Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Small miners decry mining law proposal

A major revision of the 1872 Mining Law will make mining so expensive that only the world’s largest companies will be able to continue, according to complaints coming from small and medium sized miners circulating online. But the large companies are also raising objections to the bill.

HR 699 makes three significant changes in the existing law. The provision to make new patented mining claims will be eliminated. A royalty of 8% will be imposed on all minerals extracted from any new mining claim and 4% on existing claims. And extensive application procedures will be added along with new environmental and reclamation procedures imposed.

Many in the mining industry have earlier expressed willingness to accept royalties on net proceeds, with revenues being used for abandoned mine reclamation, similar to the requirements on the coal industry.

[right, credit Asarco]

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