The politics behind the world’s hard rock mining industry

February 10, 2012

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(AP/Steve Karnowski)
A prospecting rig in Ely, Minn. bores through bedrock in search of nickel and copper.

With “fracking” and coal mining disasters dominating the news cycles, it seems hard rock mining gets less attention from the media. For communities across the globe, however, hard rock mining is a loaded issue. From Northern Michigan to Mongolia, mining the earth for scarce minerals often leaves people, corporations, unions and governments locked in all kinds of conflicts. Chicago journalist Kari Lydersen is a Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She’s writing a book on the hard rock mining industry.