Waterworks at Colt Mesa, Utah. Photo: Jamal David Green / Across Utah!

By Shannon Van Sant
21 June 2018

(NPR) – A Canadian mining firm says it will move forward with plans to mine minerals from land that was previously part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah.

Last December, President Trump removed nearly half of the Grand Staircase-Escalante from protection, as well as part of the Bears Ears National Monument, which is also in Utah. The move was the largest reversal of national monument protections in U.S. history.

Glacier Lake Resources Inc., a Vancouver-based copper and silver mining firm, says it has acquired the Colt Mesa deposit, an approximately 200-acre parcel of land located about 35 miles southeast of Boulder, Utah. Because it was nationally protected, the area was previously off limits to development and mining. In a press release the company noted that the deposit "recently became open for staking and exploration after a 21 year period moratorium."

Saf Dhillon, president and CEO of Glacier Lake Resources, called the project "a welcome addition to the company's ever growing portfolio."

The company's extraction of resources would have little impact on tourism and the environment, Dhillon told the Huffington Post, "The target is a high value, underground scenario with modest disturbance." Glacier Lake Resources says it has conducted sampling that confirmed the presence of several minerals, including cobalt.

President Bill Clinton established the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in 1996. It was previously the largest national monument in the country. President Trump has also slashed the Bears Ears National Monument by about a million acres — to roughly 15 percent of its original size.

These actions followed an executive order Trump issued in April 2017, when he instructed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review any national monument created since 1996. Trump said the review would return control of the land "to the people, the people of all of the states, the people of the United States." [more]

Firm Prepares To Mine Land Previously Protected As A National Monument



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