Colo. High Court Strikes Down County Mining Rule

By Brendan Pierson (January 14, 2009, 12:00 AM EST) -- The Supreme Court of Colorado has struck down a county ordinance banning the use of cyanide and other chemicals in heap or vat leach mining, finding that the ordinance is preempted by a state law.

The 6-1 decision, handed down Monday, overturned a ruling by a state appellate court and affirmed an earlier ruling by a district court.

The dispute goes back to 2004, when Colorado's Summit County passed an ordinance providing that "any mining or milling operation that utilizes cyanide or other toxic/acidic ore-processing reagents in heap or vat leach applications shall not be allowed in any zoning district."...

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