Couple's afternoon at the beach yields almost 5 grams of gold

Hobbyist gold miners are a joy to behold. Their enthusiasm in panning for gold and running sand through sluices is clearly a labor of love. Watch as they put all their gear through its paces, with their delight and fascination never waning. Read the rest

The world's first trillionaire may be an asteroid miner

Extracting earth's natural resources created some of the world's greatest fortunes. Many believe that trend will continue in space, as mining three types of asteroids leads to enormous material yields. Read the rest

For sale: (1) California ghost town

Nestled between two national parks, Sequoia and Death Valley, there is a ghost town for sale. For a little under a million dollars, you could own a piece of the American West: an abandoned silver mining town founded in 1867 called Cerro Gordo.

Mental Floss reports:

Located in Owens Valley near the town of Lone Pine, the $925,000 property comes with over 300 acres of land, mineral rights, and no shortage of peace and quiet. There are 22 structures on site, including a historic hotel, bunkhouse, saloon, chapel, and museum—plus all of the artifacts that come with it.

“The site has been extremely well protected from diggers, artifact looters, and Mother Nature herself,” reads the listing, posted on a website specially created for the property that's aptly named ghosttownforsale.com. “Restoration has been undertaken on most of the buildings, and the rest are in a state of protected arrested decay.”

From its listing:

Held by the same family for decades and only available for purchase now. The site has been extremely well protected from diggers. artifact looters and Mother Nature herself. Restoration has been undertaken on most of the buildings. and the rest are in a state of protected arrested decay.

The site is historic as the first major mining camp south of the Sierra Nevada. Cerro Gordo is a privately-owned Mining Town located in the Owens Valley near Lone Pine, California. The town was the silver thread to Los Angeles, being partially responsible for its growth and economic development.

Read the rest

Watch artists turn a toxic abandoned mining facility into a powerful environmental message

Political art collective INDECLINE (previously) create provocative works. Their latest repurposes a gold ore processing facility on the Mojave National Preserve that was closed in 1994 and declared a Superfund site. Read the rest

Bernhard Lang's gorgeous aerial shots of marble quarries

Carrara marble is one of the most sought-after types, and these remarkable images by Bernhard Lang show how enormous some of the quarries are. Read the rest

Underground city made from old opal mines has 3,500 residents

Coober Pedy is an Australian mining town with such an extensive labyrinth of depleted opal mines that half the town's residents live underground. There are bookstores, churches, and other public spaces. Read the rest

Chart: many asteroids are worth quintillions of dollars each

The asteroid belt holds untold wealth for the prospectors who can reach and mine them. Wired UK just published an interesting chart of select asteroids valued between 1 and 27 quintillion dollars each. Read the rest

LEGO Cyberman minifig

Upgrading is compulsory!

I had to have this Cyberman minifig. The stacked up bunch of pieces that resembles a Dalek is also cute.

Dr. Who Cyberman Fun Pack - Lego Dimensions via Amazon Read the rest

Navajo Nation bears burden of recent Animas mining spill disaster in Colorado

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.

Why we need copper — and why it's harder and harder to get

Tim Heffernan has done some fantastic guest blogging here at BoingBoing. Now, at Pacific Standard, he's got a story about copper — a natural resource that will affect the future of everything. Just as we're needing more and more of it, this metal is getting harder to reach. Read the rest

Guatemalan Government declares State of Siege after Mining Protests: video report

For PBS NewsHour, I spoke with Miles O'Brien from inside the "State of Siege" zone, where the government has declared a state of military occupation in response to protests over a US/Canadian-owned mine. Today, debate continues between Congress, the Constitutional Court, and the administration of President Otto Perez Molina, over whether the State of Siege will be ratified and continue for the entire month declared, or if it will be ended over charges that it is unconstitutional and an act of repression against civil protests.

And as the genocide trial entered its final phase, the Public Prosecutor reminded the court in his closing arguments that the 17 months Rios Montt was in power were, at the time, classified as a "State of Siege."

 

Guatemala: Genocide trial starts then stops; State of Siege near US ... Guatemala: state of siege declared as Army, police crack down after ... Guatemala: "San Rafael Mine State of Siege," photo-essay by ...

Setting up for the PBS NewsHour cross-talk with Miles at the Army/police checkpoint in Casillas, the first stop in the state of siege zone, as you enter from Guatemala City. Photo and video: Esteban Castaño of Skylight Pictures. Read the rest

Guatemala: state of siege declared as Army, police crack down after protests against Canadian-owned mine

Photo: Troops entering the region around a disputed mining site, shortly after the declaration of a State of Siege by the government of Guatemala. Photo: guatemala.gob.gt.

Photo: Carlos Andrino. "Caserío los Lopez. Santa Lucia Xalapan. Jalapa." May 2, 2013, Guatemala.

[Posted from Guatemala City]

Residents of four towns east of Guatemala's capital woke up to news that their communities had been placed under a 30-day State of Siege by the administration of President Otto Perez Molina, following anti-mining protests that turned violent. One policeman was killed, six civilians were wounded by rubber bullets, and a number of police cars were burned and overturned on roadways. Here is the government's official public announcement. Public gatherings in the area are banned for 30 days.

According to Guatemalan Defense Minister Col. Ulises Giron Anzueto Noah (shown at right, photo today by Carlos Andrino), 3,500 total personnel participated in operations to bring the "estado de sitio" (state of siege) into effect. Some soldiers entered the areas in armored personnel vehicles and tanks. Hundreds of police officers were involved, as were private security officers for the Canadian-owned Escobal mine at the center of the controversy. Read the rest

Report: Salaries of mining union leaders in South Africa paid by mining companies

Just one year after the "Marikana massacre," an investigative report in South Africa's Daily Maverick reveals "a furtive conflict of interest, with mining houses footing the bill for top National Union of Mineworkers office bearers’ salaries...unionists are being paid high salaries by the very people from whom they are supposed to protect their members. The 'arrangement' is just about to end, in spite of union leaders' unhappiness and an unpredictable labour and political backlash." Read the rest

Inside a mile-deep open-pit copper mine after a catastrophic landslide

For the past few months I’ve been reporting a big story on the copper industry for Pacific Standard. It takes a broad look at how the global economic boom of the past decade, led by China and India, is pushing copper mining into new regions and new enormities of investment and excavation. (It’ll be out in June.) But a few days ago a very local event shook the copper industry, and I thought it would be neat to look at how a crisis at a single mine can ripple through space and time, ultimately affecting just about everyone around the globe. Read the rest

Asteroid mining to commence in 2015

It is definitely now the future.

A new venture is joining the effort to extract mineral resources on asteroids. The announcement of plans by Deep Space Industries to exploit the rare metals present in the space rocks turns asteroid mining into a two-horse race. The other venture, Planetary Resources, went public with its proposals last year.

Read the rest

Russian City Always On the Watch Against Being Sucked Into the Earth

That's the headline in the New York Times. Really, what more do I need to say? Read the rest

"My Favorite Museum Exhibit": A 13-pound gold nugget

"My Favorite Museum Exhibit" is a series of posts aimed at giving BoingBoing readers a chance to show off their favorite exhibits and specimens, preferably from museums that might go overlooked in the tourism pantheon. I'll be featuring posts in this series all week. Want to see them all? Check out the archive post. I'll update the full list there every morning.

It's a little funny to think of something that weighs 13.8 pounds being described as a "nugget", but the Fricot Nugget is, in fact, exactly that. "Nugget" in this case, refers to a naturally occurring piece of gold—a precious metal found in its natural habitat. The Fricot Nugget, at the California State Mining and Mineral Museum, is the largest remaining intact mass of crystalline gold from 19th century California. That's a lot of qualifiers, but it's still a big deal. Larger nuggets than this have been found. Heck, larger nuggets than this have been found in California. But most of them ended up melted down. Given the fact that the Fricot Nugget was found in 1865, during the Gold Rush, it's kind of a wonder, in and of itself, that the thing survived intact.

Reader Edie Howe took this photo, and sent me several other photos of the nugget, as well. In one, you can read part of the museum signage that goes with the nugget. Turns out, a big part of why the Fricot Nugget is still with us today is that it was misplaced for several decades, forgotten about in a safe-deposit box. Read the rest

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