State rejects attempt to repeal cyanide mining ban

Voters in Montana decisively rejected Initiative 147, which would have repealed the state’s 1998 ban on open-pit cyanide leach mining, a highly destructive and polluting gold-mining technique that extracts small amounts of gold and silver diffused through large amounts of rock. Some 98 percent of the money behind the initiative, almost $3 million, came from Canyon Resources Corp., which wanted to build such a mine near Lincoln, Mont. The initiative was rejected by a wider margin than the one approving the original ban; still, it will be challenged in court.