"Ban on Mining Near Grand Canyon Extended"

"The Obama administration on Monday extended its ban on mining on 1 million acres of federal lands near the Grand Canyon by six months, as it heads toward a possible long-term moratorium on mining in the area.

Concerns that uranium mining near the Grand Canyon could hurt water quality and tourism prompted the decision, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said.

'When you think about the millions of jobs that are created across America through our natural wonders, as well as through other aspects of our heritage (and) tourism, that ought to be what carries the day,' Salazar said at a press conference.

In 2009, the department declared a two-year time-out on new mining claims in the area, which holds substantial uranium deposits, as the agency studied its options."

Ayesha Rascoe reports for Reuters June 21, 2011.

Source: Reuters, 06/21/2011