08/16/2007 - Metals mining claims on Western federal lands jumped by 80 percent in the past 4 1/2 years, some popping up near popular national parks.
Overall metals mining claims rose from 207,540 in January 2003 to 376,493 in July of this year, two advocacy and research organizations said Thursday, based on their review of the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management records.
Higher prices for gold and copper and renewed interest in uranium exploration, mainly due to global demand for nuclear power, helped fuel the jump.
"Claims have been on the rise," BLM spokesman Matt Spangler said. "That's mainly due to rising copper, gold and uranium prices. Those have been going up pretty significantly the past two and a half years."
During just two years between 2004 and 2006, four states - Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming - saw uranium mining claims rise from 4,300 to 32,000, the Environmental Working Group and the Pew Campaign for Responsible Mining reported.
View full article on Las Vegas Sun Web site - Uranium Boosts Mining Claims Increase.