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1872 Mining Law Under New Attack By H.R.5060

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H.R. 5060, "Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2014" ,

To modify the requirements applicable to locatable minerals on public domain

lands, consistent with the principles of self-initiation of mining claims,

and for other purposes.

This bill was introduced 07/10/2014 to repeal and replace the 1892 Mining Law. It has been sent to committee. The bill, if passed into law, will change mining as we now know it. This would be a good time to call, write or email your representatives to voice your opinions. Here is a link to contact your representative:

http://www.usa.gov/Contact/US-Congress.shtml

I recommend obtaining the contact info from the site and writing your own letter or email to your reps; Phone calls are good too. Just keep it polite and make your point(s) clear and concise.

The is the letter that the organizations SUPPORTING this bill (and probably wrote it) are sending to OUR representatives:

Earthworks

wLeague of Conservation VoterswNatural Resources Defense CouncilwSierra

Club

wWestern Organization of Resource CouncilswThe Wilderness Society

June 18th, 2014

Dear Member of Congress,

On behalf of our millions of members from across the country, the undersigned organizations

endorse the “Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2014,” a bill that would correct the

environmental and taxpayer inequities promoted by the outdated 1872 Mining Law.

Although it is now 142 years old, the 1872 Mining Law still governs mining for precious minerals

such as gold and copper on public lands. Signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant and

designed to facilitate the settlement of the western United States, the 1872 Mining Law allows

mining companies, many of which are foreign corporations, to stake claims on public land and take

whatever minerals they find without royalties to the U.S. citizens that own these resources.

The legacy of the 1872 Mining Law is pervasive, threatening the well being of our western

communities, and the scarce drinking water upon which they depend. For example, according to

the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, hardrock mining has polluted 40 percent of the stream

reaches of the West’s headwaters. Hardrock mining releases arsenic, mercury and lead into our

communities’ air and waters. In fact, the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory has consistently shown

that the hardrock industry releases more toxic chemicals into our air, land and water than any other

industry in the U.S. Hundreds of thousands of hazardous abandoned mines around the country

persist – which will cost U.S. taxpayers tens of billions of dollars to clean up.

Not only does the 1872 Mining Law imperil drinking water supplies in the drought-ridden west, its

cost to taxpayers is enormous. Since 1872, hardrock mining companies have taken more than $300

billion worth of minerals from public land, without paying a dime in royalties to taxpayers. It is the

only extractive industry in the nation to receive such preferential treatment. The 1872 Mining Law

also allows mining companies to buy, or “patent” public lands for $2.50 to $5.00 an acre, though

there is a temporary moratorium on this practice. This price in no way reflects the fair market value

of either the land surface or underlying mineral wealth. Furthermore, patenting enables mining

companies to remove land from the public trust, which undermines the principle of multiple use that

should apply to federal lands.

The 1872 Mining Law places the interests of mining corporations above those of average U.S.

citizens. Over the years, mining has threatened Grand Canyon National Park, Yellowstone National

Park and many other special places, but because of the 1872 Mining Law, land managers have been

unable to deny these mine proposals. Even when a mine threatens sacred sites, important

watersheds or sensitive habitat, the 1872 Mining Law trumps all of those other important values.

We wish to make it clear that we are not opposed to all mines on public lands. Instead, we object to

an outdated law that lacks any measures to protect water or other natural resources, ignores cleanup

requirements, fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers and treats mining as the “highest and best

use” of public lands.

The Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2014 would resolve the drinking water pollution, fish

and wildlife habitat degradation, and taxpayer inequities mentioned above. Specifically, the bill

would:

Protect water resources and habitats by establishing strong environmental and cleanup

standards specific to mining;

Provide a fair return to taxpayers, by providing for a reasonable 8% royalty on the value of

the precious minerals mining companies take from public lands for new mines, 4% for

current operations;

Defend local communities and special places from irresponsible mining, by giving land

managers the ability to balance mining with other uses of the public’s lands;

Abolish the giveaway of public lands to private mining interests; and

Create an Abandoned Mine Land Fund to address the long-standing hazards of abandoned

mines to drinking water, fish and wildlife habitat, and the well being of local communities,

requiring the industry to pay a reclamation fee while giving “Good Samaritans” limited

liability relief when they participate in clean up efforts.

The strong public participation, agency oversight and enforcement provisions of the Hardrock

Mining and Reclamation Act of 2014 will translate into real improvements on the ground. This bill

will ensure that any mining on public lands takes place in a manner that protects crucial drinking

water supplies and other natural resources, special places, taxpayers, fish and wildlife habitat, and

the health and well being of our communities. The Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2014

will also create jobs thousands of jobs for communities across the United States by funding muchneeded

abanoned mine restoration projects.

We strongly urge you join as a co-sponsor of this important legislation. It is well past time that

Congress replaces this archaic law with one that protects western communities and resources, while

also maintaining a healthy, responsible mining industry.

Sincerely,

Lauren Pagel

Policy Director

Earthworks

Alex Taurel

Deputy Legislative Director

League of Conservation Voters

Sharon Buccino

Director, Land and Wildlife Program

Natural Resources Defense Council

Athan Manuel

Director, Lands Protection Program

Sierra Club

Richard Parks

Hard Rock Campaign Team Chair

Western Organization of Resource Councils

Chase Huntley

Renewable Energy Director

The Wilderness Society

The support for this bill is huge among enviromental organizations and their members. The small miners community is in danger of extinction if this bill passes IMO. Take the time to contact your representatives. Do not think someone else with take care of this issue. Talk to the people within your sphere of influence and ask their support and participation to defeat this bill.

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Gotta love the libtards… they always leave loopholes big enough to drive a truck through. I especially love the "Good Samaritan" clause in this bill. Talk about having free reign on government property with no liability issues whatsoever… it's a miners dream come true! What's really cool is a guy can even get free grant money to go in and mine err I mean "clean up" any old abandoned mines or tailings piles. :thumbsupanim

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Letter sent to my Congressman

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Thank you sir!

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How do they get around the original laws statement that says it cannot be overruled or changed by anyone including congress forever? I guess we finally arrrived at forever?

This whole bill seem ridlled with in accuracies. Don't they have to prove what they claim is true to begin with? Or do we just wish for a bill and make up what ever facts we want to make it sell better?

Those numbers seem WAY out of proportion. plus they claim the little guy has been pushed out. if that is true why are we little guys fighting to keep our protections so hard?

The whole thing stinks IMHO.

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Just trying to undersand this. This act does not seem to address the placer mining which all of us here do. It certainly changes hard rock mining which 80% of the gold comes from, but not what most of us are after. here's only a couple of repealed laws, and the Mning Act of 1872 is not listed in those laws.

These two laws are repealed:

"Building Stone Act, is hereby repealed."

"Saline Placer Act, is hereby repealed."

But as I read this, the placer portion of making a claim would remain unchanged:

VerDate Mar 15 2010 02:34 Jul 16, 2014 Jkt 039200 PO 00000 Frm 00105 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6201 E:\BILLS\H5060.IH H5060

"EFFECT ON OTHER FEDERAL LAWS.—The provisions of this Act shall supersede the general mining laws except for those parts of the general mining laws respecting location of mining claims that are not expressly modified by this Act. Except for the general mining laws, nothing in this Act shall be construed as superseding, modifying, amending, or repealing any provision of Federal law not expressly superseded, modified, amended, or repealedby this Act."

jbell on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with BILLS

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This kinda explains everything. "http://www.earthworksaction.org/about/staff"

Seem those new NON POLLUTING electric vehicles are going to be a god send. I wonder if she even cares about the fact that electric cars simply move the exhaust stack to some other location other than where the car is located?

TOTAL TREE HUGGER whacko.

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Chris, The Savings Clause is where it is stated the General Mining Laws are replaced by this bill. The General Mining Law is the 1872 Mining Law. The language is very ambiguous, but that is the way I read it. Also, this bill changes the definitions of several key terms/words. They talk about hardrock mining in one breath and then cite open pit mines as examples. The authors and researchers of this bill obviously did a poor job and relied on misinformation from the environmental organizations. Since when has mining ever been the highest and best use of public domain land? This is a bad shotgun attempt to change the mining law IMO.

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This is a bad shotgun attempt to change the mining law IMO.

Exactly... which is why it will die along with all the others. If you do your research, you'd find that at least once a year a similar bill is introduced. This particular bill you're referencing just happens to be a cumulation of at least 4 previous dead bills. I guess the libtards figure if they keep stacking their sh*t high enough, maybe somebody will eventually pay them some attention. :grr01:

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Not only no but hell no-letter going out today as once the sacred cow(1872 Mining Laws) are touched the end is near COMPLETELY- To quote the BLM Geologist in a open meeting in May concerning stealing the last claims on the Trinity River."Miners have too many dam rights and must be eliminated so we can procede with our plan" end quote...sic sic sic :2mo5pow: John

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azblackbird is right that this bill or a similiar one is introduced every budget year. This isn't any more likely to pass than the previous ones. It's just a way for all those greenie non profits to get more donations from their followers.

The General Mining Law is the 1872 Mining Law.

The "General Mining Law" is actually the 1872, 1870, 1866 and 1865 Acts. The 1872 Act refers to the previous acts, repeals portions of them and incorporates the rest by reference. The 1872 Act does not state the entire mining law.

Since when has mining ever been the highest and best use of public domain land?


The Mining Acts themselves reserve from location land better suited for agriculture. The FLPMA references multiple use. There are many more Acts that give priority to the best use of the public lands. This is not a new concept to mining it's just being exploited in a non traditional way in this proposed bill.

This bill was obviously written by people that don't have a clue about mining history, mining law or the value of mining to their own lives. In other words greenie lawyers feeding off the non profit teat. I wish they would all go swim with the Orcas, killer whales are one of the few animals on earth that will eat greenie lawyers. :thumbsupanim

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How will this Law stop Mining on lands not open to mining in the first place?

"The 1872 Mining Law places the interests of mining corporations above those of average U.S.

citizens. Over the years, mining has threatened Grand Canyon National Park, Yellowstone National

Park and many other special places, but because of the 1872 Mining Law, land managers have been

unable to deny these mine proposals. Even when a mine threatens sacred sites, important

watersheds or sensitive habitat, the 1872 Mining Law trumps all of those other important values.

We wish to make it clear that we are not opposed to all mines on public lands. Instead, we object to

an outdated law that lacks any measures to protect water or other natural resources, ignores cleanup

requirements, fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers and treats mining as the “highest and best

use” of public lands."

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Thank you Barry for clearing up those issues.

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OK even though this may be a rehash that is presented every year in Congress is it not wise for the small scale mining community to make their objections known to our representatives every time this issue or any other negative mining legislation comes up?

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OK even though this may be a rehash that is presented every year in Congress is it not wise for the small scale mining community to make their objections known to our representatives every time this issue or any other negative mining legislation comes up?

My Rep (Trent Franks) knows exactly where I stand on mining and environmental issues. He's in total agreement with my views, so no use in constantly harping on him. For you guys that are represented by libtards… good luck in swaying them to your side. Their feeble little peanut sized brains won't allow them to think rationally. They still think milk comes from the store, electricity comes from an outlet, and gas comes from a pump. :grr01:

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And thank you for your support and words of encouragement. Very helpful. Good that you are wired into Mr. Franks so tightly. Not everyone enjoys that relationship with their rep or even knows their rep's name. Do you not suppose the opposition is "harping" on him all the time? FMTT

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Do you not suppose the opposition is "harping" on him all the time?

I'm sure he gets his share of liberal whack jobs e-mailing him from their silicon laden aluminum cased laptop computers, (all the while sipping on their mocha lattes) telling him how bad mining and oil drilling are for the environment. Never mind that they're too darn stupid to realize that mining and oil drilling are the byproducts of what is allowing them to vent their frustrations from the comfort of a Starbucks lounge chair. :rolleyes:

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Again! How would this law stop mining were the lands are not open?

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I agree with Clay,and AZblackbird,This bill in various forms has come up many times,in the past.

Usually it is just a different sponser,but basically the same old pack of lies,and hype.

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By agreeing with Clay and AZblackbird,I am not trying to take anything away from SLNugget's

post. It is a good thing to be reminded ,of a potential threat,and with the current political group

in charge,anything is possible. The law or constitution,hasn't been followed for anything else,

and dipstick still has his pen and phone! So it is still a good idea to watch this circus,and raise hell,

with your politicians too. Some of them tend to nod off,and have short memories,and attention spans. :D

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I hope the "change" people voted for in the last 2 Presidential elections is not a sign of things to come but as sawmill pointed out, anything is possible. Here is a quote from a friend of mine who is no longer with us. (RIP John Edstrom)

"No sooner had the dust settled from the last election, than we began to hear noises about how the new ruling majority would introduce fresh controls and restrictions into our lives in order to improve them for our own good. (It is always wise to remember, when things look bad, that they can get worse.)"

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Howdy All--- I'm sorta confused (LOL) but I know that over the years 43-CFR-3009 (1999) was the latest and interpretation of the

original so called "187x mining laws...

I believe(?) copies of the 43-CFR-3009... or later revisions can be obtained through the United States Department of

the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Nevada State Office, P.O Box 12000, Reno Nevada 89520-0006.

However I'm pretty sure that the above 43 is dated and more restrictions have been added... I an willing to bet a zinc penny

any latest revisions would now, if printed would fill a large book shelf.... In the 1999 edition the list of 'critters' was over 13 pages

long (and included as two examples) the New Mexican ridge-nosed rattlesnake and even the Mojave Desert sidewinder.

SLNugget... Good ta' see ya' are kick'n tailgate

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