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Western Australia's Juukan Gorge has been home to a sacred site to local Indigenous peoples for over 46,000 years. In May of 2020, the site was destroyed in an explosion designed to expand a nearby iron ore mine. About the House: the official channel of the Australian House of Representatives

The chief executive officer and two senior executives are being forced out of the mining giant Rio Tinto several months after investors started to revolt over the company's destruction of an ancient aboriginal rock shelter, according to CNN.

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Manganese nodules on the Atlantic Ocean floor off the southeastern United States, discovered in 2019 during the Deep Sea Ventures pilot test. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration

By Elizabeth M. De Santo, Elizabeth Mendenhall and Elizabeth Nyman

Mining the ocean floor for submerged minerals is a little-known, experimental industry. But soon it will take place on the deep seabed, which belongs to everyone, according to international law.

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A floral offering for the Mexican environmental activist Samir Flores Soberanes on Feb. 22, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. The activist was found dead in his home before a controversial thermal-electric plant and pipeline referendum that he opposed. Carlos Tischler / Getty Images

While 2019 saw a massive uptick in environmental activism around the world, with climate strikes and the Extinction Rebellion campaign surging in popularity, the work of defending the environment on the front lines became more deadly than ever.

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The Bristol Bay watershed supports the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery. World Wildlife Fund / YouTube

Officials from the Trump administration announced last week that a plan to open a copper and gold mine that threatens Alaska's largest salmon nursery would not pose a serious environmental threat.

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An aerial view shows the pollution in a river outside Norilsk, Russia following an oil spill, on June 6, 2020. IRINA YARINSKAYA / AFP via Getty Images

Russia's Norilsk Nickel ran into trouble earlier this month when one of its subsidiaries accidentally spilled 21,000 tons of diesel that ended up polluting a pristine Arctic lake. Now the company admits that it has been dumping wastewater into the Arctic tundra, as Agence-France Press, (AFP) reported.

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The ROV Deep Discoverer grabs a manganese-crusted rock sample near a brisingid sea star at about 7,900 feet during a 2017 expedition at Te Tukunga o Fakahotu dive site near the Cook Islands. NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Mountains in the Deep: Exploring the Central Pacific Basin

By Monica Evans

This article has been updated to reflect corrected information in the original version.

The Cook Islands government plans to license seabed mining operators to prospect its exclusive economic zone for manganese and cobalt nodules within the coming financial year, Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown told the Cook Islands News.

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The ROV Deep Discoverer grabs a manganese-crusted rock sample near a brisingid sea star at about 7,900 feet during a 2017 expedition at Te Tukunga o Fakahotu dive site near the Cook Islands. NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Mountains in the Deep: Exploring the Central Pacific Basin

By Monica Evans

The Cook Islands government plans to license seabed mining operators to prospect its exclusive economic zone for manganese and cobalt nodules within the coming financial year, Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown told the Cook Islands News.

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Protesters used a tractor blockade and climbed a smokestack to halt construction of the Cricket Valley fracked gas power plant in Wingdale, New York, citing the plant's large contribution to climate change and air pollution, on Nov. 16, 2020. Erik McGregor / LightRocket via Getty Images

There's a growing push from large investors in publicly traded companies to hold the companies accountable for the environmental impact of their practices. In the latest salvo, global companies worth more than $10 trillion are urging companies to disclose their environmental impact to investors, as Forbes reported.

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BHP Billiton's iron ore plant with excavators and stockpiles of iron ore in Western Australia. John W Banagan / Stone / Getty Images

Anglo-Australian mining company BHP said it would pause plans to destroy 40 Aboriginal heritage sites as part of its expansion of an iron ore mine in Western Australia (WA).

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The Pile River flows into the northern end of Lake Iliamna. The lake and its tributaries are the headwaters of the Bristol Bay region, one of the richest salmon fisheries in the world. Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wrote a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers last week to say that it would not oppose or put a stop to a huge copper and gold mine near the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery, as The Washington Post reported.

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By Samantha Hepburn

In the expansion of its iron ore mine in Western Pilbara, Rio Tinto blasted the Juukan Gorge 1 and 2 — Aboriginal rock shelters dating back 46,000 years. These sites had deep historical and cultural significance.

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Aerial view of the Esperanca IV informal gold mining camp, near the Menkragnoti indigenous territory, in Altamira, Para state, Brazil, in the Amazon basin, on August 28, 2019. Joao LAET / AFP / Getty Images

By Peter Yeung

From the skies above Creporizao, a remote town in the south of the Brazilian Amazon, the surrounding area looks like a vast blanket of dark green rainforest. But along the dirt roads and rivers that run through it like arteries are telling patches of muddy brown: illegal gold mines.

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The moon sets over the border fence between the U.S. and Mexico on March 14, 2017 in Hidalgo, Texas. John Moore / Getty Images

In the midst of a global pandemic, President Donald Trump found time earlier this week to sign an executive order for U.S. companies to mine the moon's mineral resources, according to Newsweek.

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