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Small miners wavers to be eliminated by BLM


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The BLM has proposed eliminating the SMALL MINER'S WAIVER for those of us who own ten (10) or fewer mining claims. This could be extremely costly and we are the only ones who can stop this. Here is the wording that I have cut-n-pasted from the BLM's information: "The proposal also increases the annual maintenance fees under the General Mining Law of 1872 and eliminates the fee exemption for miners holding ten or fewer mining claims." So, what we need to do is contact our members of congress and specifically ask that this be removed from the BLM budget. Get everyone you know who wants to save the small mining community to do the same. Explain why you are doing so. Write original letters, send them to your representative's district offices AND to their offices in DC. Call them if you can. This has to be stopped and only we can do it. The more it costs to hang onto our legitimate claims the less they are worth. While most of us cannot operate our claims full time, we should be able to keep them without paying more and more in fees. The small miner's waiver was created to protect the "little guy" and now the BLM is trying to get rid of it so we must protect ourselves and our most powerful weapon is the written and spoken word - directly to our elected officials. PM me for more if I can help in any way.
Here is a link to the BLM budget https://www.doi.gov/…/appr…/2016/highlights/upload/BH007.pdf

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From page BH-12 of the file that nvchris attached the link to:

"The second legislative proposal institutes a leasing process under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 for certain minerals—gold, silver, lead, zinc, copper, uranium, and molybdenum—currently covered by the General Mining Law of 1872. After enactment, mining for these metals on Federal lands will be governed by the new leasing process and subject to annual rental payments and a royalty of not less than five percent of gross proceeds. Half of the receipts will be distributed to the States in which the leases are located and the remaining half will be deposited in the Treasury. Existing mining claims will be exempt from the change to a leasing system. The proposal also increases the annual maintenance fees under the General Mining Law of 1872 and eliminates the fee exemption for miners holding ten or fewer mining claims. These changes will discourage speculators from holding claims that they do not intend to develop. Holders of existing mining claims for these minerals could voluntarily convert their claims to leases. The Office of Natural Resources Revenue will collect, account for, and disburse the hardrock royalty receipts."

Questions that immediately come to mind:

1. Lease? At what cost,and what criteria is to be used to determine what the lease amount would be?

2. Royalty? "...a royalty of not less than five percent of gross proceeds." Why isn't a maximum amount stated? Who determines how much? What criteria is used?

3. Increase of annual maintenance fees to what? Determined by whom, and on what basis?

4. Elimination of fee exemption for holders of 10 or fewer claims? That this will discourage speculators is only is only speculation in and of itself, and nothing more.

We need to write to our representatives and urge them to oppose these changes, especially the elimination of the fee exemption for holders of 10 or fewer claims.

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