties in a pucker

      • jaybird June 24, 2018 at 7:35 pm

        Confirmed on all counts. John and mesamin are on staff heaps and cannot say ANYTHING is wrong with Trumps propoganda. This is the true example of cultists, following along at any cost. They will pay. This will not last.

        • John June 24, 2018 at 9:38 pm

          Morons are a dime a dozen..are there 12 of you jailturd? or are you as stupid as a dozen morons?

          • jaybird June 25, 2018 at 9:52 am

            No but you are. Drink your poison coolaid.

        • John June 25, 2018 at 10:59 am

          well it sure shows that you don’t use any facts in your comments jailturd! hahahahahahahahaha!

  • jaltair June 23, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    We need protection by maintaining areas as Federal land if they have historical and cultural significance, or the big companies, even outside of this country, will come in and rape and pillage resources for money. Big companies have the the money to influence our US and State reps and senators. I am conservative but have little trust in politicians. I hope the lawsuit goes forward and the parks are restored to original boundries.

    • jaybird June 24, 2018 at 7:36 pm

      Me too.

      • John June 24, 2018 at 9:39 pm

        The Monuments are back to their original boundaries before the Illegal land grab Obama did.. geesh you libtards have short memories..

        • jaybird June 25, 2018 at 9:47 am

          Wrong methhead loser.

          • John June 25, 2018 at 11:00 am

            Not wrong libturd! That’s what really happened

          • John June 25, 2018 at 11:44 am

            you certainly don’t let facts get in the way of your ignorance jailturd!

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