Arizona's 'Zombie Mines' Are Waiting For The Next Boom

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 1:46pm
Updated: Wednesday, December 4, 2019 - 9:36am

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Parker mine site
Mariana Dale/KJZZ
A former copper mine near Parker.

The mining industry is boom and bust, but as the busts get longer and the booms come less often, mining companies across the country are leaving them idle.

They say they’re waiting for the next increase, but environmentalists say they’re hurting workers and avoiding costly cleanup for sometimes decades.

Center for Public Integrity reporter Mark Olalde found there are more than 150 coal mines like this around the country and several dozen uranium mines, including many in the Four Corners region in Arizona.

He calls them “zombie mines” and he joined The Show to talk about the issue.

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