Mining

Western Slope Skies - Mining the Moon

Jan 8, 2021
NASA

The Moon is iconic, seen and enjoyed from anywhere on Earth. It is so coveted that the U.S. and the Soviet Union were in a space race to see who could reach the Moon first. In 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first to land on its surface. This race inspired the first international space treaty. Dubbed “the Outer Space Treaty,” the 1960s document governed the first international laws about space and forbade any single country from owning celestial bodies, including the Moon. Instead, they were to be enjoyed and studied by all.

Luke Runyon / KUNC

  • Hemp market contracted in 2020
  • State regulators approved new Xcel Energy electric vehicle prgoram
  • Colorado is changing vaccine distribution plan to prioritize older residents
  • States in the Colorado River Basin ready to negotiate
  • Part 3 of Mountain West News Bureau reporter Noah Glick's series on lithium mining

  

Noah Glick

  • Vandalism at 3 Aspen natural gas pump stations left 3500 residents without heat or hot water
  • Resort community real estate sales in Colorado have set records since July
  • Health officials believe they've identified first confirmed case of COVID-19 variance in Colorado
  • Mountain West News Bureau shares part 2 of series on the environmental impacts of lithium mining

  

Chad Reich

This past June, the West Elk Mine punched a mile of road and two drilling pads for methane venting into lands that conservation groups say should be roadless, according to federal policy. Mine operators, however, say their leases for a planned and approved expansion sit underneath the surface of the roadless lands and are not subject to the state's roadless rule. Chad Reich reports on the struggle taking place in the Gunnison National Forest. 

Chad Reich

  • Current COVID statistics across our listening area include 89 deaths
  • Governor Polis signed 8 special session bills on Monday
  • Who is dying in jails around our region and why?
  • Chad Reich reports on roadless rule battle at West Elk Mine in Gunnison National Forest

  • Colorado abandons public option for health insurance
  • COVID-19 vaccine facility proposed for Montrose
  • West's mining industry continues amid pandemic

Greg Kelly's grandson, Caden, scampers to the tree-shaded creek behind his grandfather's house to catch crawdads, as Kelly shuffles along, trying to keep up. Kelly's small day pack holds an oxygen tank with a clear tube clipped to his nose. He has chairs spaced out on the short route so he can stop every few minutes, sit down and catch his breath, until he has enough wind and strength to start out again for the creek.

Demolition Marks End of Elk Creek Mine

Apr 29, 2016
KVNF / Jake Ryan

The Elk Creek Mine in Gunnison County was once one of Colorado’s most productive coal mines. Its coal silo stood tall for 50 years, but last Friday it was demolished. While just another step in the mine’s shutdown, its collapse was symbolic.


KVNF Regional Newscast: Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Apr 13, 2016

  • Bill to allow medical marijuana in schools clears state House committee
  • Bill seeks to fund emergency cleanup at legacy mining sites in Colorado
  • Conservation groups oppose Congressman Tipton’s Thompson Divide lease swap
  • USGS releases report on human-induced earthquakes
  • Law enforcement across Colorado participate in spring DUI enforcement campaign 

Citing concerns over pricing and pollution, the Obama administration on Friday unveiled a moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands. The change won't affect existing leases, which generated nearly $1.3 billion for the government last year.

The Department of the Interior says it wants to make sure the money it's charging for coal leases takes into account both market prices and what's often called the "social costs" of coal — its impact on climate change and public health.

The agency says federal lands account for roughly 40 percent of all U.S. coal production.

Joe Moore stood near a sign reading: "Authorized Personnel Only."

"I used to be authorized," he said.

Moore is a coal miner. The sign was at the entrance to the mine that had laid him off the previous day. The Alliance Coal facility had closed — a symptom of the coal industry's rapid decline.

The Environmental Protection Agency was investigating an old mine near Silverton, Colo., earlier this month, when it accidentally released 3 million gallons of toxic waste water into the Animas River.

Initially the agency downplayed the incident and provided little information. So Navajo President Russell Begaye traveled to the source of the toxic spill and posted a video of it on Facebook.

In the video, he stands in front of the still-leaking mine.

In Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, towns that are downstream from the old gold mine where contaminated wastewater spewed into a river have shut off their water supplies' connections to the spill. Two rivers will remain closed until at least Monday, officials say.

Approval Sought Again For Gravel Pit In Montrose County

Apr 23, 2015
Uncompahgre Gravel Pit
Google Earth

Two years ago, the Montrose County Commissioners denied a special use permit to construct a gravel pit.

The commissioners cited concerns over the location of the haul road, the length of time the asphalt plant would operate and the size of the pit as reasons for denying the permit.

However, the commissioners encouraged the applicant to reapply if they could address those concerns. 

The Montrose County Planning Commission will hold a public meeting Thursday to hear feedback on the proposed Uncompahgre Pit. 

KVNF Regional Newscast: Monday, December 23, 2013

Dec 23, 2013

Headlines:

  • Civil Suit Filed against GJ Airport Administration
  • Grand Mesa Plane Crash Victims Were Looking for Lost Cattle
  • Future of Pot Shops in Mountain Village Still Undecided
  • Ouray Residents to weigh in on City Administrator's Performance
  • Future of Mining & Drilling Uncertain Across Western Slope
  • State Economy Has Some Bright Clouds

Headlines

  • Montrose County Sheriff's Sergeant on Leave after Child Abuse Allegations
  • Ouray County Mine Cited for Nearly 100 Safety Violations
  • Hickenlooper Calls for Bipartisanship Next Year
  • San Miguel County Commissioners Approve Funding for EcoAction Partners
  • Tree Hunting in one of Colorado's National Forests
  • Western Slope Skies - The Star Cluster Pleides

Ken Lund via Flickr (CC BY-SA http://tinyurl.com/4kprz)

Update Friday, December 20: According to the Watch newspaper, MSHA says the 97 citations handed out to Star Mine Operations in the first week of December were issued during so-called "spot" inspections, and weren't issued as violations that contributed to the deaths of two men at the Revenue-Virginius mine in late November. 

Headlines

  • CPW Researchers Conducting Backcountry Flyovers
  • Some Miners Near Ouray Helping with Accident Investigation
  • Future of Coal Uncertain as Tennessee Valley Authority Cuts Production
  • Three Colorado Cities Facing Lawsuits Over Fracking Bans
  • Historic Schoolhouse Spurred Modern Women's Club

Headlines

  • MSHA Team Will Investigate Ouray Mine Accident
  • KDNK's Sounds of the High Country -  Marshall Swearingen on Repurposing a South Dakota Mine for Physics Research
  • State Senator Evie Hudak Resigns
  • Salvation Army in Grand Junction Feeds 700 on Thanksgiving
  • KVNF Sports Report

Details Emerge in Mining Accident

Nov 22, 2013
Telluride Watch Newspapers

The recent mining accident near Ouray was one of the worst in recent Colorado history. Two miners died and nearly two dozen were injured at the Revenue-Virginius mine, owned by Star Mine Operations.  More details about what happened are starting to come out. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher talks with reporter Samantha Wright, who’s covering the accident for the Telluride Watch newspapers.

David Jones

New details are emerging about the two men who were killed after inhaling high levels of carbon monoxide at the Revenue-Virginius Mine in Ouray County.

KVNF Regional Newscast: Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Nov 19, 2013

Headlines:

  • Investigation Begins into Deaths of 2 Miners at Revenue-Virginus Mine
  • Enviromental Critics Say New Air Quality Moves are Purely Political
  • Industry Proponents Reserving Judgement on Air Quality Rules, For Now
  • Median Income in Delta County Ranks in Bottom Third of the State
  • Over 53,000 Coloradans Now Enrolled in New Health Exchange

KVNF Regional Newscast: Monday, November 18, 2013

Nov 18, 2013

Headlines:

  • 2 Dead, 20 Injured at Mine Accident in Ouray County
  • GJ High School Locked Down after Nearby Suicide
  • Tipton’s Water Rights Protection Bill To Get House Vote
  • Telluride Soda-Tax Campaigns Drew in over $148,000
  • Ban on Drone-Assisted Hunting Moves Forward
  • Future of Rural Movie Theaters Still Uncertain, Even with State Grants

Update Monday, 3:50 PM: Amy Louviere, Spokeswoman for the Mine Safety and Health Administration, tells KVNF all 20 of the sickened miners have been treated and released from area hospitals. 

Colorado US Representative Don Coram (R-Montrose) released a statement this afternoon, saying "I send my thoughts and prayers to the close knit communities of Ouray and surrounding areas and offer my support to those affected by this terrible tragedy."

KVNF Local Newscast: Monday, August 26, 2013

Aug 26, 2013

Headlines:

  • Thousands of Public Comments Against FRAM Whitewater Oil Project Delivered to BLM
  • State Mining Authorities Ask EPA to Handle Rogue Gold Mill Contamination
  • State Taking a Closer Look at Medical Marijuana Recommendations
  • Governor John Hickenlooper Sees Mediocre Approval Ratings
  • Organizational Assessment Completed for DMEA
  • Colorado Mesa University and Western Colorado Community College Team Up for Compost Project
  • USA Pro Challenge Race Concludes in Denver

KVNF Local Newscast: Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May 28, 2013

Headlines:

  • State Supreme Court Rules for State in Lobato Lawsuit
  • Western Slope Mines must Clean-Up
  • Oxbow Mine Still Dealing with Spontaneous Combustion
  • San Diego Meeting To Focus on Colorado River Shortages
  • Plans for a Waste-to-Energy Facility in Ilium Valley
  • Colorado Moose Increasing as Herds Decline Elsewhere

KVNF Local Newscast: Friday, April 12, 2013

Apr 12, 2013

Headlines:

  • “Non-citizen” driver’s license bill passes Senate committee
  • Whooping cough breaks out in Garfield County
  • Can medical marijuana users buy guns? Some say no.
  • The strange tale of the U.S. government and helium
  • Western Slope Skies: The moon and its phases

KVNF Local Newscast: Monday, October 15, 2012

Oct 15, 2012

Headlines:

  • Mail Ballots Mailed Out Today
  • Tax Break For West Elk Coal Mine
  • Bi-Partisan Collaboration For Forest Health
  • Gov, US Senators Pushing For Post-Fire Recovery
  • Uranium Drive-in Sign Still Glowing

KVNF Local Newscast: Thursday, October 11, 2012

Oct 11, 2012

Headlines:

  • Democrats Fed Up With Republican Secretary of State
  • First Lady Visits Colorado Springs
  • Wildfire Updates
  • Energy Fuels Moving To Re-open Newly Acquired Uranium Mines
  • Telluride and San Miguel County Support Pinon Ridge Uranium Mill
  • Amendment 64 Draws Support and Opposition