A long-established truce between the city of Santa Clarita and mining company Cemex over a proposed aggregate (aka sand and gravel) mining operation in Soledad Canyon has expired, meaning Cemex could start mining away soon, according to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal. The truce had been in place since 2007, when Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon and Cemex agreed to pursue federal legislation that would have swapped land near Victorville for the Soledad Mine contracts (the Bureau of Land Management and Cemex have a contract allowing the mining company to remove 56 million tons of sand and gravel from the mine over 20 years). Although both the city of Santa Clarita and Cemex supported the land swap, Congress failed to approve the legislation before this week's deadline, clearing the way for Cemex to again pursue its Soledad Canyon mining plans. Cemex isn't actually fetching its shovels from storage just yet, however. Spokesperson Sara Engdahl told the Signal that the company will proceed cautiously: "At this point, the company is taking some time to look at all our options."
· Cemex Deadline Expires [Santa Clarita Valley Signal]