California is considering the nation´s toughest restrictions on open-pit gold mining. It´s a move environmentalists applaud and the mining industry says would virtually eliminate metal mining in the Gold Rush state.
The California State Mining and Geology Board´s proposed regulations would require mining companies to backfill all new open-pit metal mines. They´d also have to provide financial guarantees so taxpayers wouldn´t be stuck in the event the company defaults.
The regulation was prompted by a mining company´s plans to mine on sacred Indian land in Southern California. It also could affect another company´s mining plans outside Death Valley National Park.