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Mining Companies Lose Challenge To Cyanide Ban

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Owners of mining leases in Montana lost their challenge in the 9th Circuit to a state law banning open-pit mining using cyanide heap-leach technology.

Lease owners brought a federal reverse-condemnation action against Gov. Brian Schweitzer and Richard Opper, director of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, claiming the 1998 initiative constituted a taking of their property without just compensation.

A three-judge panel affirmed dismissal of the takings claim on the basis that the 11th Amendment bars a federal reverse-condemnation action against state officers in their official capacity.

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