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Legislative History and Digest of S. 506


MINING LAW REFORM

BILL NO: S.506 (104th CONGRESS, 1st SESSION)

OFFICIAL TITLE: An act to amend the general mining laws to provide a reasonable royalty from mineral activities on Federal lands, to specify reclamation requirements for mineral activities on Federal lands, to create a State program for the reclamation of abandoned hard rock mining sites on Federal lands, and for other purposes

SPONSOR: Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID)

DATE INTRODUCED: 03-07-95

BRIEF TITLE: Mining Law Reform Act of 1995

COSPONSORS: 14 CURRENT COSPONSORS

As Introduced Murkowski, Reid, Bryan, Domenici, Burns, Thomas, Hatch, Bennett, Stevens, Kempthorne, Kyl, Pressler.
04-26-95 Simpson.
05-04-95 Lott.

COMMITTEE/SUBCOMMITTEE REFERRAL:
03-07-95 Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
03-08-95 Subcommittee on Forests and Public Land Management.

LEGISLATIVE ACTION: 03-07-95 Referred to Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
03-08-95 Referred to the Subcommittee on Forests and Public Land Management.
03-30-95 Subcommittee on Forests and Public Land Management. Hearings held.

RELATED LEGISLATION:
H.R.1580 (Young, R-AK)
S. 639 (Campbell, R-CO)
S. 504 (Bumpers, D-AR)

COMPLETE BILL TEXT:
The complete bill text is available on Thomas: The Library of Congress Web Site. In Thomas, click on Full Text of Legislation, then 104th Congress Bills, then Search by Bill Number, type in s 506 , hit RUN QUERY, and choose the most recent version.

BILL DIGEST...... March 7, 1995.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Title II: Disposition of Locatable Mineral Deposits
Title III: Surface Management of Mineral Activities
Title IV: Royalty
Title V: Abandoned Locatable Minerals Mine Reclamation Program
Title VI: Administrative Provisions

Mining Law Reform Act of 1995 - Declares that it is the purpose of this Act to: (1) promote mineral exploration and development; (2) ensure land reclamation; and (3) avoid claims of takings of property rights that could require compensation under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.

Title II (sic): Disposition of Locatable Mineral Deposits - Mandates: (1) an annual $100 maintenance fee, payable in advance, for each unpatented mining claim or site until a patent has been issued therefor; and (2) an initial maintenance fee of $100 for the assessment year which includes the date of location of such mining claim or site.

(Sec. 201) Sets forth claim maintenance and assessment work requirements. Confers the right of exclusive possession upon the owner of any unpatented mining claim or site in compliance with this Act.

Requires the owner of each unpatented mining claim or site to pay a location fee of $25 per claim at the time the notice or certificate of location is filed. Credits the annual claim maintenance fee payments for an unpatented mining claim or site against the requisite royalties.

Prescribes procedural guidelines for fee adjustments and disposition. Exempts from application of this section any oil shale claims subject to claim maintenance fees under the Energy Policy Act of 1992. Repeals the fee requirements of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993.

Amends the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) to: (1) repeal the filing requirements for mining claim recordation; and (2) declare that failure to file a timely notice or certificate of location shall constitute forfeiture of the mining claim and render the claim null and void.

(Sec. 202) Permits waiver of the maintenance fee upon written certification that the owner and all related persons own not more than 25 unpatented mining claims or sites.

(Sec. 203) Prohibits the Secretary of the Interior from denying residential occupancy, or requiring removal of equipment or facilities, if a notice of intent or plan of operations shows such occupancy to be reasonably required. Sets forth procedural guidelines for divestment and reverter of a patented estate that is used for unauthorized purposes.

Prescribes patent issuance guidelines. Amends the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1995 to repeal its proscription against the obligation of appropriated funds for processing patents for mining or mill site claims.

Title III: Surface Management of Mineral Activities - Declares that compliance with this title constitutes compliance with specified provisions of the FLPMA and any other law applicable to Federal lands subject to this title within the National Forest System. States that this Act is applicable only to mineral activities on those Federal lands where the surface estate is managed by the Bureau of Land Management or the U.S. Forest Service. Cites the Federal environmental protection statutes applicable to mining operations under this Act.

(Sec. 302) Prescribes procedural guidelines for: (1) authorization of mineral activities and plans of operations requirements (including a reclamation plan that complies with State requirements, and evidence of financial assurance); (2) cooperative agreements for joint administration between the Secretary and the requesting State; and (3) enforcement and administrative and judicial REVIEW.

Title IV: Royalty - Imposes a royalty of three percent of the net proceeds upon the production and sale of locatable minerals from any unpatented mining claim (and from certain patented claims). Waives the royalty for: (1) any mine with an annual gross yield of less than $500,000; and (2) minerals processed at a facility by the same person which extracted the minerals if a certain urban development action grant has been made. Prescribes royalty payment guidelines.

Title V: Abandoned Locatable Minerals Mine Reclamation Program - Requires any State which wishes to receive certain royalty proceeds to establish an interest-bearing abandoned locatable mineral mine reclamation fund.

(Sec. 501) Establishes the Abandoned Locatable Minerals Mine Reclamation Fund to consist of certain allocated royalty receipts in a State where a State Fund has not been established.

(Sec. 503) Identifies: (1) Federal lands and water eligible for reclamation under this Act; and (2) reclamation uses and objectives for moneys in a State Fund.

(Sec. 505) Requires each State with a State Fund to furnish an annual accounting report to the Congress.

Title VI: Administrative Provisions - Declares that this Act supersedes the general mining laws only to the extent that they conflict with the requirements of this Act. Sets forth the effect of this Act upon other Federal and State laws.

(Source: Library of Congress)


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Last updated July 8, 1996 by Heidi Mohlman, AGI Government Affairs Intern

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