National Forest Legal News Blog


Revett Silver Company Mining Proposal Prompts Discussion of Mining Law Changes

Posted by nationalforestlawblog on April 16, 2009 at 8:37 PM

The New York Times has this article entitled, Reform of 1872 mining law won't save Western splendor.  It begins by discussing the Revett Silver Company's proposal to mine gold and silver in the Kootenai National Forest in Montana.  The project is controversial for obvious reasons.  Gold mining is a highly intensive and sometimes toxic endeavor and in this site is adjacent to an wilderness area.  Currently two environmental groups have filed suit challenging the approval process. However, the article's purpose is to discuss the pending reform of the 1872 Mining Hardrock Mining Law.  The congressional proposals differ but call for establishing royalty payments in exchange for permission to drill. 


Rahall's bill, introduced in January, would impose a royalty fee of 4 percent for existing hardrock mines and a higher 8 percent fee for newly permitted mine projects. An unspecified portion of the money generated by these royalties would be placed into a fund to help pay for abandoned mine cleanups.



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