Red Lady Coalition

Mission Statement

The Red Lady Coalition is a group of individuals and organizations whose mission is preservation of a safe, intact and protected Mt. Emmons. This includes preserving the integrity ...

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Historic Town of Crested Butte

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Crested Butte, CO

The official blog of Red Lady Coalition

Red Lady moly mine makes no $ense...

Red Lady Coalition

Bust without boom: the waiting game
December 31, 2008

The price of molybdenum fell from about $35 per pound in October to around $9 a pound at the end of December 2008. This affects Thompson Creek and every other molybdenum producer; Thompson Creek is reducing its capital expenditures to compensate.

None of this will affect anything Thompson Creek is doing in Crested Butte and on Mt. Emmons. The company will keep plodding along, insinuating itself into the community, working through the long-term process of acquiring permits it must show to begin mining.

In the meantime, the company will work on local politics and public relations. Someone who works for the mine will find his way onto the county planning commission. Miners will run for the school board and will seek town council seats in Gunnison and Crested Butte. Thompson Creek will contribute to local charities, and advertise their presence in local parades and celebrations. Mine propaganda will trumpet hollow promises with the goal of ultimately setting us against each other. The mining company will act as if it has always been here, hoping to overcome our opposition by attrition.

Miners will take a long-term, multi-generational approach: They recognize that the first generation fights the mine, the second generation remembers the fight, but the third generation forgets. And by then, of course, a mine would be a done deal. We must never let that happen.

We must also adopt a multi-generational approach, and once and for all put an end to the idea that a big mining company can destroy local economies and displace local communities. I want my children to remember the fight, but I want my grandchildren to know the story too. I don’t want them to accept the reality of a mountain no longer there.
Posted by Denis B. Hall

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If people are wise...
December 5, 2008

Leadville is a prime example of what a large mine can do to a nearby town. Once--many decades ago--the surroundings must have been beautiful. But what was originally an underground mine ended by removing much of a mountain and creating not just a tailings pond but a huge, ugly lake of polluted tailings.

Then the Climax mine shut down. To find jobs, Leadville residents found themselves forced to commute many miles to work at ski areas not menaced by mines. Then the town decided, as the International Herald Tribune reported on February 28, 2008, to recast itself as a tourist destination--though plagued by what the article termed the wreckage of a century of mining, most recently the threat of rising levels of contaminated water.

Then the mine was to reopen--but as NIna Cotton notes, the reopening is delayed, and who knows for how long. When and if it does reopen, the tailings lake will have to be expanded further, as the Summit Daily News recently reported; see http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20080824/NEWS/1852/1078&ParentProfile=1055 .

Today, people drive through Leadville but few stay for more than a cheeseburger.

Just one statistic. If you look at www.simplyhired.com you will read that the median cost of a home in the town of Crested Butte is $301,100, although recent sales prices have been much higher and there are many larger homes outside town. In Leadville, in any case, the figure is just one-third of that, $106,300.

Leadvile’s is not a case of mining town prosperity--or prosperity of any sort--and not in any way a history to be repeated at Crested Butte, if people are wise.
Posted by Peter Bridges
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