Target: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Goal: Order Barrick Gold Corp. to halt all mining operations at Mt. Tenabo
Mt. Tenabo in Nevada is a sacred site to the Western Shoshone nation and also home to acres of pinion trees, various wildlife, and several water sources. Barrick Gold was found to have violated environmental rules and regulations when it started mining activities at Mt. Tenabo, and was ordered to temporarily stop by a court injunction. But Barrick Gold is ignoring the injunction, continuing to work on the land. With another hearing set before the appellate court, we need to stand with the Western Shoshone and urge the courts to stop Barrick Gold’s destructive mining work.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had already approved Barrick Gold’s request to explore 30,000 acres near Mt. Tenabo in Nevada back in 2005. Sacred land to the Western Shoshone, Barrick Gold disturbed over 250 acres of nationally recognized culturally historic sites due to its activities. To make matters worse, Barrick Gold then requested to expand its project directly onto Mt. Tenabo in 2008 and BLM approved again. This expansion would include new roads/facilities, a new open pit that is over 800 acres and 2,000 feet deep, and the permanent loss of 817 acres of pinion trees. Pine nuts from these trees are a food source for the Western Shoshone. The Western Shoshone and other groups sued.
They won a major victory in December of 2010 with the appellate court reversing a lower court’s previous ruling and issuing a court stay on Barrick Gold’s expansion project. Citing environmental violations, this should have stopped the construction at Mt. Tenabo until the environmental concerns were addressed in a supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Concerns included the fact that a number of local springs and streams would dry up from the company’s dewatering process, as well as the release of toxic mercury into the air from the 5 million tons of ore that would be transported and processed. Such a hazardous air pollutant would negatively impact air quality for humans and wildlife alike. But Barrick Gold has blatantly disregarded the court’s partial injunction, continuing operations and its massive groundwater pumping process.
Due to Barrick Gold’s refusal to abide by the court’s ruling, the plaintiffs went back to court again in January 2012, but the Reno district court denied all of their arguments to prevent continued destruction of Mt. Tenabo. Filing an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a hearing date will probably be scheduled next year in early 2013. Please sign the petition below showing your support against Barrick Gold’s destructive mining operations and let the court know of your stand against the pillaging of these natural resources and the land.
Dear Honorable Judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals,
The land at Mt. Tenabo is vital, providing water, food and other natural resources to the wildlife and people living there. Barrick Gold has proven through its mining history that it will stop at nothing to extract gold from that area, no matter what the harm and damages may be. The courts had already decided previously that Barrick Gold ignored and withheld crucial data showing that its activities would cause irreparable environmental injury.
Barrick Gold’s refusal to stop current mining activities even though ordered to from a previous court injunction highlights their disregard for the court of law, the environment, and for the welfare of animals and humans alike. Please permanently stop Barrick Gold’s mining activities and protect this land for future generations.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Slideshow Bruce via Flickr