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Glamis Gold Open Pit Mines in California Desert

Case Overview

In 2001, Clinton Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt refused to approve the mining plan of Glamis Gold, a Canadian mining company, because it would have destroyed the sacred tribal lands. California later passed a law requiring open pit mines to be refilled after mining was completed, a process the company argues is too expensive to make the mine profitable. The Bush administration reversed the Babbitt decision, but still hasn't issued the necessary permits. The California reclamation law is still on the books. However, the company claims the California law and the Babbitt denial violate NAFTA, which provides special protection for the profits of foreign companies. In October, 2006, Earthjustice filed an amicus submission on behalf of Sierra Club and Earthworks opposing Glamis' claims.

Case Updates