The Latest: Firm blasts US curbs on mining near Yellowstone

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Latest on the Interior Secretary's announcement on mining claims outside Yellowstone (all times local):

1:10 p.m.

A representative of a company seeking to mine for gold near Yellowstone National Park says a halt on new mining claims in the area appears designed to sink the project.

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Monday announced a two-year ban on new mining claims across more than 30,000 acres of public land north of the park.

Jewell said the move does not directly impact two mining projects under consideration on private land.

Shaun Dykes with the company Lucky Minerals says the government action could prompt potential investors to take their money elsewhere.

Dykes says the mineral reserves target by his company near Emigrant, Montana, hold up to 10 million ounces of gold and mining could be a boon to the region's economy

___

12:41 p.m.

U.S. officials are blocking new mining claims outside Yellowstone National Park as the Obama administration races in its last days to keep industry out of natural areas.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced during the Monday visit to Montana that mining claims on 30,000 acres will be prohibited for two years while a long-term ban is considered.

Two gold exploration projects are proposed in the Yellowstone area. Monday's action does not explicitly block those projects, but Jewel says it could make large-scale mining more difficult.

Montana U.S. Sen. Jon Tester says he plans to introduce legislation during the next Congress to make permanent the prohibition on new mining claims.

Interior officials last week blocked new oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean and cancelled 25 oil and gas leases in western Colorado and 15 in northwestern Montana.

___

12:14 a.m.

U.S. officials are blocking new mining claims outside Yellowstone National Park as the Obama administration races in its last days to keep industry out of natural areas.

If you liked this article you might like

What's Behind the Surge in Energy Stocks

Hillary Clinton Says Prosecuting Individuals is Key to Wall Street Reform