American Geological Institute

Government Affairs Program


Legislative History and Digest of S. 639


MINING LAW REFORM

BILL NO: S. 639 (104th CONGRESS, 1st SESSION)

OFFICIAL TITLE: An act to provide for the disposition of locatable minerals on Federal lands, and for other purposes

SPONSOR: Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO)

DATE INTRODUCED: 03-28-95

BRIEF TITLE: Locatable Mineral Mining Reform Act of 1995

COSPONSORS: 1 CURRENT COSPONSOR
As Introduced Sen. J. Bennett Johnston (D-LA).

COMMITTEE/SUBCOMMITTEE REFERRAL:

03-28-95 Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
03-29-95 Subcommittee on Forests and Public Land Management.

LEGISLATIVE ACTION:
03-28-95 Referred to Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
03-29-95 Referred to the Subcommittee on Forests and Public Land Management.

RELATED LEGISLATION:
H.R. 1580 (Young, R-AK)
S. 506 (Craig, R-ID)
S. 504 (Bumpers, D-AR)

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD PAGE REFERENCE:
03-28-95 S4717 Introductory information

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 639 , hit RUN QUERY, and choose the most recent version.

BILL DIGEST:

As Introduced - 03-38-95

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Title I: Disposition of Locatable Mineral Deposits
Title II: Mineral Activities
Title III: Royalties
Title IV: Abandoned Locatable Minerals Mine Reclamation Fund
Title V: Transition Rules
Title VI: Administrative Provisions

Locatable Mineral Mining Reform Act of 1995 - Title I: Disposition of Locatable Mineral Deposits - Permits a mining claim to be located, on land owned by the United States open to location, only in accordance with this Act and consistent general mining laws. Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) posting a notice of location; (2) use of public land surveys; (3) filing of such notice with the Secretary of the Interior; (4) location fees; (5) date of location; (6) lands and minerals included in claims; (7) mill sites; (8) claim conflicts; and (9) disposition of land encumbered by a prior mining claim located under general mining laws.

Specifies that, unless subsequently withdrawn, a mining claim may be located under this Act on Federal land if the land: (1) was open to the location of mining claims under the general mining laws on the day preceding this Act`s enactment date; or (2) is opened to the location of mining claims on or after such date by administrative action or by statute.

Sets forth provisions regarding annual claim maintenance fees, claim limitations, continuation of mining claims and mill sites, and mineral patents.

Title II: Mineral Activities - Prohibits a person from engaging in a mineral activity or claim location activity that: (1) causes a minimal disturbance to the environment without filing a notice of intention to operate with the Secretary; and (2) may cause more than a minimal disturbance to the environment unless the person obtains an exploration permit or a mining permit that authorizes the activity.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) procedures and requirements for permits for exploration activities and for mining permits; (2) financial assurances; (3) transfers, assignments, and sales of rights; (4) persons ineligible for permits (permit violators); (5) operations and reclamation standards and monitoring; (6) Federal and State roles; (7) annual inspections by the Secretary; (8) enforcement (including notices of noncompliance, civil actions, civil and criminal penalties, and liability of corporate officers and agents for violations by a corporation); (9) administrative review; and (10) judicial review.

Title III: Royalties - Subjects production of locatable minerals, including mineral concentrates and products derived from locatable minerals, to the payment of a royalty on the gross value of the first marketable product. Sets royalties on gold production and on mineral production other than gold.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) duties of claim holders, operators, and transporters; (2) recordkeeping and reporting requirements; (3) interest assessments; and (4) hearings and investigations.

Title IV: Abandoned Locatable Minerals Mine Reclamation Fund - Establishes in the U.S. Treasury the Abandoned Locatable Minerals Mine Reclamation Fund.

Permits amounts in the Fund to be used for the purpose of conducting reclamation of land and water resources adversely affected by past mineral activity. Sets priorities for making expenditures from the Fund. Directs the Secretary to ensure that reclamation activities under this title are consistent with applicable Federal law.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) eligible lands and waters; (2) fund expenditures; and (3) appropriations and spending authority.

Title V: Transition Rules - Sets forth rules with respect to new and preexisting claims.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) qualifications for fee simple patents; and (2) transition rules for surface management.

Title VI: Administrative Provisions - Sets forth provisions regarding the effect of this Act with respect to the general mining laws, water quantity laws, laws relating to surface management, other laws, agency responsibilities, and mineral activity.

Directs the Secretary, except as otherwise provided in this Act, to adjust all fees, penalties, and other dollar amounts established in this Act for changes in the purchasing power of the dollar every five years following this Act`s enactment date by an amount equal to the annual adjustment in the implicit price deflator for the Gross National Product established by the Secretary of Commerce.

Amends the Surface Resources Act of 1955 to: (1) include clay among the varieties of minerals not deemed to be valuable mineral deposits and make specified mineral deposits subject to disposal under the terms and conditions of the Materials Act of 1947; and (2) make mineral materials subject to the right of the United States for disposal and severance.

(Source: Library of Congress)


Please send any comments or requests for information to AGI Government Affairs Program govt@agiweb.org

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

American Geological Institute Home Page

Government Affairs Program Home Page