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Brownfield (Mining and Oil Industries)

In the mining and oil and gas industries, "brownfield" is an existing mine or well that is currently producing.

More commonly, "brownfield" is an abandoned, and often polluted, industrial site in a city. This "brownfield" is producing nothing and is a liability for its neighborhood and city.

How It's Used

“Making the supply even tighter, the rising price of energy has spurred an increase in independent start-ups that use more expensive new technologies to extract the remaining oil and gas from older fields. Some of these companies can offer sizable equity stakes as part of their pay packages.

Cano Petroleum Inc., a Fort Worth, Texas, company founded last year to produce oil from these so-called brownfields, has hired 25 employees in the last 12 months and may add a few more by 2006, says Chief Executive Jeff Johnson.”

—Perri Capell, “Energy Industry Seeks Experience,” The Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2005, p. B8.

“Chamber of Mines Chief Economist Roger Baxter said gold companies also will consider 'brownfield' projects—the expansion of existing operations—if the rand price of gold stays at or exceeds current levels of about 115,000 rand, or about $18,780, a kilogram (32.15 troy ounces).”

—Angus MacMillan, “South African Gold Production Might Stabilize as Prices Surge,” The Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2006, p. B5.

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