Summary: S.1102 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.1102. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (07/31/1997)


Title II (sic): Disposition of Locatable Mineral Deposits

Title III: Surface Management of Mineral Activities

Title IV: Royalty

Title V: Abandoned Locatable Minerals Mine Reclamation


Title VI: Mineral Materials

Title VII: Administrative Provisions

Mining Law Reform Act of 1997 - 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.

(Sec. 204) Prescribes general patent issuance guidelines. Retains a Federal right of reentry in lands patented under this Act. Delineates circumstances under which such right shall ripen. Declares this Act inapplicable to mining claims and sites contained within mineral patent applications pending as of September 30, 1997, or for which a vested possessory property right against the United States exists on the date of enactment of this Act.

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 five 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 person with annual net proceeds from such mineral production of less than $50,000; 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. Establishes civil penalties for nonpayment of royalties.

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: Mineral Materials - Amends Federal law to subject all mineral materials deposits to disposal under the terms of the Materials Act of 1947 (eliminating the concept of uncommon varieties).

(Sec. 602) Amends Federal law to state that lands known to contain valuable deposits of mineral materials, but not covered by any contract, permit, or lease, or by a valid mining claim, for uncommon varieties of mineral materials, are subject to disposition by lease by the Secretary. Cites as lease conditions: (1) a minimum royalty payment of two percent of the quantity or gross value of the mineral output; and (2) certain rental payments. Specifies such rental payments in the following order: (1) 25 cents per acre for the first calendar year; (2) 50 cents for the second, third, fourth, and fifth years, respectively; and (3) $1 per acre per annum thereafter for the life of the lease. Requires such rental to be credited against royalties accruing for the year.

Sets the lease term for 20 years and so long thereafter as the lessee complies with the lease terms. Conditions leases upon a minimum annual production, or payment of a minimum royalty in lieu thereof. Authorizes the Secretary to permit suspension of operations under such leases when marketing conditions do not permit leases to operate without a loss. Directs the Secretary to renew leases subject to the same tenure and conditions as provided for in this Act.

Authorizes the Secretary to grant prospecting permits with the exclusive right to prospect for mineral materials for a maximum two-year period on up to 2,560 acres of Federal land in reasonably compact form.

Entitles a permittee to lease the land described in such permit (subject to a minimum royalty of two percent of the quantity or gross value of the mineral material output at the point of shipment to market) upon showing that the permittee has discovered valuable mineral deposits subject to the Materials Act of 1947. Entitles holders of valid mining claims for uncommon varieties of mineral materials to receive a lease.

Amends Federal law regarding unpatented mining claims to assert the Federal right to manage and dispose of mineral material surface resources, or to sever, remove, or use them before issuance of a mining patent.

Authorizes the Secretary to negotiate a contract for the disposal of mineral materials, in lieu of disposing of them to the highest responsible qualified bidder after formal public notice, as required by current law.

Title VII: 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.