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110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    110-412

======================================================================



 
              HARDROCK MINING AND RECLAMATION ACT OF 2007

                                _______
                                

October 29, 2007.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Rahall, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 2262]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 2262) to modify the requirements applicable to 
locatable minerals on public domain lands, consistent with the 
principles of self-initiation of mining claims, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do 
pass.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Hardrock Mining and 
Reclamation Act of 2007''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Definitions and references.
Sec. 3. Application rules.

              TITLE I--MINERAL EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT

Sec. 101. Limitation on patents.
Sec. 102. Royalty.
Sec. 103. Hardrock mining claim maintenance fee.
Sec. 104. Effect of payments for use and occupancy of claims.

                 TITLE II--PROTECTION OF SPECIAL PLACES

Sec. 201. Lands open to location.
Sec. 202. Withdrawal petitions by States, political subdivisions, and 
Indian tribes.

  TITLE III--ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS OF MINERAL EXPLORATION AND 
                              DEVELOPMENT

Sec. 301. General standard for hardrock mining on Federal land.
Sec. 302. Permits.
Sec. 303. Exploration permit.
Sec. 304. Operations permit.
Sec. 305. Persons ineligible for permits.
Sec. 306. Financial assurance.
Sec. 307. Operation and reclamation.
Sec. 308. State law and regulation.
Sec. 309. Limitation on the issuance of permits.

                      TITLE IV--MINING MITIGATION

                  Subtitle A--Locatable Minerals Fund

Sec. 401. Establishment of Fund.
Sec. 402. Contents of Fund.
Sec. 403. Subaccounts.

            Subtitle B--Use of Hardrock Reclamation Account

Sec. 411. Use and objectives of the Account.
Sec. 412. Eligible lands and waters.
Sec. 413. Expenditures.
Sec. 414. Authorization of appropriations.

    Subtitle C--Use of Hardrock Community Impact Assistance Account

Sec. 421. Use and objectives of the Account.
Sec. 422. Allocation of funds.

          TITLE V--ADMINISTRATIVE AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

                 Subtitle A--Administrative Provisions

Sec. 501. Policy functions.
Sec. 502. User fees.
Sec. 503. Inspection and monitoring.
Sec. 504. Citizens suits.
Sec. 505. Administrative and judicial review.
Sec. 506. Enforcement.
Sec. 507. Regulations.
Sec. 508. Effective date.

                  Subtitle B--Miscellaneous Provisions

Sec. 511. Oil shale claims subject to special rules.
Sec. 512. Purchasing power adjustment.
Sec. 513. Savings clause.
Sec. 514. Availability of public records.
Sec. 515. Miscellaneous powers.
Sec. 516. Multiple mineral development and surface resources.
Sec. 517. Mineral materials.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS AND REFERENCES.

  (a) In General.--As used in this Act:
          (1) The term ``affiliate'' means with respect to any person, 
        any of the following:
                  (A) Any person who controls, is controlled by, or is 
                under common control with such person.
                  (B) Any partner of such person.
                  (C) Any person owning at least 10 percent of the 
                voting shares of such person.
          (2) The term ``applicant'' means any person applying for a 
        permit under this Act or a modification to or a renewal of a 
        permit under this Act.
          (3) The term ``beneficiation'' means the crushing and 
        grinding of locatable mineral ore and such processes as are 
        employed to free the mineral from other constituents, including 
        but not necessarily limited to, physical and chemical 
        separation techniques.
          (4) The term ``casual use''--
                  (A) subject to subparagraphs (B) and (C), means 
                mineral activities that do not ordinarily result in any 
                disturbance of public lands and resources;
                  (B) includes collection of geochemical, rock, soil, 
                or mineral specimens using handtools, hand panning, or 
                nonmotorized sluicing; and
                  (C) does not include--
                          (i) the use of mechanized earth-moving 
                        equipment, suction dredging, or explosives;
                          (ii) the use of motor vehicles in areas 
                        closed to off-road vehicles;
                          (iii) the construction of roads or drill 
                        pads; and
                          (iv) the use of toxic or hazardous materials.
          (5) The term ``claim holder'' means a person holding a mining 
        claim, millsite claim, or tunnel site claim located under the 
        general mining laws and maintained in compliance with such laws 
        and this Act. Such term may include an agent of a claim holder.
          (6) The term ``control'' means having the ability, directly 
        or indirectly, to determine (without regard to whether 
        exercised through one or more corporate structures) the manner 
        in which an entity conducts mineral activities, through any 
        means, including without limitation, ownership interest, 
        authority to commit the entity's real or financial assets, 
        position as a director, officer, or partner of the entity, or 
        contractual arrangement.
          (7) The term ``exploration''--
                  (A) subject to subparagraphs (B) and (C), means 
                creating surface disturbance other than casual use, to 
                evaluate the type, extent, quantity, or quality of 
                minerals present;
                  (B) includes mineral activities associated with 
                sampling, drilling, and analyzing locatable mineral 
                values; and
                  (C) does not include extraction of mineral material 
                for commercial use or sale.
          (8) The term ``Federal land'' means any land, and any 
        interest in land, that is owned by the United States and open 
        to location of mining claims under the general mining laws and 
        title II of this Act.
          (9) The term ``Indian lands'' means lands held in trust for 
        the benefit of an Indian tribe or individual or held by an 
        Indian tribe or individual subject to a restriction by the 
        United States against alienation.
          (10) The term ``Indian tribe'' means any Indian tribe, band, 
        nation, pueblo, or other organized group or community, 
        including any Alaska Native village or regional corporation as 
        defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims 
        Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 and following), that is 
        recognized as eligible for the special programs and services 
        provided by the United States to Indians because of their 
        status as Indians.
          (11) The term ``locatable mineral''--
                  (A) subject to subparagraph (B), means any mineral, 
                the legal and beneficial title to which remains in the 
                United States and that is not subject to disposition 
                under any of--
                          (i) the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 181 
                        and following);
                          (ii) the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970 (30 
                        U.S.C. 1001 and following);
                          (iii) the Act of July 31, 1947, commonly 
                        known as the Materials Act of 1947 (30 U.S.C. 
                        601 and following); or
                          (iv) the Mineral Leasing for Acquired Lands 
                        Act (30 U.S.C. 351 and following); and
                  (B) does not include any mineral that is subject to a 
                restriction against alienation imposed by the United 
                States and is--
                          (i) held in trust by the United States for 
                        any Indian or Indian tribe, as defined in 
                        section 2 of the Indian Mineral Development Act 
                        of 1982 (25 U.S.C. 2101); or
                          (ii) owned by any Indian or Indian tribe, as 
                        defined in that section.
          (12) The term ``mineral activities'' means any activity on a 
        mining claim, millsite claim, or tunnel site claim for, related 
        to, or incidental to, mineral exploration, mining, 
        beneficiation, processing, or reclamation activities for any 
        locatable mineral.
          (13) The term ``National Conservation System unit'' means any 
        unit of the National Park System, National Wildlife Refuge 
        System, National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, or National 
        Trails System, or a National Conservation Area, a National 
        Recreation Area, a National Monument, or any unit of the 
        National Wilderness Preservation System.
          (14) The term ``operator'' means any person proposing or 
        authorized by a permit issued under this Act to conduct mineral 
        activities and any agent of such person.
          (15) The term ``person'' means an individual, Indian tribe, 
        partnership, association, society, joint venture, joint stock 
        company, firm, company, corporation, cooperative, or other 
        organization and any instrumentality of State or local 
        government including any publicly owned utility or publicly 
        owned corporation of State or local government.
          (16) The term ``processing'' means processes downstream of 
        beneficiation employed to prepare locatable mineral ore into 
        the final marketable product, including but not limited to 
        smelting and electrolytic refining.
          (17) The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of the 
        Interior, unless otherwise specified.
          (18) The term ``temporary cessation'' means a halt in mine-
        related production activities for a continuous period of no 
        longer than 5 years.
          (19) The term ``undue degradation'' means irreparable harm to 
        significant scientific, cultural, or environmental resources on 
        public lands that cannot be effectively mitigated.
  (b) Title II.--
          (1) Valid existing rights.--As used in title II, the term 
        ``valid existing rights'' means a mining claim or millsite 
        claim located on lands described in section 201(b), that--
                  (A) was properly located and maintained under this 
                Act prior to and on the applicable date; or
                  (B)(i) was properly located and maintained under the 
                general mining laws prior to the applicable date;
                  (ii) was supported by a discovery of a valuable 
                mineral deposit within the meaning of the general 
                mining laws on the applicable date, or satisfied the 
                limitations under existing law for millsite claims; and
                  (iii) continues to be valid under this Act.
          (2) Applicable date.--As used in paragraph (1), the term 
        ``applicable date'' means one of the following:
                  (A) For lands described in paragraph (1) of section 
                201(b), the date of the recommendation referred to in 
                paragraph (1) of that section if such recommendation is 
                made on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.
                  (B) For lands described in paragraph (1) of section 
                201(b), if the recommendation referred to in paragraph 
                (1) of that section is made before the date of the 
                enactment of this Act, the earlier of--
                          (i) the date of the enactment of this Act; or
                          (ii) the date of any withdrawal of such lands 
                        from mineral activities.
                  (C) For lands described in paragraph (3)(B) of 
                section 201(b), the date of the enactment of this Act.
                  (D) For lands described in paragraph (3)(A) or (3)(C) 
                of section 201(b), the date of the enactment of the 
                amendment to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 
                1271 and following) listing the river segment for 
                study.
                  (E) For lands described in paragraph (3)(B) of 
                section 201(b), the date of the determination of 
                eligibility of such lands for inclusion in the Wild and 
                Scenic River System.
                  (F) For lands described in paragraph (4) of section 
                201(b), the date of the withdrawal under other law.
  (c) References to Other Laws.--(1) Any reference in this Act to the 
term general mining laws is a reference to those Acts that generally 
comprise chapters 2, 12A, and 16, and sections 161 and 162, of title 
30, United States Code.
  (2) Any reference in this Act to the Act of July 23, 1955, is a 
reference to the Act entitled ``An Act to amend the Act of July 31, 
1947 (61 Stat. 681) and the mining laws to provide for multiple use of 
the surface of the same tracts of the public lands, and for other 
purposes'' (30 U.S.C. 601 and following).

SEC. 3. APPLICATION RULES.

  (a) In General.--This Act applies to any mining claim, millsite 
claim, or tunnel site claim located under the general mining laws, 
before, on, or after the date of enactment of this Act, except as 
provided in subsection (b).
  (b) Preexisting Claims.--(1) Any unpatented mining claim or millsite 
claim located under the general mining laws before the date of 
enactment of this Act for which a plan of operation has not been 
approved or a notice filed prior to the date of enactment shall, upon 
the effective date of this Act, be subject to the requirements of this 
Act, except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3).
  (2)(A) If a plan of operations is approved for mineral activities on 
any claim or site referred to in paragraph (1) prior to the date of 
enactment of this Act but such operations have not commenced prior to 
the date of enactment of this Act--
          (i) during the 10-year period beginning on the date of 
        enactment of this Act, mineral activities at such claim or site 
        shall be subject to such plan of operations;
          (ii) during such 10-year period, modifications of any such 
        plan may be made in accordance with the provisions of law 
        applicable prior to the enactment of this Act if such 
        modifications are deemed minor by the Secretary concerned; and
          (iii) the operator shall bring such mineral activities into 
        compliance with this Act by the end of such 10-year period.
  (B) Where an application for modification of a plan of operations 
referred to in subparagraph (A)(ii) has been timely submitted and an 
approved plan expires prior to Secretarial action on the application, 
mineral activities and reclamation may continue in accordance with the 
terms of the expired plan until the Secretary makes an administrative 
decision on the application.
  (c) Federal Lands Subject to Existing Permit.--(1) Any Federal land 
shall not be subject to the requirements of section 102 if the land 
is--
          (A) subject to an operations permit; and
          (B) producing valuable locatable minerals in commercial 
        quantities prior to the date of enactment of this Act.
  (2) Any Federal land added through a plan modification to an 
operations permit on Federal land that is submitted after the date of 
enactment of this Act shall be subject to the terms of section 102.
  (d) Application of Act to Beneficiation and Processing of Non-Federal 
Minerals on Federal Lands.--The provisions of this Act (including the 
environmental protection requirements of title III) shall apply in the 
same manner and to the same extent to mining claims, millsite claims, 
and tunnel site claims used for beneficiation or processing activities 
for any mineral without regard to whether or not the legal and 
beneficial title to the mineral is held by the United States. This 
subsection applies only to minerals that are locatable minerals or 
minerals that would be locatable minerals if the legal and beneficial 
title to such minerals were held by the United States.

              TITLE I--MINERAL EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT

SEC. 101. LIMITATION ON PATENTS.

  (a) Mining Claims.--
          (1) Determinations required.--After the date of enactment of 
        this Act, no patent shall be issued by the United States for 
        any mining claim located under the general mining laws unless 
        the Secretary determines that, for the claim concerned--
                  (A) a patent application was filed with the Secretary 
                on or before September 30, 1994; and
                  (B) all requirements established under sections 2325 
                and 2326 of the Revised Statutes (30 U.S.C. 29 and 30) 
                for vein or lode claims and sections 2329, 2330, 2331, 
                and 2333 of the Revised Statutes (30 U.S.C. 35, 36, and 
                37) for placer claims were fully complied with by that 
                date.
          (2) Right to patent.--If the Secretary makes the 
        determinations referred to in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of 
        paragraph (1) for any mining claim, the holder of the claim 
        shall be entitled to the issuance of a patent in the same 
        manner and degree to which such claim holder would have been 
        entitled to prior to the enactment of this Act, unless and 
        until such determinations are withdrawn or invalidated by the 
        Secretary or by a court of the United States.
  (b) Millsite Claims.--
          (1) Determinations required.--After the date of enactment of 
        this Act, no patent shall be issued by the United States for 
        any millsite claim located under the general mining laws unless 
        the Secretary determines that for the millsite concerned--
                  (A) a patent application for such land was filed with 
                the Secretary on or before September 30, 1994; and
                  (B) all requirements applicable to such patent 
                application were fully complied with by that date.
          (2) Right to patent.--If the Secretary makes the 
        determinations referred to in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of 
        paragraph (1) for any millsite claim, the holder of the claim 
        shall be entitled to the issuance of a patent in the same 
        manner and degree to which such claim holder would have been 
        entitled to prior to the enactment of this Act, unless and 
        until such determinations are withdrawn or invalidated by the 
        Secretary or by a court of the United States.

SEC. 102. ROYALTY.

  (a) Reservation of Royalty.--
          (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2) and 
        subject to paragraph (3), production of all locatable minerals 
        from any mining claim located under the general mining laws and 
        maintained in compliance with this Act, or mineral concentrates 
        or products derived from locatable minerals from any such 
        mining claim, as the case may be, shall be subject to a royalty 
        of 8 percent of the gross income from mining. The claim holder 
        or any operator to whom the claim holder has assigned the 
        obligation to make royalty payments under the claim and any 
        person who controls such claim holder or operator shall be 
        liable for payment of such royalties.
          (2) Royalty for federal lands subject to existing permit.--
        The royalty under paragraph (1) shall be 4 percent in the case 
        of any Federal land that--
                  (A) is subject to an operations permit on the date of 
                the enactment of this Act; and
                  (B) produces valuable locatable minerals in 
                commercial quantities on the date of enactment of this 
                Act.
          (3) Federal land added to existing operations permit.--Any 
        Federal land added through a plan modification to an operations 
        permit on Federal land that is submitted after the date of 
        enactment of this Act shall be subject to the royalty that 
        applies to other Federal land that is subject to the operations 
        permit before that submission under paragraph (1) or (2), as 
        applicable.
          (4) Other application provision not effective.--Section 3(c) 
        of this Act shall have no force or effect.
          (5) Deposit.--Amounts received by the United States as 
        royalties under this subsection shall be deposited into the 
        account established under section 401.
  (b) Duties of Claim Holders, Operators, and Transporters.--(1) A 
person--
          (A) who is required to make any royalty payment under this 
        section shall make such payments to the United States at such 
        times and in such manner as the Secretary may by rule 
        prescribe; and
          (B) shall notify the Secretary, in the time and manner as may 
        be specified by the Secretary, of any assignment that such 
        person may have made of the obligation to make any royalty or 
        other payment under a mining claim.
  (2) Any person paying royalties under this section shall file a 
written instrument, together with the first royalty payment, affirming 
that such person is responsible for making proper payments for all 
amounts due for all time periods for which such person has a payment 
responsibility. Such responsibility for the periods referred to in the 
preceding sentence shall include any and all additional amounts billed 
by the Secretary and determined to be due by final agency or judicial 
action. Any person liable for royalty payments under this section who 
assigns any payment obligation shall remain jointly and severally 
liable for all royalty payments due for the claim for the period.
  (3) A person conducting mineral activities shall--
          (A) develop and comply with the site security provisions in 
        the operations permit designed to protect from theft the 
        locatable minerals, concentrates or products derived therefrom 
        which are produced or stored on a mining claim, and such 
        provisions shall conform with such minimum standards as the 
        Secretary may prescribe by rule, taking into account the 
        variety of circumstances on mining claims; and
          (B) not later than the 5th business day after production 
        begins anywhere on a mining claim, or production resumes after 
        more than 90 days after production was suspended, notify the 
        Secretary, in the manner prescribed by the Secretary, of the 
        date on which such production has begun or resumed.
  (4) The Secretary may by rule require any person engaged in 
transporting a locatable mineral, concentrate, or product derived 
therefrom to carry on his or her person, in his or her vehicle, or in 
his or her immediate control, documentation showing, at a minimum, the 
amount, origin, and intended destination of the locatable mineral, 
concentrate, or product derived therefrom in such circumstances as the 
Secretary determines is appropriate.
  (c) Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements.--(1) A claim holder, 
operator, or other person directly involved in developing, producing, 
processing, transporting, purchasing, or selling locatable minerals, 
concentrates, or products derived therefrom, subject to this Act, 
through the point of royalty computation shall establish and maintain 
any records, make any reports, and provide any information that the 
Secretary may reasonably require for the purposes of implementing this 
section or determining compliance with rules or orders under this 
section. Such records shall include, but not be limited to, periodic 
reports, records, documents, and other data. Such reports may also 
include, but not be limited to, pertinent technical and financial data 
relating to the quantity, quality, composition volume, weight, and 
assay of all minerals extracted from the mining claim. Upon the request 
of any officer or employee duly designated by the Secretary conducting 
an audit or investigation pursuant to this section, the appropriate 
records, reports, or information that may be required by this section 
shall be made available for inspection and duplication by such officer 
or employee. Failure by a claim holder, operator, or other person 
referred to in the first sentence to cooperate with such an audit, 
provide data required by the Secretary, or grant access to information 
may, at the discretion of the Secretary, result in involuntary 
forfeiture of the claim.
  (2) Records required by the Secretary under this section shall be 
maintained for 7 years after release of financial assurance under 
section 306 unless the Secretary notifies the operator that the 
Secretary has initiated an audit or investigation involving such 
records and that such records must be maintained for a longer period. 
In any case when an audit or investigation is underway, records shall 
be maintained until the Secretary releases the operator of the 
obligation to maintain such records.
  (d) Audits.--The Secretary is authorized to conduct such audits of 
all claim holders, operators, transporters, purchasers, processors, or 
other persons directly or indirectly involved in the production or 
sales of minerals covered by this Act, as the Secretary deems necessary 
for the purposes of ensuring compliance with the requirements of this 
section. For purposes of performing such audits, the Secretary shall, 
at reasonable times and upon request, have access to, and may copy, all 
books, papers and other documents that relate to compliance with any 
provision of this section by any person.
  (e) Cooperative Agreements.--(1) The Secretary is authorized to enter 
into cooperative agreements with the Secretary of Agriculture to share 
information concerning the royalty management of locatable minerals, 
concentrates, or products derived therefrom, to carry out inspection, 
auditing, investigation, or enforcement (not including the collection 
of royalties, civil or criminal penalties, or other payments) 
activities under this section in cooperation with the Secretary, and to 
carry out any other activity described in this section.
  (2) Except as provided in paragraph (3)(A) of this subsection 
(relating to trade secrets), and pursuant to a cooperative agreement, 
the Secretary of Agriculture shall, upon request, have access to all 
royalty accounting information in the possession of the Secretary 
respecting the production, removal, or sale of locatable minerals, 
concentrates, or products derived therefrom from claims on lands open 
to location under this Act.
  (3) Trade secrets, proprietary, and other confidential information 
protected from disclosure under section 552 of title 5, United States 
Code, popularly known as the Freedom of Information Act, shall be made 
available by the Secretary to other Federal agencies as necessary to 
assure compliance with this Act and other Federal laws. The Secretary, 
the Secretary of Agriculture, the Administrator of the Environmental 
Protection Agency, and other Federal officials shall ensure that such 
information is provided protection in accordance with the requirements 
of that section.
  (f) Interest and Substantial Underreporting Assessments.--(1) In the 
case of mining claims where royalty payments are not received by the 
Secretary on the date that such payments are due, the Secretary shall 
charge interest on such underpayments at the same interest rate as the 
rate applicable under section 6621(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code 
of 1986. In the case of an underpayment, interest shall be computed and 
charged only on the amount of the deficiency and not on the total 
amount.
  (2) If there is any underreporting of royalty owed on production from 
a claim for any production month by any person liable for royalty 
payments under this section, the Secretary shall assess a penalty of 
not greater than 25 percent of the amount of that underreporting.
  (3) For the purposes of this subsection, the term ``underreporting'' 
means the difference between the royalty on the value of the production 
that should have been reported and the royalty on the value of the 
production which was reported, if the value that should have been 
reported is greater than the value that was reported.
  (4) The Secretary may waive or reduce the assessment provided in 
paragraph (2) of this subsection if the person liable for royalty 
payments under this section corrects the underreporting before the date 
such person receives notice from the Secretary that an underreporting 
may have occurred, or before 90 days after the date of the enactment of 
this section, whichever is later.
  (5) The Secretary shall waive any portion of an assessment under 
paragraph (2) of this subsection attributable to that portion of the 
underreporting for which the person responsible for paying the royalty 
demonstrates that--
          (A) such person had written authorization from the Secretary 
        to report royalty on the value of the production on basis on 
        which it was reported,
          (B) such person had substantial authority for reporting 
        royalty on the value of the production on the basis on which it 
        was reported,
          (C) such person previously had notified the Secretary, in 
        such manner as the Secretary may by rule prescribe, of relevant 
        reasons or facts affecting the royalty treatment of specific 
        production which led to the underreporting, or
          (D) such person meets any other exception which the Secretary 
        may, by rule, establish.
  (6) All penalties collected under this subsection shall be deposited 
in the Locatable Minerals Fund established under title IV.
  (g) Delegation.--For the purposes of this section, the term 
``Secretary'' means the Secretary of the Interior acting through the 
Director of the Minerals Management Service.
  (h) Expanded Royalty Obligations.--Each person liable for royalty 
payments under this section shall be jointly and severally liable for 
royalty on all locatable minerals, concentrates, or products derived 
therefrom lost or wasted from a mining claim located under the general 
mining laws and maintained in compliance with this Act when such loss 
or waste is due to negligence on the part of any person or due to the 
failure to comply with any rule, regulation, or order issued under this 
section.
  (i) Gross Income From Mining Defined.--For the purposes of this 
section, for any locatable mineral, the term ``gross income from 
mining'' has the same meaning as the term ``gross income'' in section 
613(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
  (j) Effective Date.--The royalty under this section shall take effect 
with respect to the production of locatable minerals after the 
enactment of this Act, but any royalty payments attributable to 
production during the first 12 calendar months after the enactment of 
this Act shall be payable at the expiration of such 12-month period.
  (k) Failure To Comply With Royalty Requirements.--Any person who 
fails to comply with the requirements of this section or any regulation 
or order issued to implement this section shall be liable for a civil 
penalty under section 109 of the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management 
Act (30 U.S.C. 1719) to the same extent as if the claim located under 
the general mining laws and maintained in compliance with this Act were 
a lease under that Act.

SEC. 103. HARDROCK MINING CLAIM MAINTENANCE FEE.

  (a) Fee.--
          (1) Except as provided in section 2511(e)(2) of the Energy 
        Policy Act of 1992 (relating to oil shale claims), for each 
        unpatented mining claim, mill or tunnel site on federally owned 
        lands, whether located before, on, or after enactment of this 
        Act, each claimant shall pay to the Secretary, on or before 
        August 31 of each year, a claim maintenance fee of $150 per 
        claim to hold such unpatented mining claim, mill or tunnel site 
        for the assessment year beginning at noon on the next day, 
        September 1. Such claim maintenance fee shall be in lieu of the 
        assessment work requirement contained in the Mining Law of 1872 
        (30 U.S.C. 28 et seq.) and the related filing requirements 
        contained in section 314(a) and (c) of the Federal Land Policy 
        and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1744(a) and (c)).
          (2)(A) The claim maintenance fee required under this 
        subsection shall be waived for a claimant who certifies in 
        writing to the Secretary that on the date the payment was due, 
        the claimant and all related parties--
                          (i) held not more than 10 mining claims, mill 
                        sites, or tunnel sites, or any combination 
                        thereof, on public lands; and
                          (ii) have performed assessment work required 
                        under the Mining Law of 1872 (30 U.S.C. 28 et 
                        seq.) to maintain the mining claims held by the 
                        claimant and such related parties for the 
                        assessment year ending on noon of September 1 
                        of the calendar year in which payment of the 
                        claim maintenance fee was due.
                  (B) For purposes of subparagraph (A), with respect to 
                any claimant, the term ``all related parties'' means--
                          (i) the spouse and dependent children (as 
                        defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue 
                        Code of 1986), of the claimant; or
                          (ii) a person affiliated with the claimant, 
                        including--
                                  (I) a person controlled by, 
                                controlling, or under common control 
                                with the claimant; or
                                  (II) a subsidiary or parent company 
                                or corporation of the claimant.
          (3)(A) The Secretary shall adjust the fees required by this 
        subsection to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index 
        published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department 
        of Labor every 5 years after the date of enactment of this Act, 
        or more frequently if the Secretary determines an adjustment to 
        be reasonable.
          (B) The Secretary shall provide claimants notice of any 
        adjustment made under this paragraph not later than July 1 of 
        any year in which the adjustment is made.
          (C) A fee adjustment under this paragraph shall begin to 
        apply the calendar year following the calendar year in which it 
        is made.
          (4) Monies received under this subsection shall be deposited 
        in the Locatable Minerals Fund established by this Act.
  (b) Location.--
          (1) Notwithstanding any provision of law, for every 
        unpatented mining claim, mill or tunnel site located after the 
        date of enactment of this Act and before September 30, 1998, 
        the locator shall, at the time the location notice is recorded 
        with the Bureau of Land Management, pay to the Secretary a 
        location fee, in addition to the fee required by subsection (a) 
        of $50 per claim.
          (2) Moneys received under this subsection that are not 
        otherwise allocated for the administration of the mining laws 
        by the Department of the Interior shall be deposited in the 
        Locatable Minerals Fund established by this Act.
  (c) Co-Ownership.--The co-ownership provisions of the Mining Law of 
1872 (30 U.S.C. 28 et seq.) will remain in effect except that the 
annual claim maintenance fee, where applicable, shall replace 
applicable assessment requirements and expenditures.
  (d) Failure to Pay.--Failure to pay the claim maintenance fee as 
required by subsection (a) shall conclusively constitute a forfeiture 
of the unpatented mining claim, mill or tunnel site by the claimant and 
the claim shall be deemed null and void by operation of law.
  (e) Other Requirements.--
          (1) Nothing in this section shall change or modify the 
        requirements of section 314(b) of the Federal Land Policy and 
        Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1744(b)), or the requirements 
        of section 314(c) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
        of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1744(c)) related to filings required by 
        section 314(b), which remain in effect.
          (2) Section 2324 of the Revised Statutes of the United States 
        (30 U.S.C. 28) is amended by inserting ``or section 103(a) of 
        the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007'' after ``Act 
        of 1993,''.

SEC. 104. EFFECT OF PAYMENTS FOR USE AND OCCUPANCY OF CLAIMS.

  Timely payment of the claim maintenance fee required by section 103 
of this Act or any related law relating to the use of Federal land, 
asserts the claimant's authority to use and occupy the Federal land 
concerned for prospecting and exploration, consistent with the 
requirements of this Act and other applicable law.

                 TITLE II--PROTECTION OF SPECIAL PLACES

SEC. 201. LANDS OPEN TO LOCATION.

  (a) Lands Open to Location.--Except as provided in subsection (b), 
mining claims may be located under the general mining laws only on such 
lands and interests as were open to the location of mining claims under 
the general mining laws immediately before the enactment of this Act.
  (b) Lands Not Open to Location.--Notwithstanding any other provision 
of law and subject to valid existing rights, each of the following 
shall not be open to the location of mining claims under the general 
mining laws on or after the date of enactment of this Act:
          (1) Wilderness study areas.
          (2) Areas of critical environmental concern.
          (3) Areas designated for inclusion in the National Wild and 
        Scenic Rivers System pursuant to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act 
        (16 U.S.C. 1271 et seq.), areas designated for potential 
        addition to such system pursuant to section 5(a) of that Act 
        (16 U.S.C. 1276(a)), and areas determined to be eligible for 
        inclusion in such system pursuant to section 5(d) of such Act 
        (16 U.S.C. 1276(d)).
          (4) Any area identified in the set of inventoried roadless 
        areas maps contained in the Forest Service Roadless Area 
        Conservation Final Environmental Impact Statement, Volume 2, 
        dated November 2000.
  (c) Existing Authority Not Affected.--Nothing in this Act limits the 
authority granted the Secretary in section 204 of the Federal Land 
Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1714) to withdraw public 
lands.

SEC. 202. WITHDRAWAL PETITIONS BY STATES, POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS, AND 
                    INDIAN TRIBES.

   (a) In General.--Any State or political subdivision of a State or an 
Indian tribe may submit a petition to the Secretary for the withdrawal 
of a specific tract of Federal land from the operation of the general 
mining laws, in order to protect specific values identified in the 
petition that are important to the State or political subdivision or 
Indian tribe. Such values may include the value of a watershed to 
supply drinking water, wildlife habitat value, cultural or historic 
resources, or value for scenic vistas important to the local economy, 
and other similar values. In the case of an Indian tribe, the petition 
may also identify religious or cultural values that are important to 
the Indian tribe. The petition shall contain the information required 
by section 204 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 
(43 U.S.C. 1714).
  (b) Consideration of Petition.--The Secretary--
          (1) shall solicit public comment on the petition;
          (2) shall make a final decision on the petition within 180 
        days after receiving it; and
          (3) shall grant the petition unless the Secretary makes and 
        publishes in the Federal Register specific findings why a 
        decision to grant the petition would be against the national 
        interest.

  TITLE III--ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS OF MINERAL EXPLORATION AND 
                              DEVELOPMENT

SEC. 301. GENERAL STANDARD FOR HARDROCK MINING ON FEDERAL LAND.

  Notwithstanding section 302(b) of the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1732(b)), the first section of the 
Act of June 4, 1897 (chapter 2; 30 Stat. 36 16 U.S.C. 478), and the 
National Forest Management Act of 1976 (16 U.S.C. 1600 et seq.), and in 
accordance with this title and applicable law, unless expressly stated 
otherwise in this Act, the Secretary--
          (1) shall ensure that mineral activities on any Federal land 
        that is subject to a mining claim, millsite claim, or tunnel 
        site claim is carefully controlled to prevent undue degradation 
        of public lands and resources; and
          (2) shall not grant permission to engage in mineral 
        activities if the Secretary, after considering the evidence, 
        makes and publishes in the Federal Register a determination 
        that undue degradation would result from such activities.

SEC. 302. PERMITS.

  (a) Permits Required.--No person may engage in mineral activities on 
Federal land that may cause a disturbance of surface resources, 
including but not limited to land, air, ground water and surface water, 
and fish and wildlife, unless--
          (1) the claim was properly located under the general mining 
        laws and maintained in compliance with such laws and this Act; 
        and
          (2) a permit was issued to such person under this title 
        authorizing such activities.
  (b) Negligible Disturbance.--Notwithstanding subsection (a)(2), a 
permit under this title shall not be required for mineral activities 
that are a casual use of the Federal land.
  (c) Coordination With NEPA Process.--To the extent practicable, the 
Secretary and the Secretary of Agriculture shall conduct the permit 
processes under this Act in coordination with the timing and other 
requirements under section 102 of the National Environmental Policy Act 
of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332).

SEC. 303. EXPLORATION PERMIT.

  (a) Authorized Exploration Activity.--Any claim holder may apply for 
an exploration permit for any mining claim authorizing the claim holder 
to remove a reasonable amount of the locatable minerals from the claim 
for analysis, study and testing. Such permit shall not authorize the 
claim holder to remove any mineral for sale nor to conduct any 
activities other than those required for exploration for locatable 
minerals and reclamation.
  (b) Permit Application Requirements.--An application for an 
exploration permit under this section shall be submitted in a manner 
satisfactory to the Secretary or, for National Forest System lands, the 
Secretary of Agriculture, and shall contain an exploration plan, a 
reclamation plan for the proposed exploration, and such documentation 
as necessary to ensure compliance with applicable Federal and State 
environmental laws and regulations.
  (c) Reclamation Plan Requirements.--The reclamation plan required to 
be included in a permit application under subsection (b) shall include 
such provisions as may be jointly prescribed by the Secretary and the 
Secretary of Agriculture.
  (d) Permit Issuance or Denial.--The Secretary, or for National Forest 
System lands, the Secretary of Agriculture, shall issue an exploration 
permit pursuant to an application under this section unless such 
Secretary makes any of the following determinations:
          (1) The permit application, the exploration plan and 
        reclamation plan are not complete and accurate.
          (2) The applicant has not demonstrated that proposed 
        reclamation can be accomplished.
          (3) The proposed exploration activities and condition of the 
        land after the completion of exploration activities and final 
        reclamation would not conform with the land use plan applicable 
        to the area subject to mineral activities.
          (4) The area subject to the proposed permit is included 
        within an area not open to location under section 201.
          (5) The applicant has not demonstrated that the exploration 
        plan and reclamation plan will be in compliance with the 
        requirements of this Act and all other applicable Federal 
        requirements, and any State requirements agreed to by the 
        Secretary of the Interior (or Secretary of Agriculture, as 
        appropriate).
          (6) The applicant has not demonstrated that the requirements 
        of section 306 (relating to financial assurance) will be met.
          (7) The applicant is eligible to receive a permit under 
        section 305.
  (e) Term of Permit.--An exploration permit shall be for a stated 
term. The term shall be no greater than that necessary to accomplish 
the proposed exploration, and in no case for more than 10 years.
  (f) Permit Modification.--During the term of an exploration permit 
the permit holder may submit an application to modify the permit. To 
approve a proposed modification to the permit, the Secretary concerned 
shall make the same determinations as are required in the case of an 
original permit, except that the Secretary and the Secretary of 
Agriculture may specify by joint rule the extent to which requirements 
for initial exploration permits under this section shall apply to 
applications to modify an exploration permit based on whether such 
modifications are deemed significant or minor.
  (g) Transfer, Assignment, or Sale of Rights.--(1) No transfer, 
assignment, or sale of rights granted by a permit issued under this 
section shall be made without the prior written approval of the 
Secretary or for National Forest System lands, the Secretary of 
Agriculture.
  (2) Such Secretary shall allow a person holding a permit to transfer, 
assign, or sell rights under the permit to a successor, if the 
Secretary finds, in writing, that the successor--
          (A) is eligible to receive a permit in accordance with 
        section 304(d);
          (B) has submitted evidence of financial assurance 
        satisfactory under section 306; and
          (C) meets any other requirements specified by the Secretary.
  (3) The successor in interest shall assume the liability and 
reclamation responsibilities established by the existing permit and 
shall conduct the mineral activities in full compliance with this Act, 
and the terms and conditions of the permit as in effect at the time of 
transfer, assignment, or sale.
  (4) Each application for approval of a permit transfer, assignment, 
or sale pursuant to this subsection shall be accompanied by a fee 
payable to the Secretary of the Interior in such amount as may be 
established by such Secretary. Such amount shall be equal to the actual 
or anticipated cost to the Secretary or the Secretary of Agriculture, 
as appropriate, of reviewing and approving or disapproving such 
transfer, assignment, or sale, as determined by the Secretary of the 
Interior. All moneys received under this subsection shall be deposited 
in the Locatable Minerals Fund established under title IV of this Act.

SEC. 304. OPERATIONS PERMIT.

  (a) Operations Permit.--(1) Any claim holder that is in compliance 
with the general mining laws and section 103 of this Act may apply to 
the Secretary, or for National Forest System lands, the Secretary of 
Agriculture, for an operations permit authorizing the claim holder to 
carry out mineral activities, other than casual use, on--
          (A) any valid mining claim, valid millsite claim, or valid 
        tunnel site claim; and
          (B) such additional Federal land as the Secretary may 
        determine is necessary to conduct the proposed mineral 
        activities, if the operator obtains a right-of-way permit for 
        use of such additional lands under title V of the Federal Land 
        Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1761 et seq.) and 
        agrees to pay all fees required under that title for the permit 
        under that title.
  (2) If the Secretary decides to issue such permit, the permit shall 
include such terms and conditions as prescribed by such Secretary to 
carry out this title.
  (b) Permit Application Requirements.--An application for an 
operations permit under this section shall be submitted in a manner 
satisfactory to the Secretary concerned and shall contain site 
characterization data, an operations plan, a reclamation plan, 
monitoring plans, long-term maintenance plans, to the extent necessary, 
and such documentation as necessary to ensure compliance with 
applicable Federal and State environmental laws and regulations. If the 
proposed mineral activities will be carried out in conjunction with 
mineral activities on adjacent non-Federal lands, information on the 
location and nature of such operations may be required by the 
Secretary.
  (c) Permit Issuance or Denial.--(1) After providing for public 
participation pursuant to subsection (i), the Secretary, or for 
National Forest System lands the Secretary of Agriculture, shall issue 
an operations permit if such Secretary makes each of the following 
determinations in writing, and shall deny a permit if such Secretary 
finds that the application and applicant do not fully meet the 
following requirements:
          (A) The permit application, including the site 
        characterization data, operations plan, and reclamation plan, 
        are complete and accurate and sufficient for developing a good 
        understanding of the anticipated impacts of the mineral 
        activities and the effectiveness of proposed mitigation and 
        control.
          (B) The applicant has demonstrated that the proposed 
        reclamation in the operation and reclamation plan can be and is 
        likely to be accomplished by the applicant and will not cause 
        undue degradation.
          (C) The condition of the land, including the fish and 
        wildlife resources and habitat contained thereon, after the 
        completion of mineral activities and final reclamation, will 
        conform to the land use plan applicable to the area subject to 
        mineral activities and are returned to a productive use.
          (D) The area subject to the proposed plan is open to location 
        for the types of mineral activities proposed.
          (E) The proposed operation has been designed to prevent 
        material damage to the hydrologic balance outside the permit 
        area.
          (F) The applicant will fully comply with the requirements of 
        section 306 (relating to financial assurance) prior to the 
        initiation of operations.
          (G) Neither the applicant nor operator, nor any subsidiary, 
        affiliate, or person controlled by or under common control with 
        the applicant or operator, is ineligible to receive a permit 
        under section 305.
          (H) The reclamation plan demonstrates that 10 years following 
        mine closure, no treatment of surface or ground water for 
        carcinogens or toxins will be required to meet water quality 
        standards at the point of discharge.
  (2) With respect to any activities specified in the reclamation plan 
referred to in subsection (b) that constitutes a removal or remedial 
action under section 101 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, 
Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601 and following), 
the Secretary shall consult with the Administrator of the Environmental 
Protection Agency prior to the issuance of an operations permit. The 
Administrator shall ensure that the reclamation plan does not require 
activities that would increase the costs or likelihood of removal or 
remedial actions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, 
Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601 and following) 
or corrective actions under the Solid Waste Disposal Act (42 U.S.C. 
6901 and following).
  (d) Term of Permit; Renewal.--
          (1) An operations permit--
                  (A) shall be for a term that is no longer than the 
                shorter of--
                          (i) the period necessary to accomplish the 
                        proposed mineral activities subject to the 
                        permit; and
                          (ii) 20 years; and
                  (B) shall be renewed for an additional 20-year period 
                if the operation is in compliance with the requirements 
                of this Act and other applicable law.
          (2) Failure by the operator to commence mineral activities 
        within 2 years of the date scheduled in an operations permit 
        shall require a modification of the permit if the Secretary 
        concerned determines that modifications are necessary to comply 
        with section 201.
  (e) Permit Modification.--
          (1) During the term of an operations permit the operator may 
        submit an application to modify the permit (including the 
        operations plan or reclamation plan, or both).
          (2) The Secretary, or for National Forest System lands the 
        Secretary of Agriculture, may, at any time, require reasonable 
        modification to any operations plan or reclamation plan upon a 
        determination that the requirements of this Act cannot be met 
        if the plan is followed as approved. Such determination shall 
        be based on a written finding and subject to public notice and 
        hearing requirements established by the Secretary concerned.
          (3) A permit modification is required before changes are made 
        to the approved plan of operations, or if unanticipated events 
        or conditions exist on the mine site, including in the case 
        of--
                  (A) development of acid or toxic drainage;
                  (B) loss of springs or water supplies;
                  (C) water quantity, water quality, or other resulting 
                water impacts that are significantly different than 
                those predicted in the application;
                  (D) the need for long-term water treatment;
                  (E) significant reclamation difficulties or 
                reclamation failure;
                  (F) the discovery of significant scientific, 
                cultural, or biological resources that were not 
                addressed in the original plan; or
                  (G) the discovery of hazards to public safety.
  (f) Temporary Cessation of Operations.--(1) An operator conducting 
mineral activities under an operations permit in effect under this 
title may not temporarily cease mineral activities for a period greater 
than 180 days unless the Secretary concerned has approved such 
temporary cessation or unless the temporary cessation is permitted 
under the original permit. Any operator temporarily ceasing mineral 
activities for a period greater than 90 days under an operations permit 
issued before the date of the enactment of this Act shall submit, 
before the expiration of such 90-day period, a complete application for 
temporary cessation of operations to the Secretary concerned for 
approval unless the temporary cessation is permitted under the original 
permit.
  (2) An application for approval of temporary cessation of operations 
shall include such information required under subsection (b) and any 
other provisions prescribed by the Secretary concerned to minimize 
impacts on the environment. After receipt of a complete application for 
temporary cessation of operations such Secretary shall conduct an 
inspection of the area for which temporary cessation of operations has 
been requested.
  (3) To approve an application for temporary cessation of operations, 
the Secretary concerned shall make each of the following 
determinations:
          (A) A determination that the methods for securing surface 
        facilities and restricting access to the permit area, or 
        relevant portions thereof, will effectively ensure against 
        hazards to the health and safety of the public and fish and 
        wildlife.
          (B) A determination that reclamation is in compliance with 
        the approved reclamation plan, except in those areas 
        specifically designated in the application for temporary 
        cessation of operations for which a delay in meeting such 
        standards is necessary to facilitate the resumption of 
        operations.
          (C) A determination that the amount of financial assurance 
        filed with the permit application is sufficient to assure 
        completion of the reclamation activities identified in the 
        approved reclamation plan in the event of forfeiture.
          (D) A determination that any outstanding notices of violation 
        and cessation orders incurred in connection with the plan for 
        which temporary cessation is being requested are either stayed 
        pursuant to an administrative or judicial appeal proceeding or 
        are in the process of being abated to the satisfaction of the 
        Secretary concerned.
  (g) Permit Reviews.--The Secretary, or for National Forest System 
lands the Secretary of Agriculture, shall review each permit issued 
under this section every 10 years during the term of such permit, shall 
provide public notice of the permit review, and, based upon a written 
finding, such Secretary shall require the operator to take such actions 
as the Secretary deems necessary to assure that mineral activities 
conform to the permit, including adjustment of financial assurance 
requirements.
  (h) Transfer, Assignment, or Sale of Rights.--(1) No transfer, 
assignment, or sale of rights granted by a permit under this section 
shall be made without the prior written approval of the Secretary, or 
for National Forest System lands the Secretary of Agriculture.
  (2) The Secretary, or for National Forest System lands, the Secretary 
of Agriculture, may allow a person holding a permit to transfer, 
assign, or sell rights under the permit to a successor, if such 
Secretary finds, in writing, that the successor--
          (A) has submitted information required and is eligible to 
        receive a permit in accordance with section 305;
          (B) has submitted evidence of financial assurance 
        satisfactory under section 306; and
          (C) meets any other requirements specified by such Secretary.
  (3) The successor in interest shall assume the liability and 
reclamation responsibilities established by the existing permit and 
shall conduct the mineral activities in full compliance with this Act, 
and the terms and conditions of the permit as in effect at the time of 
transfer, assignment, or sale.
  (4) Each application for approval of a permit transfer, assignment, 
or sale pursuant to this subsection shall be accompanied by a fee 
payable to the Secretary of the Interior, or for National Forest System 
lands, the Secretary of Agriculture, in such amount as may be 
established by such Secretary, or for National Forest System lands, by 
the Secretary of Agriculture. Such amount shall be equal to the actual 
or anticipated cost to the Secretary or, for National Forest System 
lands, to the Secretary of Agriculture, of reviewing and approving or 
disapproving such transfer, assignment, or sale, as determined by such 
Secretary. All moneys received under this subsection shall be deposited 
in the Locatable Minerals Fund established under title IV.
  (i) Public Participation.--The Secretary of the Interior and the 
Secretary of Agriculture shall jointly promulgate regulations to ensure 
transparency and public participation in permit decisions required 
under this Act, consistent with any requirements that apply to such 
decisions under section 102 of the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332).

SEC. 305. PERSONS INELIGIBLE FOR PERMITS.

  (a) Current Violations.--Unless corrective action has been taken in 
accordance with subsection (c), no permit under this title shall be 
issued or transferred to an applicant if the applicant or any agent of 
the applicant, the operator (if different than the applicant) of the 
claim concerned, any claim holder (if different than the applicant) of 
the claim concerned, or any affiliate or officer or director of the 
applicant is currently in violation of any of the following:
          (1) A provision of this Act or any regulation under this Act.
          (2) An applicable State or Federal toxic substance, solid 
        waste, air, water quality, or fish and wildlife conservation 
        law or regulation at any site where mining, beneficiation, or 
        processing activities are occurring or have occurred.
          (3) The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 
        (30 U.S.C. 1201 and following) or any regulation implementing 
        that Act at any site where surface coal mining operations have 
        occurred or are occurring.
  (b) Suspension.--The Secretary, or for National Forest System lands 
the Secretary of Agriculture, shall suspend an operations permit, in 
whole or in part, if such Secretary determines that any of the entities 
described in subsection (a) were in violation of any requirement listed 
in subsection (a) at the time the permit was issued.
  (c) Correction.--(1) The Secretary, or for National Forest System 
lands the Secretary of Agriculture, may issue or reinstate a permit 
under this title if the applicant submits proof that the violation 
referred to in subsection (a) or (b) has been corrected or is in the 
process of being corrected to the satisfaction of such Secretary and 
the regulatory authority involved or if the applicant submits proof 
that the violator has filed and is presently pursuing, a direct 
administrative or judicial appeal to contest the existence of the 
violation. For purposes of this section, an appeal of any applicant's 
relationship to an affiliate shall not constitute a direct 
administrative or judicial appeal to contest the existence of the 
violation.
  (2) Any permit which is issued or reinstated based upon proof 
submitted under this subsection shall be conditionally approved or 
conditionally reinstated, as the case may be. If the violation is not 
successfully abated or the violation is upheld on appeal, the permit 
shall be suspended or revoked.
  (d) Pattern of Willful Violations.--No permit under this Act may be 
issued to any applicant if there is a demonstrated pattern of willful 
violations of the environmental protection requirements of this Act by 
the applicant, any affiliate of the applicant, or the operator or claim 
holder if different than the applicant.

SEC. 306. FINANCIAL ASSURANCE.

  (a) Financial Assurance Required.--(1) After a permit is issued under 
this title and before any exploration or operations begin under the 
permit, the operator shall file with the Secretary, or for National 
Forest System lands the Secretary of Agriculture, evidence of financial 
assurance payable to the United States. The financial assurance shall 
be provided in the form of a surety bond, a trust fund, letters of 
credits, government securities, certificates of deposit, cash, or an 
equivalent form approved by such Secretary.
  (2) The financial assurance shall cover all lands within the initial 
permit area and all affected waters that may require restoration, 
treatment, or other management as a result of mineral activities, and 
shall be extended to cover all lands and waters added pursuant to any 
permit modification made under section 303(f) (relating to exploration 
permits) or section 304(e) (relating to operations permits), or 
affected by mineral activities.
  (b) Amount.--The amount of the financial assurance required under 
this section shall be sufficient to assure the completion of 
reclamation and restoration satisfying the requirements of this Act if 
the work were to be performed by the Secretary concerned in the event 
of forfeiture, including the construction and maintenance costs for any 
treatment facilities necessary to meet Federal and State environmental 
requirements. The calculation of such amount shall take into account 
the maximum level of financial exposure which shall arise during the 
mineral activity and administrative costs associated with a government 
agency reclaiming the site.
  (c) Duration.--The financial assurance required under this section 
shall be held for the duration of the mineral activities and for an 
additional period to cover the operator's responsibility for 
reclamation, restoration, and long-term maintenance, and effluent 
treatment as specified in subsection (g).
  (d) Adjustments.--The amount of the financial assurance and the terms 
of the acceptance of the assurance may be adjusted by the Secretary 
concerned from time to time as the area requiring coverage is increased 
or decreased, or where the costs of reclamation or treatment change, or 
pursuant to section 304(f) (relating to temporary cessation of 
operations), but the financial assurance shall otherwise be in 
compliance with this section. The Secretary concerned shall review the 
financial guarantee every 3 years and as part of the permit application 
review under section 304(c).
  (e) Release.--Upon request, and after notice and opportunity for 
public comment, and after inspection by the Secretary, or for National 
Forest System lands, the Secretary of Agriculture, such Secretary may, 
after consultation with the Administrator of the Environmental 
Protection Agency, release in whole or in part the financial assurance 
required under this section if the Secretary makes both of the 
following determinations:
          (1) A determination that reclamation or restoration covered 
        by the financial assurance has been accomplished as required by 
        this Act.
          (2) A determination that the terms and conditions of any 
        other applicable Federal requirements, and State requirements 
        applicable pursuant to cooperative agreements under section 
        308, have been fulfilled.
  (f) Release Schedule.--The release referred to in subsection (e) 
shall be according to the following schedule:
          (1) After the operator has completed any required 
        backfilling, regrading, and drainage control of an area subject 
        to mineral activities and covered by the financial assurance, 
        and has commenced revegetation on the regraded areas subject to 
        mineral activities in accordance with the approved plan, that 
        portion of the total financial assurance secured for the area 
        subject to mineral activities attributable to the completed 
        activities may be released except that sufficient assurance 
        must be retained to address other required reclamation and 
        restoration needs and to assure the long-term success of the 
        revegetation.
          (2) After the operator has completed successfully all 
        remaining mineral activities and reclamation activities and all 
        requirements of the operations plan and the reclamation plan, 
        and all other requirements of this Act have been fully met, the 
        remaining portion of the financial assurance may be released.
During the period following release of the financial assurance as 
specified in paragraph (1), until the remaining portion of the 
financial assurance is released as provided in paragraph (2), the 
operator shall be required to comply with the permit issued under this 
title.
  (g) Effluent.--Notwithstanding section 307(b)(4), where any discharge 
or other water-related condition resulting from the mineral activities 
requires treatment in order to meet the applicable effluent limitations 
and water quality standards, the financial assurance shall include the 
estimated cost of maintaining such treatment for the projected period 
that will be needed after the cessation of mineral activities. The 
portion of the financial assurance attributable to such estimated cost 
of treatment shall not be released until the discharge has ceased for a 
period of 5 years, as determined by ongoing monitoring and testing, or, 
if the discharge continues, until the operator has met all applicable 
effluent limitations and water quality standards for 5 full years 
without treatment.
  (h) Environmental Hazards.--If the Secretary, or for National Forest 
System lands, the Secretary of Agriculture, determines, after final 
release of financial assurance, that an environmental hazard resulting 
from the mineral activities exists, or the terms and conditions of the 
explorations or operations permit of this Act were not fulfilled in 
fact at the time of release, such Secretary shall issue an order under 
section 506 requiring the claim holder or operator (or any person who 
controls the claim holder or operator) to correct the condition such 
that applicable laws and regulations and any conditions from the plan 
of operations are met.

SEC. 307. OPERATION AND RECLAMATION.

  (a) General Rule.--(1) The operator shall restore lands subject to 
mineral activities carried out under a permit issued under this title 
to a condition capable of supporting--
          (A) the uses which such lands were capable of supporting 
        prior to surface disturbance by the operator, or
          (B) other beneficial uses which conform to applicable land 
        use plans as determined by the Secretary, or for National 
        Forest System lands, the Secretary of Agriculture.
  (2) Reclamation shall proceed as contemporaneously as practicable 
with the conduct of mineral activities. In the case of a cessation of 
mineral activities beyond that provided for as a temporary cessation 
under this Act, reclamation activities shall begin immediately.
  (b) Operation and Reclamation Standards.--The Secretary of the 
Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture shall jointly promulgate 
regulations that establish operation and reclamation standards for 
mineral activities permitted under this Act. The Secretaries may 
determine whether outcome-based performance standards or technology-
based design standards are most appropriate. The regulations shall 
address the following:
          (1) Segregation, protection, and replacement of topsoil or 
        other suitable growth medium, and the prevention, where 
        possible, of soil contamination.
          (2) Maintenance of the stability of all surface areas.
          (3) Control of sediments to prevent erosion and manage 
        drainage.
          (4) Minimization of the formation and migration of acidic, 
        alkaline, metal-bearing, or other deleterious leachate.
          (5) Reduction of the visual impact of mineral activities to 
        the surrounding topography, including as necessary pit 
        backfill.
          (6) Establishment of a diverse, effective, and permanent 
        vegetative cover of the same seasonal variety native to the 
        area affected by mineral activities, and equal in extent of 
        cover to the natural vegetation of the area.
          (7) Design and maintenance of leach operations, impoundments, 
        and excess waste according to standard engineering standards to 
        achieve and maintain stability and reclamation of the site.
          (8) Removal of structures and roads and sealing of drill 
        holes.
          (9) Restoration of, or mitigation for, fish and wildlife 
        habitat disturbed by mineral activities.
          (10) Preservation of cultural, paleontological, and cave 
        resources.
          (11) Prevention and suppression of fire in the area of 
        mineral activities.
  (c) Surface or Groundwater Withdrawals.--The Secretary shall work 
with State and local governments with authority over the allocation and 
use of surface and groundwater in the area around the mine site as 
necessary to ensure that any surface or groundwater withdrawals made as 
a result of mining activities approved under this section do not cause 
undue degradation.
  (d) Special Rule.--Reclamation activities for a mining claim that has 
been forfeited, relinquished, or lapsed, or a plan that has expired or 
been revoked or suspended, shall continue subject to review and 
approval by the Secretary, or for National Forest System lands the 
Secretary of Agriculture.

SEC. 308. STATE LAW AND REGULATION.

  (a) State Law.--(1) Any reclamation, land use, environmental, or 
public health protection standard or requirement in State law or 
regulation that meets or exceeds the requirements of this Act shall not 
be construed to be inconsistent with any such standard.
  (2) Any bonding standard or requirement in State law or regulation 
that meets or exceeds the requirements of this Act shall not be 
construed to be inconsistent with such requirements.
  (3) Any inspection standard or requirement in State law or regulation 
that meets or exceeds the requirements of this Act shall not be 
construed to be inconsistent with such requirements.
  (b) Applicability of Other State Requirements.--(1) Nothing in this 
Act shall be construed as affecting any toxic substance, solid waste, 
or air or water quality, standard or requirement of any State, county, 
local, or tribal law or regulation, which may be applicable to mineral 
activities on lands subject to this Act.
  (2) Nothing in this Act shall be construed as affecting in any way 
the right of any person to enforce or protect, under applicable law, 
such person's interest in water resources affected by mineral 
activities on lands subject to this Act.
  (c) Cooperative Agreements.--(1) Any State may enter into a 
cooperative agreement with the Secretary, or for National Forest System 
lands the Secretary of Agriculture, for the purposes of such Secretary 
applying such standards and requirements referred to in subsection (a) 
and subsection (b) to mineral activities or reclamation on lands 
subject to this Act.
  (2) In such instances where the proposed mineral activities would 
affect lands not subject to this Act in addition to lands subject to 
this Act, in order to approve a plan of operations the Secretary 
concerned shall enter into a cooperative agreement with the State that 
sets forth a common regulatory framework consistent with the 
requirements of this Act for the purposes of such plan of operations. 
Any such common regulatory framework shall not negate the authority of 
the Federal Government to independently inspect mines and operations 
and bring enforcement actions for violations.
  (3) The Secretary concerned shall not enter into a cooperative 
agreement with any State under this section until after notice in the 
Federal Register and opportunity for public comment and hearing.
  (d) Prior Agreements.--Any cooperative agreement or such other 
understanding between the Secretary concerned and any State, or 
political subdivision thereof, relating to the management of mineral 
activities on lands subject to this Act that was in existence on the 
date of enactment of this Act may only continue in force until 1 year 
after the date of enactment of this Act. During such 1-year period, the 
State and the Secretary shall review the terms of the agreement and 
make changes that are necessary to be consistent with this Act.

SEC. 309. LIMITATION ON THE ISSUANCE OF PERMITS.

  No permit shall be issued under this title that authorizes mineral 
activities that would impair the land or resources of the National Park 
System or a National Monument. For purposes of this section, the term 
``impair'' shall include any diminution of the affected land including 
its scenic assets, its water resources, its air quality, and its 
acoustic qualities, or other changes that would impair a citizen's 
experience at the National Park or National Monument.

                      TITLE IV--MINING MITIGATION

                  Subtitle A--Locatable Minerals Fund

SEC. 401. ESTABLISHMENT OF FUND.

  (a) Establishment.--There is established on the books of the Treasury 
of the United States a separate account to be known as the Locatable 
Minerals Fund (hereinafter in this subtitle referred to as the 
``Fund'').
  (b) Investment.--The Secretary shall notify the Secretary of the 
Treasury as to what portion of the Fund is not, in the Secretary's 
judgment, required to meet current withdrawals. The Secretary of the 
Treasury shall invest such portion of the Fund in public debt 
securities with maturities suitable for the needs of such Fund and 
bearing interest at rates determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, 
taking into consideration current market yields on outstanding 
marketplace obligations of the United States of comparable maturities.

SEC. 402. CONTENTS OF FUND.

  The following amounts shall be credited to the Fund:
          (1) All moneys collected pursuant to section 506 (relating to 
        enforcement) and section 504 (relating to citizens suits).
          (2) All permit fees and transfer fees received under section 
        304.
          (3) All donations by persons, corporations, associations, and 
        foundations for the purposes of this subtitle.
          (4) All amounts deposited in the Fund under section 102 
        (relating to royalties and penalties for underreporting).
          (5) All amounts received by the United States pursuant to 
        section 101 from issuance of patents.
          (6) All amounts received by the United States pursuant to 
        section 103 as claim maintenance and location fees.
          (7) All income on investments under section 401(b).

SEC. 403. SUBACCOUNTS.

  There shall be in the Fund 2 subaccounts, as follows:
          (1) The Hardrock Reclamation Account, which shall consist of 
        \2/3\ of the amounts credited to the Fund under section 402 and 
        which shall be administered by the Secretary acting through the 
        Director of the Office of Surface Mining and Enforcement.
          (2) The Hardrock Community Impact Assistance Account, which 
        shall consist of \1/3\ of the amounts credited to the Fund 
        under section 402 and which shall be administered by the 
        Secretary acting through the Director of the Bureau of Land 
        Management.

            Subtitle B--Use of Hardrock Reclamation Account

SEC. 411. USE AND OBJECTIVES OF THE ACCOUNT.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary is authorized, subject to 
appropriations, to use moneys in the Hardrock Reclamation Account for 
the reclamation and restoration of land and water resources adversely 
affected by past mineral activities on lands the legal and beneficial 
title to which resides in the United States, land within the exterior 
boundary of any national forest system unit, or other lands described 
in subsection (d) or section 412, including any of the following:
          (1) Protecting public health and safety.
          (2) Preventing, abating, treating, and controlling water 
        pollution created by abandoned mine drainage.
          (3) Reclaiming and restoring abandoned surface and 
        underground mined areas.
          (4) Reclaiming and restoring abandoned milling and processing 
        areas.
          (5) Backfilling, sealing, or otherwise controlling, abandoned 
        underground mine entries.
          (6) Revegetating land adversely affected by past mineral 
        activities in order to prevent erosion and sedimentation, to 
        enhance wildlife habitat, and for any other reclamation 
        purpose.
          (7) Controlling of surface subsidence due to abandoned 
        underground mines.
  (b) Priorities.--Expenditures of moneys from the Hardrock Reclamation 
Account shall reflect the following priorities in the order stated:
          (1) The protection of public health and safety, from extreme 
        danger from the adverse effects of past mineral activities, 
        especially as relates to surface water and groundwater 
        contaminants.
          (2) The protection of public health and safety, from the 
        adverse effects of past mineral activities.
          (3) The restoration of land, water, and fish and wildlife 
        resources previously degraded by the adverse effects of past 
        mineral activities.
  (c) Habitat.--Reclamation and restoration activities under this 
subtitle, particularly those identified under subsection (a)(4), shall 
include appropriate mitigation measures to provide for the continuation 
of any established habitat for wildlife in existence prior to the 
commencement of such activities.
  (d) Other Affected Lands.--Where mineral exploration, mining, 
beneficiation, processing, or reclamation activities have been carried 
out with respect to any mineral which would be a locatable mineral if 
the legal and beneficial title to the mineral were in the United 
States, if such activities directly affect lands managed by the Bureau 
of Land Management as well as other lands and if the legal and 
beneficial title to more than 50 percent of the affected lands resides 
in the United States, the Secretary is authorized, subject to 
appropriations, to use moneys in the Hardrock Reclamation Account for 
reclamation and restoration under subsection (a) for all directly 
affected lands.
  (e) Response or Removal Actions.--Reclamation and restoration 
activities under this subtitle which constitute a removal or remedial 
action under section 101 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, 
Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601), shall be 
conducted with the concurrence of the Administrator of the 
Environmental Protection Agency. The Secretary and the Administrator 
shall enter into a Memorandum of Understanding to establish procedures 
for consultation, concurrence, training, exchange of technical 
expertise and joint activities under the appropriate circumstances, 
that provide assurances that reclamation or restoration activities 
under this subtitle shall not be conducted in a manner that increases 
the costs or likelihood of removal or remedial actions under the 
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act 
of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601 and following), and that avoid oversight by 
multiple agencies to the maximum extent practicable.

SEC. 412. ELIGIBLE LANDS AND WATERS.

  (a) Eligibility.--Reclamation expenditures under this subtitle may 
only be made with respect to Federal lands or Indian lands or water 
resources that traverse or are contiguous to Federal lands or Indian 
lands where such lands or water resources have been affected by past 
mineral activities, including any of the following:
          (1) Lands and water resources which were used for, or 
        affected by, mineral activities and abandoned or left in an 
        inadequate reclamation status before the effective date of this 
        Act.
          (2) Lands for which the Secretary makes a determination that 
        there is no continuing reclamation responsibility of a claim 
        holder, operator, or other person who abandoned the site prior 
        to completion of required reclamation under State or other 
        Federal laws.
          (3) Lands for which it can be established that such lands do 
        not contain locatable minerals which could economically be 
        extracted through the reprocessing or remining of such lands, 
        unless such considerations are in conflict with the priorities 
        set forth under paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 302(b).
  (b) Specific Sites and Areas Not Eligible.--The provisions of section 
411(d) of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (30 
U.S.C. 1240a(d)) shall apply to expenditures made from the Hardrock 
Reclamation Account.
  (c) Inventory.--The Secretary shall prepare and maintain a publicly 
available inventory of abandoned locatable minerals mines on public 
lands and any abandoned mine on Indian lands that may be eligible for 
expenditures under this subtitle, and shall deliver a yearly report to 
the Congress on the progress in cleanup of such sites.

SEC. 413. EXPENDITURES.

  Moneys available from the Hardrock Reclamation Account may be 
expended for the purposes specified in section 411 directly by the 
Director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. 
The Director may also make such money available for such purposes to 
the Director of the Bureau of Land Management, the Chief of the United 
States Forest Service, the Director of the National Park Service, or 
Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, to any other 
agency of the United States, to an Indian tribe, or to any public 
entity that volunteers to develop and implement, and that has the 
ability to carry out, all or a significant portion of a reclamation 
program under this subtitle.

SEC. 414. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  Amounts credited to the Hardrock Reclamation Account are authorized 
to be appropriated for the purpose of this subtitle without fiscal year 
limitation.

    Subtitle C--Use of Hardrock Community Impact Assistance Account

SEC. 421. USE AND OBJECTIVES OF THE ACCOUNT.

  Amounts in the Hardrock Community Impact Assistance Account shall be 
available to the Secretary, subject to appropriations, to provide 
assistance for the planning, construction, and maintenance of public 
facilities and the provision of public services to States, political 
subdivisions and Indian tribes that are socially or economically 
impacted by mineral activities conducted under the general mining laws.

SEC. 422. ALLOCATION OF FUNDS.

  Moneys deposited into the Hardrock Community Impact Assistance 
Account shall be allocated by the Secretary for purposes of section 421 
among the States within the boundaries of which occurs production of 
locatable minerals from mining claims located under the general mining 
laws and maintained in compliance with this Act, or mineral 
concentrates or products derived from locatable minerals from mining 
claims located under the general mining laws and maintained in 
compliance with this Act, as the case may be, in proportion to the 
amount of such production in each such State.

          TITLE V--ADMINISTRATIVE AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

                 Subtitle A--Administrative Provisions

SEC. 501. POLICY FUNCTIONS.

  (a) Minerals Policy.--Section 101 of the Mining and Minerals Policy 
Act of 1970 (30 U.S.C. 21a) is amended--
          (1) in the first sentence by inserting before the period at 
        the end the following: ``and to ensure that mineral extraction 
        and processing not cause undue degradation of the natural and 
        cultural resources of the public lands''; and
          (2) by adding at the end thereof the following: ``It shall 
        also be the responsibility of the Secretary of Agriculture to 
        carry out the policy provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) of 
        this section.''.
  (b) Mineral Data.--Section 5(e)(3) of the National Materials and 
Minerals Policy, Research and Development Act of 1980 (30 U.S.C. 
1604(e)(3)) is amended by inserting before the period the following: 
``, except that for National Forest System lands the Secretary of 
Agriculture shall promptly initiate actions to improve the availability 
and analysis of mineral data in public land use decisionmaking''.

SEC. 502. USER FEES.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary and the Secretary of Agriculture may 
each establish and collect from persons subject to the requirements of 
this Act such user fees as may be necessary to reimburse the United 
States for the expenses incurred in administering such requirements. 
Fees may be assessed and collected under this section only in such 
manner as may reasonably be expected to result in an aggregate amount 
of the fees collected during any fiscal year which does not exceed the 
aggregate amount of administrative expenses referred to in this 
section.
  (b) Adjustment.--(1) The Secretary shall adjust the fees required by 
this section to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index published 
by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor every 5 
years after the date of enactment of this Act, or more frequently if 
the Secretary determines an adjustment to be reasonable.
  (2) The Secretary shall provide claimants notice of any adjustment 
made under this subsection not later than July 1 of any year in which 
the adjustment is made.
  (3) A fee adjustment under this subsection shall begin to apply the 
calendar year following the calendar year in which it is made.

SEC. 503. INSPECTION AND MONITORING.

  (a) Inspections.--(1) The Secretary, or for National Forest System 
lands the Secretary of Agriculture, shall make inspections of mineral 
activities so as to ensure compliance with the requirements of this 
Act.
  (2) The Secretary concerned shall establish a frequency of 
inspections for mineral activities conducted under a permit issued 
under title III, but in no event shall such inspection frequency be 
less than one complete inspection per calendar quarter or, two per 
calendar quarter in the case of a permit for which the Secretary 
concerned approves an application under section 304(f) (relating to 
temporary cessation of operations). After revegetation has been 
established in accordance with a reclamation plan, such Secretary shall 
conduct annually 2 complete inspections. Such Secretary shall have the 
discretion to modify the inspection frequency for mineral activities 
that are conducted on a seasonal basis. Inspections shall continue 
under this subsection until final release of financial assurance.
  (3)(A) Any person who has reason to believe he or she is or may be 
adversely affected by mineral activities due to any violation of the 
requirements of a permit approved under this Act may request an 
inspection. The Secretary, or for National Forest System lands the 
Secretary of Agriculture, shall determine within 10 working days of 
receipt of the request whether the request states a reason to believe 
that a violation exists. If the person alleges and provides reason to 
believe that an imminent threat to the environment or danger to the 
health or safety of the public exists, the 10-day period shall be 
waived and the inspection shall be conducted immediately. When an 
inspection is conducted under this paragraph, the Secretary concerned 
shall notify the person requesting the inspection, and such person 
shall be allowed to accompany the Secretary concerned or the 
Secretary's authorized representative during the inspection. The 
Secretary shall not incur any liability for allowing such person to 
accompany an authorized representative. The identity of the person 
supplying information to the Secretary relating to a possible violation 
or imminent danger or harm shall remain confidential with the Secretary 
if so requested by that person, unless that person elects to accompany 
an authorized representative on the inspection.
  (B) The Secretaries shall, by joint rule, establish procedures for 
the review of (i) any decision by an authorized representative not to 
inspect; or (ii) any refusal by such representative to ensure that 
remedial actions are taken with respect to any alleged violation. The 
Secretary concerned shall furnish such persons requesting the review a 
written statement of the reasons for the Secretary's final disposition 
of the case.
  (b) Monitoring.--(1) The Secretary, or for National Forest System 
lands the Secretary of Agriculture, shall require all operators to 
develop and maintain a monitoring and evaluation system that shall 
identify compliance with all requirements of a permit approved under 
this Act. The Secretary concerned may require additional monitoring to 
be conducted as necessary to assure compliance with the reclamation and 
other environmental standards of this Act. Such plan must be reviewed 
and approved by the Secretary and shall become a part of the 
explorations or operations permit.
  (2) The operator shall file reports with the Secretary, or for 
National Forest System lands the Secretary of Agriculture, on a 
frequency determined by the Secretary concerned, on the results of the 
monitoring and evaluation process, except that if the monitoring and 
evaluation show a violation of the requirements of a permit approved 
under this Act, it shall be reported immediately to the Secretary 
concerned. The Secretary shall evaluate the reports submitted pursuant 
to this paragraph, and based on those reports and any necessary 
inspection shall take enforcement action pursuant to this section. Such 
reports shall be maintained by the operator and by the Secretary and 
shall be made available to the public.
  (3) The Secretary, or for National Forest System lands the Secretary 
of Agriculture, shall determine what information shall be reported by 
the operator pursuant to paragraph (3). A failure to report as required 
by the Secretary concerned shall constitute a violation of this Act and 
subject the operator to enforcement action pursuant to section 506.

SEC. 504. CITIZENS SUITS.

  (a) In General.--Except as provided in subsection (b), any person may 
commence a civil action on his or her own behalf to compel compliance--
          (1) against any person (including the Secretary or the 
        Secretary of Agriculture) who is allged to be in violation of 
        any of the provisions of this Act or any regulation promulgated 
        pursuant to this Act or any term or condition of any permit 
        issued under this Act; or
          (2) against the Secretary or the Secretary of Agriculture 
        where there is alleged a failure of such Secretary to perform 
        any act or duty under this Act, or to promulgate any regulation 
        under this Act, which is not within the discretion of the 
        Secretary concerned.
The United States district courts shall have jurisdiction over actions 
brought under this section, without regard to the amount in controversy 
or the citizenship of the parties, including actions brought to apply 
any civil penalty under this Act. The district courts of the United 
States shall have jurisdiction to compel agency action unreasonably 
delayed, except that an action to compel agency action reviewable under 
section 505 may only be filed in a United States district court within 
the circuit in which such action would be reviewable under section 505.
  (b) Exceptions.--(1) No action may be commenced under subsection (a) 
before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date the plaintiff 
has given notice in writing of such alleged violation to the the 
alleged violator and the Secretary, or for National Forest System lands 
the Secretary of Agriculture, except that any such action may be 
brought immediately after such notification if the violation complained 
of constitutes an imminent threat to the environment or to the health 
or safety of the public.
  (2) No action may be brought against any person other than the 
Secretary or the Secretary of Agriculture under subsection (a)(1) if 
such Secretary has commenced and is diligently prosecuting a civil or 
criminal action in a court of the United States to require compliance.
  (3) No action may be commenced under paragraph (2) of subsection (a) 
against either Secretary to review any rule promulgated by, or to any 
permit issued or denied by such Secretary if such rule or permit 
issuance or denial is judicially reviewable under section 505 or under 
any other provision of law at any time after such promulgation, 
issuance, or denial is final.
  (c) Venue.--Venue of all actions brought under this section shall be 
determined in accordance with section 1391 of title 28, United States 
Code.
  (d) Costs.--The court, in issuing any final order in any action 
brought pursuant to this section may award costs of litigation 
(including attorney and expert witness fees) to any party whenever the 
court determines such award is appropriate. The court may, if a 
temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction is sought, 
require the filing of a bond or equivalent security in accordance with 
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
  (e) Savings Clause.--Nothing in this section shall restrict any right 
which any person (or class of persons) may have under chapter 7 of 
title 5, United States Code, under this section, or under any other 
statute or common law to bring an action to seek any relief against the 
Secretary or the Secretary of Agriculture or against any other person, 
including any action for any violation of this Act or of any regulation 
or permit issued under this Act or for any failure to act as required 
by law. Nothing in this section shall affect the jurisdiction of any 
court under any provision of title 28, United States Code, including 
any action for any violation of this Act or of any regulation or permit 
issued under this Act or for any failure to act as required by law.

SEC. 505. ADMINISTRATIVE AND JUDICIAL REVIEW.

  (a) Review by Secretary.--(1)(A) Any person issued a notice of 
violation or cessation order under section 506, or any person having an 
interest which is or may be adversely affected by such notice or order, 
may apply to the Secretary, or for National Forest System lands the 
Secretary of Agriculture, for review of the notice or order within 30 
days after receipt thereof, or as the case may be, within 30 days after 
such notice or order is modified, vacated, or terminated.
  (B) Any person who is subject to a penalty assessed under section 506 
may apply to the Secretary concerned for review of the assessment 
within 45 days of notification of such penalty.
  (C) Any person may apply to such Secretary for review of the decision 
within 30 days after it is made.
  (D) Pending a review by the Secretary or resolution of an 
administrative appeal, final decisions (except enforcement actions 
under section 506) shall be stayed.
  (2) The Secretary concerned shall provide an opportunity for a public 
hearing at the request of any party to the proceeding as specified in 
paragraph (1). The filing of an application for review under this 
subsection shall not operate as a stay of any order or notice issued 
under section 506.
  (3) For any review proceeding under this subsection, the Secretary 
concerned shall make findings of fact and shall issue a written 
decision incorporating therein an order vacating, affirming, modifying, 
or terminating the notice, order, or decision, or with respect to an 
assessment, the amount of penalty that is warranted. Where the 
application for review concerns a cessation order issued under section 
506 the Secretary concerned shall issue the written decision within 30 
days of the receipt of the application for review or within 30 days 
after the conclusion of any hearing referred to in paragraph (2), 
whichever is later, unless temporary relief has been granted by the 
Secretary concerned under paragraph (4).
  (4) Pending completion of any review proceedings under this 
subsection, the applicant may file with the Secretary, or for National 
Forest System lands the Secretary of Agriculture, a written request 
that the Secretary grant temporary relief from any order issued under 
section 506 together with a detailed statement giving reasons for such 
relief. The Secretary concerned shall expeditiously issue an order or 
decision granting or denying such relief. The Secretary concerned may 
grant such relief under such conditions as he or she may prescribe only 
if such relief shall not adversely affect the health or safety of the 
public or cause imminent environmental harm to land, air, or water 
resources.
  (5) The availability of review under this subsection shall not be 
construed to limit the operation of rights under section 504 (relating 
to citizen suits).
  (b) Judicial Review.--(1) Any final action by the Secretaries of the 
Interior and Agriculture in promulgating regulations to implement this 
Act, or any other final actions constituting rulemaking to implement 
this Act, shall be subject to judicial review only in the United States 
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Any action subject to 
judicial review under this subsection shall be affirmed unless the 
court concludes that such action is arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise 
inconsistent with law. A petition for review of any action subject to 
judicial review under this subsection shall be filed within 60 days 
from the date of such action, or after such date if the petition is 
based solely on grounds arising after the 60th day. Any such petition 
may be made by any person who commented or otherwise participated in 
the rulemaking or any person who may be adversely affected by the 
action of the Secretaries.
  (2) Final agency action under this subsection, including such final 
action on those matters described under subsection (a), shall be 
subject to judicial review in accordance with paragraph (4) and 
pursuant to section 1391 of title 28, United States Code, on or before 
60 days from the date of such final action. Any action subject to 
judicial review under this subsection shall be affirmed unless the 
court concludes that such action is arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise 
inconsistent with law.
  (3) The availability of judicial review established in this 
subsection shall not be construed to limit the operations of rights 
under section 504 (relating to citizens suits).
  (4) The court shall hear any petition or complaint filed under this 
subsection solely on the record made before the Secretary or 
Secretaries concerned. The court may affirm or vacate any order or 
decision or may remand the proceedings to the Secretary or Secretaries 
for such further action as it may direct.
  (5) The commencement of a proceeding under this section shall not, 
unless specifically ordered by the court, operate as a stay of the 
action, order, or decision of the Secretary or Secretaries concerned.
  (c) Costs.--Whenever a proceeding occurs under subsection (a) or (b), 
at the request of any person, a sum equal to the aggregate amount of 
all costs and expenses (including attorney fees) as determined by the 
Secretary or Secretaries concerned or the court to have been reasonably 
incurred by such person for or in connection with participation in such 
proceedings, including any judicial review of the proceeding, may be 
assessed against either party as the court, in the case of judicial 
review, or the Secretary or Secretaries concerned in the case of 
administrative proceedings, deems proper if it is determined that such 
party prevailed in whole or in part, achieving some success on the 
merits, and that such party made a substantial contribution to a full 
and fair determination of the issues.

SEC. 506. ENFORCEMENT.

  (a) Orders.--(1) If the Secretary, or for National Forest System 
lands the Secretary of Agriculture, or an authorized representative of 
such Secretary, determines that any person is in violation of any 
environmental protection requirement under title III or any regulation 
issued by the Secretaries to implement this Act, such Secretary or 
authorized representative shall issue to such person a notice of 
violation describing the violation and the corrective measures to be 
taken. The Secretary concerned, or the authorized representative of 
such Secretary, shall provide such person with a period of time not to 
exceed 30 days to abate the violation. Such period of time may be 
extended by the Secretary concerned upon a showing of good cause by 
such person. If, upon the expiration of time provided for such 
abatement, the Secretary concerned, or the authorized representative of 
such Secretary, finds that the violation has not been abated he or she 
shall immediately order a cessation of all mineral activities or the 
portion thereof relevant to the violation.
  (2) If the Secretary concerned, or the authorized representative of 
the Secretary concerned, determines that any condition or practice 
exists, or that any person is in violation of any requirement under a 
permit approved under this Act, and such condition, practice or 
violation is causing, or can reasonably be expected to cause--
          (A) an imminent danger to the health or safety of the public; 
        or
          (B) significant, imminent environmental harm to land, air, 
        water, or fish or wildlife resources;
such Secretary or authorized representative shall immediately order a 
cessation of mineral activities or the portion thereof relevant to the 
condition, practice, or violation.
  (3)(A) A cessation order pursuant to paragraphs (1) or (2) shall 
remain in effect until such Secretary, or authorized representative, 
determines that the condition, practice, or violation has been abated, 
or until modified, vacated or terminated by the Secretary or authorized 
representative. In any such order, the Secretary or authorized 
representative shall determine the steps necessary to abate the 
violation in the most expeditious manner possible and shall include the 
necessary measures in the order. The Secretary concerned shall require 
appropriate financial assurances to ensure that the abatement 
obligations are met.
  (B) Any notice or order issued pursuant to paragraphs (1) or (2) may 
be modified, vacated, or terminated by the Secretary concerned or an 
authorized representative of such Secretary. Any person to whom any 
such notice or order is issued shall be entitled to a hearing on the 
record.
  (4) If, after 30 days of the date of the order referred to in 
paragraph (3)(A) the required abatement has not occurred, the Secretary 
concerned shall take such alternative enforcement action against the 
claim holder or operator (or any person who controls the claim holder 
or operator) as will most likely bring about abatement in the most 
expeditious manner possible. Such alternative enforcement action may 
include, but is not necessarily limited to, seeking appropriate 
injunctive relief to bring about abatement. Nothing in this paragraph 
shall preclude the Secretary, or for National Forest System lands the 
Secretary of Agriculture, from taking alternative enforcement action 
prior to the expiration of 30 days.
  (5) If a claim holder or operator (or any person who controls the 
claim holder or operator) fails to abate a violation or defaults on the 
terms of the permit, the Secretary, or for National Forest System lands 
the Secretary of Agriculture, shall forfeit the financial assurance for 
the plan as necessary to ensure abatement and reclamation under this 
Act. The Secretary concerned may prescribe conditions under which a 
surety may perform reclamation in accordance with the approved plan in 
lieu of forfeiture.
  (6) The Secretary, or for National Forest System lands the Secretary 
of Agriculture, shall not cause forfeiture of the financial assurance 
while administrative or judicial review is pending.
  (7) In the event of forfeiture, the claim holder, operator, or any 
affiliate thereof, as appropriate as determined by the Secretary by 
rule, shall be jointly and severally liable for any remaining 
reclamation obligations under this Act.
  (b) Compliance.--The Secretary, or for National Forest System lands 
the Secretary of Agriculture, may request the Attorney General to 
institute a civil action for relief, including a permanent or temporary 
injunction or restraining order, or any other appropriate enforcement 
order, including the imposition of civil penalties, in the district 
court of the United States for the district in which the mineral 
activities are located whenever a person--
          (1) violates, fails, or refuses to comply with any order 
        issued by the Secretary concerned under subsection (a); or
          (2) interferes with, hinders, or delays the Secretary 
        concerned in carrying out an inspection under section 503.
Such court shall have jurisdiction to provide such relief as may be 
appropriate. Any relief granted by the court to enforce an order under 
paragraph (1) shall continue in effect until the completion or final 
termination of all proceedings for review of such order unless the 
district court granting such relief sets it aside.
  (c) Delegation.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the 
Secretary may utilize personnel of the Office of Surface Mining 
Reclamation and Enforcement to ensure compliance with the requirements 
of this Act.
  (d) Penalties.--(1) Any person who fails to comply with any 
requirement of a permit approved under this Act or any regulation 
issued by the Secretaries to implement this Act shall be liable for a 
penalty of not more than $25,000 per violation. Each day of violation 
may be deemed a separate violation for purposes of penalty assessments.
  (2) A person who fails to correct a violation for which a cessation 
order has been issued under subsection (a) within the period permitted 
for its correction shall be assessed a civil penalty of not less than 
$1,000 per violation for each day during which such failure continues.
  (3) Whenever a corporation is in violation of a requirement of a 
permit approved under this Act or any regulation issued by the 
Secretaries to implement this Act or fails or refuses to comply with an 
order issued under subsection (a), any director, officer, or agent of 
such corporation who knowingly authorized, ordered, or carried out such 
violation, failure, or refusal shall be subject to the same penalties 
as may be imposed upon the person referred to in paragraph (1).
  (e) Suspensions or Revocations.--The Secretary, or for National 
Forest System lands the Secretary of Agriculture, shall suspend or 
revoke a permit issued under title III, in whole or in part, if the 
operator--
          (1) knowingly made or knowingly makes any false, inaccurate, 
        or misleading material statement in any mining claim, notice of 
        location, application, record, report, plan, or other document 
        filed or required to be maintained under this Act;
          (2) fails to abate a violation covered by a cessation order 
        issued under subsection (a);
          (3) fails to comply with an order of the Secretary concerned;
          (4) refuses to permit an audit pursuant to this Act;
          (5) fails to maintain an adequate financial assurance under 
        section 306;
          (6) fails to pay claim maintenance fees or other moneys due 
        and owing under this Act; or
          (7) with regard to plans conditionally approved under section 
        305(c)(2), fails to abate a violation to the satisfaction of 
        the Secretary concerned, or if the validity of the violation is 
        upheld on the appeal which formed the basis for the conditional 
        approval.
  (f) False Statements; Tampering.--Any person who knowingly--
          (1) makes any false material statement, representation, or 
        certification in, or omits or conceals material information 
        from, or unlawfully alters, any mining claim, notice of 
        location, application, record, report, plan, or other documents 
        filed or required to be maintained under this Act; or
          (2) falsifies, tampers with, renders inaccurate, or fails to 
        install any monitoring device or method required to be 
        maintained under this Act,
shall upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000, 
or by imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or by both. If a 
conviction of a person is for a violation committed after a first 
conviction of such person under this subsection, punishment shall be by 
a fine of not more than $20,000 per day of violation, or by 
imprisonment of not more than 4 years, or both. Each day of continuing 
violation may be deemed a separate violation for purposes of penalty 
assessments.
  (g) Knowing Violations.--Any person who knowingly--
          (1) engages in mineral activities without a permit required 
        under title III, or
          (2) violates any other requirement of a permit issued under 
        this Act, or any condition or limitation thereof,
shall upon conviction be punished by a fine of not less than $5,000 nor 
more than $50,000 per day of violation, or by imprisonment for not more 
than 3 years, or both. If a conviction of a person is for a violation 
committed after the first conviction of such person under this 
subsection, punishment shall be a fine of not less than $10,000 per day 
of violation, or by imprisonment of not more than 6 years, or both.
  (h) Knowing and Willful Violations.--Any person who knowingly and 
willfully commits an act for which a civil penalty is provided in 
paragraph (1) of subsection (g) shall, upon conviction, be punished by 
a fine of not more than $50,000, or by imprisonment for not more than 2 
years, or both.
  (i) Definition.--For purposes of this section, the term ``person'' 
includes any officer, agent, or employee of a person.

SEC. 507. REGULATIONS.

  The Secretary and the Secretary of Agriculture shall issue such 
regulations as are necessary to implement this Act. The regulations 
implementing title II, title III, title IV, and title V that affect the 
Forest Service shall be joint regulations issued by both Secretaries, 
and shall be issued no later than 180 days after the date of enactment 
of this Act.

SEC. 508. EFFECTIVE DATE.

  This Act shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act, 
except as otherwise provided in this Act.

                  Subtitle B--Miscellaneous Provisions

SEC. 511. OIL SHALE CLAIMS SUBJECT TO SPECIAL RULES.

  (a) Application of Section 511.--Section 511 shall apply to oil shale 
claims referred to in section 2511(e)(2) of the Energy Policy Act of 
1992 (Public Law 102-486).
  (b) Amendment.--Section 2511(f) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 
(Public Law 102-486) is amended as follows:
          (1) By striking ``as prescribed by the Secretary''.
          (2) By inserting before the period the following: ``in the 
        same manner as if such claim was subject to title II and title 
        III of the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007''.

SEC. 512. PURCHASING POWER ADJUSTMENT.

  The Secretary shall adjust all location fees, claim maintenance 
rates, penalty amounts, and other dollar amounts established in this 
Act for changes in the purchasing power of the dollar no less 
frequently than every 5 years following the date of enactment of this 
Act, employing the Consumer Price Index for All-Urban Consumers 
published by the Department of Labor as the basis for adjustment, and 
rounding according to the adjustment process of conditions of the 
Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (104 Stat. 
890).

SEC. 513. SAVINGS CLAUSE.

  (a) Special Application of Mining Laws.--Nothing in this Act shall be 
construed as repealing or modifying any Federal law, regulation, order, 
or land use plan, in effect prior to the date of enactment of this Act 
that prohibits or restricts the application of the general mining laws, 
including laws that provide for special management criteria for 
operations under the general mining laws as in effect prior to the date 
of enactment of this Act, to the extent such laws provide for 
protection of natural and cultural resources and the environment 
greater than required under this Act, and any such prior law shall 
remain in force and effect with respect to claims located (or proposed 
to be located) or converted under this Act. Nothing in this Act shall 
be construed as applying to or limiting mineral investigations, 
studies, or other mineral activities conducted by any Federal or State 
agency acting in its governmental capacity pursuant to other authority. 
Nothing in this Act shall affect or limit any assessment, 
investigation, evaluation, or listing pursuant to the Comprehensive 
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 
U.S.C. 9601 and following), or the Solid Waste Disposal Act (42 U.S.C. 
3251 and following).
  (b) Effect on Other Federal Laws.--The provisions of this Act shall 
supersede the general mining laws, except for those parts of the 
general mining laws respecting location of mining claims that are not 
expressly modified by this Act. Except for the general mining laws, 
nothing in this Act shall be construed as superseding, modifying, 
amending, or repealing any provision of Federal law not expressly 
superseded, modified, amended, or repealed by this Act. Nothing in this 
Act shall be construed as altering, affecting, amending, modifying, or 
changing, directly or indirectly, any law which refers to and provides 
authorities or responsibilities for, or is administered by, the 
Environmental Protection Agency or the Administrator of the 
Environmental Protection Agency, including the Federal Water Pollution 
Control Act, title XIV of the Public Health Service Act (the Safe 
Drinking Water Act), the Clean Air Act, the Pollution Prevention Act of 
1990, the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Federal Insecticide, 
Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic 
Act, the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act, the Federal 
Hazardous Substances Act, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the 
Atomic Energy Act, the Noise Control Act of 1972, the Solid Waste 
Disposal Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, 
and Liability Act of 1980, the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization 
Act of 1986, the Ocean Dumping Act, the Environmental Research, 
Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act, the Pollution 
Prosecution Act of 1990, and the Federal Facilities Compliance Act of 
1992, or any statute containing an amendment to any of such Acts. 
Nothing in this Act shall be construed as modifying or affecting any 
provision of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act 
(Public Law 101-601) or any provision of the American Indian Religious 
Freedom Act (42 U.S.C. 1996), the National Historic Preservation Act 
(16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.), and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 
1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.).
  (c) Protection of Conservation Areas.--In order to protect the 
resources and values of National Conservation System units, the 
Secretary, as appropriate, shall utilize authority under this Act and 
other applicable law to the fullest extent necessary to prevent mineral 
activities that could have an adverse impact on the resources or values 
for which such units were established.

SEC. 514. AVAILABILITY OF PUBLIC RECORDS.

  Copies of records, reports, inspection materials, or information 
obtained by the Secretary or the Secretary of Agriculture under this 
Act shall be made immediately available to the public, consistent with 
section 552 of title 5, United States Code, in central and sufficient 
locations in the county, multicounty, and State area of mineral 
activity or reclamation so that such items are conveniently available 
to residents in the area proposed or approved for mineral activities 
and on the Internet.

SEC. 515. MISCELLANEOUS POWERS.

  (a) In General.--In carrying out his or her duties under this Act, 
the Secretary, or for National Forest System lands the Secretary of 
Agriculture, may conduct any investigation, inspection, or other 
inquiry necessary and appropriate and may conduct, after notice, any 
hearing or audit, necessary and appropriate to carrying out his or her 
duties.
  (b) Ancillary Powers.--In connection with any hearing, inquiry, 
investigation, or audit under this Act, the Secretary, or for National 
Forest System lands the Secretary of Agriculture, is authorized to take 
any of the following actions:
          (1) Require, by special or general order, any person to 
        submit in writing such affidavits and answers to questions as 
        the Secretary concerned may reasonably prescribe, which 
        submission shall be made within such reasonable period and 
        under oath or otherwise, as may be necessary.
          (2) Administer oaths.
          (3) Require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of 
        witnesses and the production of all books, papers, records, 
        documents, matter, and materials, as such Secretary may 
        request.
          (4) Order testimony to be taken by deposition before any 
        person who is designated by such Secretary and who has the 
        power to administer oaths, and to compel testimony and the 
        production of evidence in the same manner as authorized under 
        paragraph (3) of this subsection.
          (5) Pay witnesses the same fees and mileage as are paid in 
        like circumstances in the courts of the United States.
  (c) Enforcement.--In cases of refusal to obey a subpoena served upon 
any person under this section, the district court of the United States 
for any district in which such person is found, resides, or transacts 
business, upon application by the Attorney General at the request of 
the Secretary concerned and after notice to such person, shall have 
jurisdiction to issue an order requiring such person to appear and 
produce documents before the Secretary concerned. Any failure to obey 
such order of the court may be punished by such court as contempt 
thereof and subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 a day.
  (d) Entry and Access.--Without advance notice and upon presentation 
of appropriate credentials, the Secretary, or for National Forest 
System lands the Secretary of Agriculture, or any authorized 
representative thereof--
          (1) shall have the right of entry to, upon, or through the 
        site of any claim, mineral activities, or any premises in which 
        any records required to be maintained under this Act are 
        located;
          (2) may at reasonable times, and without delay, have access 
        to records, inspect any monitoring equipment, or review any 
        method of operation required under this Act;
          (3) may engage in any work and do all things necessary or 
        expedient to implement and administer the provisions of this 
        Act;
          (4) may, on any mining claim located under the general mining 
        laws and maintained in compliance with this Act, and without 
        advance notice, stop and inspect any motorized form of 
        transportation that such Secretary has probable cause to 
        believe is carrying locatable minerals, concentrates, or 
        products derived therefrom from a claim site for the purpose of 
        determining whether the operator of such vehicle has 
        documentation related to such locatable minerals, concentrates, 
        or products derived therefrom as required by law, if such 
        documentation is required under this Act; and
          (5) may, if accompanied by any appropriate law enforcement 
        officer, or an appropriate law enforcement officer alone, stop 
        and inspect any motorized form of transportation which is not 
        on a claim site if he or she has probable cause to believe such 
        vehicle is carrying locatable minerals, concentrates, or 
        products derived therefrom from a claim site on Federal lands 
        or allocated to such claim site. Such inspection shall be for 
        the purpose of determining whether the operator of such vehicle 
        has the documentation required by law, if such documentation is 
        required under this Act.

SEC. 516. MULTIPLE MINERAL DEVELOPMENT AND SURFACE RESOURCES.

  The provisions of sections 4 and 6 of the Act of August 13, 1954 (30 
U.S.C. 524 and 526), commonly known as the Multiple Minerals 
Development Act, and the provisions of section 4 of the Act of July 23, 
1955 (30 U.S.C. 612), shall apply to all mining claims located under 
the general mining laws and maintained in compliance with such laws and 
this Act.

SEC. 517. MINERAL MATERIALS.

  (a) Determinations.--Section 3 of the Act of July 23, 1955 (30 U.S.C. 
611), is amended as follows:
          (1) By inserting ``(a)'' before the first sentence.
          (2) By inserting ``mineral materials, including but not 
        limited to'' after ``varieties of'' in the first sentence.
          (3) By striking ``or cinders'' and inserting in lieu thereof 
        ``cinders, and clay''.
          (4) By adding the following new subsection at the end 
        thereof:
  ``(b)(1) Subject to valid existing rights, after the date of 
enactment of the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007, 
notwithstanding the reference to common varieties in subsection (a) and 
to the exception to such term relating to a deposit of materials with 
some property giving it distinct and special value, all deposits of 
mineral materials referred to in such subsection, including the block 
pumice referred to in such subsection, shall be subject to disposal 
only under the terms and conditions of the Materials Act of 1947.
  ``(2) For purposes of paragraph (1), the term `valid existing rights' 
means that a mining claim located for any such mineral material--
          ``(A) had and still has some property giving it the distinct 
        and special value referred to in subsection (a), or as the case 
        may be, met the definition of block pumice referred to in such 
        subsection;
          ``(B) was properly located and maintained under the general 
        mining laws prior to the date of enactment of the Hardrock 
        Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007;
          ``(C) was supported by a discovery of a valuable mineral 
        deposit within the meaning of the general mining laws as in 
        effect immediately prior to the date of enactment of the 
        Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007; and
          ``(D) that such claim continues to be valid under this 
        Act.''.
  (b) Mineral Materials Disposal Clarification.--Section 4 of the Act 
of July 23, 1955 (30 U.S.C. 612), is amended as follows:
          (1) In subsection (b) by inserting ``and mineral material'' 
        after ``vegetative''.
          (2) In subsection (c) by inserting ``and mineral material'' 
        after ``vegetative''.
  (c) Conforming Amendment.--Section 1 of the Act of July 31, 1947, 
entitled ``An Act to provide for the disposal of materials on the 
public lands of the United States'' (30 U.S.C. 601 and following) is 
amended by striking ``common varieties of'' in the first sentence.
  (d) Short Titles.--
          (1) Surface resources.--The Act of July 23, 1955, is amended 
        by inserting after section 7 the following new section:
  ``Sec. 8.  This Act may be cited as the `Surface Resources Act of 
1955'.''.
          (2) Mineral materials.--The Act of July 31, 1947, entitled 
        ``An Act to provide for the disposal of materials on the public 
        lands of the United States'' (30 U.S.C. 601 and following) is 
        amended by inserting after section 4 the following new section:
  ``Sec. 5.  This Act may be cited as the `Materials Act of 1947'.''.
  (e) Repeals.--(1) Subject to valid existing rights, the Act of August 
4, 1892 (27 Stat. 348, 30 U.S.C. 161), commonly known as the Building 
Stone Act, is hereby repealed.
  (2) Subject to valid existing rights, the Act of January 31, 1901 (30 
U.S.C. 162), commonly known as the Saline Placer Act, is hereby 
repealed.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 2262, the Hardrock Mining and 
Reclamation Act of 2007, is to modify the requirements 
applicable to locatable minerals on public domain lands, 
consistent with the principles of self-initiation of mining 
claims, and for other purposes.

                               Background

    For 135 years, the mining of hardrock minerals on public 
lands in the United States has been carried out under the 
Mining Law of 1872.
    The Mining Law was written to promote mineral development 
in the age of the pick and shovel prospector. The Law permits 
citizens and businesses to freely prospect for hardrock 
minerals on those federal lands not withdrawn from mining. A 
prospector can file a claim (covering 20 acres) which gives him 
the right to explore, develop, mine, and sell minerals from the 
claim without paying the federal government royalties. A claim 
holder can obtain a patent (title) for the land and mineral 
rights after proving that an economically mineable 
``discovery'' exists. The holder can also claim and patent non-
mineral, non-contiguous lands to mill and process ore. Under 
the 1872 Mining Law, a claim can be acquired for $2.50 or $5.00 
an acre depending on whether it is a lode or placer claim. 
After the patent has been granted, the claim becomes private 
property. Patenting is not required for operations on a mining 
claim or millsite.
    While the 1872 Law originally applied to all minerals, over 
time many have been removed from its purview. Production of 
energy minerals such as oil, gas, and coal on federal lands is 
now managed under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, while 
``common variety'' materials such as sand and gravel are sold 
under the authority of the Mineral Materials Act of 1955. 
Today, the 1872 Mining Law applies to a limited set of 
``locatable'' or ``hardrock'' minerals such as gold, silver, 
copper, and uranium.
    The Mining Law is administered by the Bureau of Land 
Management (BLM) within the Department of the Interior. 
Although reliable, current estimates of total acreage open and 
closed to mining claim location are not available, a 2004 
Environmental Protection Agency report estimated that 
approximately 90% of the BLM's 264 million acres are open to 
mining as well as 80% of the 163 million acres managed by the 
Forest Service in the West.\1\ (Legislation has closed or 
withdrawn some types of federal lands from new mining claims, 
including wilderness areas totaling approximately 108 million 
acres, as well as National Parks.) The number of claims on 
public lands typically fluctuates with mineral prices; in light 
of recent record highs for gold, uranium, and other minerals, 
in 2007 claims on public lands jumped 80% from 2003. As of 
July, there were 376,493 claims on public lands, according to 
the BLM. Nine of the top ten claimholders are companies, and 
the top ten claimholders own more than one-sixth of all 
claims.\2\ ``Small miners''--those holding 10 claims or fewer, 
total 27,600.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\EPA 2004. ``Cleaning Up the Nation's Waste Sites: Markets and 
Technology Trends,'' p. 11-7.
    \2\Bureau of Land Management (BLM). 2007. Environmental Working 
Group analysis of Bureau of Land Management's LR2000 Database, July 
2007 download.
    \3\D. Lyons, BLM, Personal Communication (email); October 4, 2007.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The estimated value of U.S. metal mine production 
(excluding uranium) in 2006 was more than $23.5 billion, about 
51% more than in 2005.\4\ No data is available to determine how 
much of that mineral production occurs on private vs. public 
lands, though the majority likely occurs on private. Most mines 
are on a combination of public and private lands, and are large 
in scale: according to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), more than 
99% of U.S. gold production comes from ``major'' operations 
mines that disturb more than 100 acres.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\DOI/USGS 2007. Mineral Commodity Summaries 2007, p.7
    \5\USGS staff communication, 10/29/07.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total production puts the United States among the world's 
largest producers of many important metals and minerals, 
including 10% of the world's gold, 8% of its copper, and 12.5% 
of its lead.\6\ Nonetheless, the United States is net importer 
of some minerals mined under the 1872 Mining Law. For example, 
in 2006, 40% of copper consumed was imported, though the United 
States is a net exporter of gold. A 2007 National Research 
Council study on critical minerals emphasized that dependence 
on foreign sources of certain minerals is not in itself a cause 
for concern. The study further notes that specific minerals 
such as copper are essential to the economy in certain 
applications but should not be considered ``critical'' because 
there are ready substitutes and the risk of supply restrictions 
is low.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\DOI/USGS 2007. Mineral Commodity Summaries 2007.
    \7\National Research Council of the National Academies, 2007. 
Minerals, Critical Minerals, and the U.S. Economy. October.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After a lull in new mining and exploration in the 1990s 
(due to market conditions, more favorable operating 
possibilities, and discovery of higher grade ore prospects 
overseas), hardrock mining in the U.S. is on the upswing in 
response to some of the highest metal prices in the past 25 
years--more than $700 an ounce for gold in 2007. Demand for 
newly mined minerals and uranium is fast-growing worldwide. The 
U.S. is a favorite place to mine on a global scale thanks to 
its policy and geological climate, according to the annual 
Frasier Institute survey of metals mining companies.\8\ 
However, because of automation and other efficiency 
improvements, the U.S. produces more minerals with fewer people 
than it used to--about 35,000-40,000 are directly employed in 
metals mining, and perhaps another 131,000 indirectly 
employed.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\McMahon, F. and Melhem, A. 2007. ``Fraser Institute Annual 
Survey of Mining Companies 2006/2007.''
    \9\National Mining Association 2006. See: http://www.nma.org/pdf/
e_trends.pdf. Also, ``The Economic Contributions of the Mining Industry 
in 2005,'' Analysis by Moore Economics/NMA, January 2007.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          Need for Legislation

    H.R. 2262 would substantially reform the governance of 
hardrock mining on public lands. Mounting concerns about 
giveaways of public lands and minerals, environmental 
protection, competing resource uses (such as recreation and 
wildlife habitat), and a legacy of 100,000 or more abandoned 
mines make a compelling case for comprehensive reform of the 
Mining Law of 1872.\10\ The Mining Law has not changed to 
reflect modern mining technologies and processes or newer 
social values that question whether mineral extraction is the 
best use of the land. Six key economic and environmental issues 
require attention through reform:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\The need for comprehensive Mining Law Reform twice led the 
House of Representatives to consider bills (introduced by 
Representative Rahall) in the 1990s; H.R. 322 passed the House 316-108 
in November 1993.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                PATENTS

    The 1872 Mining Law allows claim holders on public land to 
obtain all the rights and interests to both the land and 
minerals by patenting the claims for $2.50 to $5.00 per acre, 
regardless of the location, the property's market value or 
other public uses. The federal government has patented more 
than 3.2 million acres of mining claims under the Hardrock 
Mining Act of 1872. The Act's patenting provision became an 
attractive means of acquiring title to land for a pittance for 
purposes other than mining--and reaping huge profits through 
private commercial development. The Government Accountability 
Office (GAO) recommended elimination of the patenting 
requirement in a 1989 analysis, in keeping with the Federal 
Land Management Policy Act's directives that public lands 
remain in federal ownership unless disposal is in the national 
interest, and that the government obtain a fair return for its 
resources.\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\GAO. ``Federal Land Management: The Mining Law of 1872 Needs 
Revision,'' March, 1989.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In response to concern about this multi-billion dollar 
``giveaway'' of public land, beginning in 1994 and carried 
forward every year, Congress in annual appropriations bills has 
prohibited the Department from expending funds to accept new 
patent applications. Four hundred and five patents at a defined 
point in the application process were ``grandfathered'' in 
1994. Since then, 198 patents covering 27,000 acres have been 
issued, with a total return to the government of approximately 
$112,000. There are still 32 grandfathered applications for 
patents remaining to be processed (the balance were withdrawn 
or contested).\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\BLM responses to Questions for the Record, Subcommittee on 
Energy and Mineral Resources hearing on October 2, 2007 entitled: 
``Royalties and Abandoned Mine Reclamation.'' Also, status report on 
patenting from the Department of the Interior, June 27, 2007.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 2262 as amended permanently ends patenting, except for 
those valid claims pre-dating the 1994 moratorium. Proponents 
of the current ``location patent'' system argue that the 
security of tenure gained through patenting is a necessary 
incentive in light of the significant financial risks, 
substantial capital, and long timeframe involved in mineral 
development. However, there are other means of providing secure 
property rights to claimants, including assurance that those 
who pay required fees have the ability to use the claimed lands 
for mining and related purposes (see Section 104 of H.R. 2262 
as amended).

           FAIR RETURN FOR MINERAL RESOURCES ON PUBLIC LANDS

    Under current law, the mining industry pays no royalty for 
public minerals. By comparison, virtually all other users of 
the public lands pay the government something for the resources 
they use or remove, and almost every other nation which allows 
mining on public lands imposes some form of royalty.
    A well-designed royalty provides a reasonable return to the 
Treasury for minerals extracted from public lands and, in the 
case of H.R. 2262, will also fund abandoned mine reclamation. 
At the same time, a royalty must also allow a country's mining 
sector to be globally competitive. ``Government take'' is one 
of the most important criteria (along with geological potential 
and security of tenure) in the decision to mine in a country or 
region. Unlike many other forms of investment, mines represent 
captive capital; they are long-lived and not portable, making 
them highly vulnerable to changes in national economic policy.
    H.R. 2262 as amended would establish an 8% gross income 
royalty on new mining on public lands, and a 4% gross income 
royalty on mining from current operations. A gross income 
royalty is commonly called a ``value based'' royalty because it 
is based on a percentage of the value of the mineral commodity 
being extracted or sold. (A similar value-based royalty is the 
``net smelter return'' royalty, which is levied on the amount 
of money which the smelter or refinery pays the mining operator 
for the mineral product, usually based on a spot or current 
price of the mineral, with deductions for costs associated with 
further processing, but no deductions for operating costs.) 
Another form of royalty considered for hardrock minerals is a 
``profit based'' royalty, in which a measure of sales revenue 
is reduced by the deduction of certain production and costs to 
determine a ``net profit'' or ``net income'' subject to the 
royalty rate.
    Under H.R. 2262, the royalty would be calculated based 
Section 613(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, which defines 
gross income as ``the actual price for which the ore or mineral 
is sold where the taxpayer sells the ore or mineral as it 
emerges from the mine before application of any processes other 
than a mining process or any transportation, or after 
application of only mining processes, including mining 
transportation.'' Used for decades to calculate the depletion 
allowance (see below), this definition of gross income allows 
deductions for any costs of non-mining processes but does not 
allow for deductions for the costs of mining processes, to 
arrive at a price or value of the mineral as close to the mine 
mouth as possible.
    Value based royalties such as a gross income royalty are 
used by the majority of states, private parties, and nations. 
Onshore oil and gas operations pay gross income royalties of 
12.5%; coal produced from public lands is charged a royalty of 
8% for underground operations and 12.5% for surface mining. 
Most states impose gross income or net smelter royalties on 
hardrock mining on state lands ranging from 2-10%. For hardrock 
minerals on acquired lands, Congress has established an ad-
valorem royalty rate of 5%. In private arrangements between 
parties, rates range from 2-8% with an average of 5% based on 
value. Most countries impose a rate of 2-5% of gross income on 
hardrock minerals, though some are as high as 12%.\13\ Those 
countries that do employ a profit based royalty usually set a 
rate higher than they would for a net smelter or gross value 
royalty; jurisdictions with a profit based system typically 
will assess at a rate in excess of 5%.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\Testimony of Salvatore Lazzari before the Subcommittee on 
Energy and Mineral Resources, October 2, 2007. Also, Otto, J. et al 
2006. Mining Royalties, World Bank.
    \14\Otto, J et al. 2006. Mining Royalties, World Bank.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gross income royalties are relatively simple to calculate 
and easy to administer. They also are appropriate to the 
economic concept of a royalty as a factor payment, which 
implies that the payment should be based on the market value of 
the producer's output, rather than on market value minus the 
costs of maintaining it. A disadvantage of the gross income 
royalty is that the cost it imposes will be incurred regardless 
of profitability, and minerals prices are notoriously cyclical.
    By comparison, however, a royalty based on profit or net 
income would allow a range of deductions, and, accordingly, 
more opportunities to ``game the system.'' Nevada, for example, 
utilizes a ``Net Proceeds of Mine Tax'' (NPOMT), a form of net 
income royalty which is levied on all hardrock mining in the 
state. The NPOMT is based on the value of the mineral extracted 
minus the cost of extracting, processing, transporting and 
marketing the minerals, maintenance and repairs of all 
equipment and mining facilities, depreciation of capital costs, 
some insurance, ``developmental work,'' and so forth.\15\ Mines 
are then taxed on a sliding scale of 2-5% depending on the 
ratio of net proceeds to gross proceeds. In 2006, Nevada gold 
and silver mines paid a net proceeds tax of about $61 million 
on total mineral production worth about $5.1 billion.\16\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\See Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 362.120 and Nevada 
Administrative Code 362.030-362.070.
    \16\Dobra, J. 2007. ``Economic Overview of the Nevada Mining 
Industry,'' p. 1 and p. 21.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Profit based forms of royalties require a taxing authority 
with strong administrative capability. For such relatively 
complicated royalties, government regulatory departments must 
carry out labor-intensive audits of royalty returns, resulting 
in a significant number of often intractable disputes. ``In 
general . . . governments tend to give too few resources to 
their royalty administration and collection functions,'' warned 
the World Bank's report on royalties in 2006. Legal costs from 
royalty audit disputes can be significant, and ``this 
represents a further incentive for governments to select the 
less ambiguous unit-based and ad valorem [value based] royalty 
systems in preference to the more litigation-prone profit-based 
systems.''\17\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \17\Otto, J. et al 2006, p. 70.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Another drawback of such a net royalty includes potentially 
low return to the Treasury after ``creative accounting'' and 
multiple deductions. Past Congresses have faced this 
`deductions' problem: in 1996, Republican legislators 
introduced a bill which would have implemented a 5% royalty on 
mineral ``net proceeds,'' but the royalty provision was 
essentially nullified by a catalog of exemptions and deductions 
for both existing and prospective mines. The bill passed both 
the House and Senate, but the Congressional Budget Office 
concluded that the royalty provision would generate only 
diminutive returns to the public, and President Clinton 
ultimately vetoed an omnibus bill which included the reform 
legislation. An added problem with a net income or net profit 
royalty is that the revenue stream can vary widely from year to 
year, making it harder to guarantee a predictable revenue 
stream for reclamation.
    Arguments that the gross income royalty of 8% proposed in 
H.R. 2262, as amended, would be among the highest royalty rates 
in the world ignore the offsetting special tax preferences 
which benefit the hardrock mining industry in the United 
States. Key among those preferences is the depletion allowance 
for mineral production. The depletion allowance allows a mining 
company to remove a set percentage of income from the amount 
that is taxed. Gold, silver, copper and iron ore, for example, 
qualify for a 15% depletion allowance, and sulfur, uranium, and 
lead for a 22% depletion allowance. Accordingly, the depletion 
allowance works like a ``negative royalty'' and will offset in 
part the royalty imposed by H.R. 2262. Very few nations have a 
depletion allowance for mineral production; in a survey of 
about 30, including most major mining nations, the U.S. was one 
of only four countries to offer some type of depletion 
allowance.\18\ (Most countries have rejected the idea of 
compensating industry for depleting the nation's ore resource, 
and realize that the allowance may ultimately subsidize 
exploration in a competing nation.)\19\ The mining industry 
also is permitted to deduct rather than capitalize certain 
exploration and development costs, and can deduct the costs of 
mine closing and land reclamation in advance of actual closing 
and reclamation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \18\James Otto, responses to Questions for the Record from the 
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources hearing on October 2, 2007 
(provided October 9, 2007).
    \19\James Otto, Testimony before the Subcommittee on Energy and 
Mineral Resources, October 2, 2007 hearing, and Questions for the 
Record (provided October 9, 2007).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                BALANCING MINERAL AND NON-MINERAL VALUES

    The provisions of 1872 Mining Law which give preferential 
treatment (a ``right to mine'') over other uses, has made it 
very difficult to balance mineral and nonmineral values on 
public lands as required by the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act (FLPMA) (43 USC 1701 et seq.). Section 
1701(a)(8) of that law, for example, states that: ``the public 
lands [shall] be managed in a manner that will protect the 
quality of scientific, scenic, historical, ecological, 
environmental, air and atmospheric, water resource, and 
archaeological values; that where appropriate, will preserve 
and protect certain lands in their natural condition; that will 
provide food and habitat for fish and wildlife and domestic 
animals; and that will provide for outdoor recreation and human 
occupancy and use.''\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \20\43 U.S.C Sec. 1701(a)(8).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Despite these directives, agency managers have limited 
authorities to disapprove of mining operations in sensitive 
areas or place strong conditions on such operations. 
Historically, mining has been considered a dominant use of the 
public domain lands which under all but the most extraordinary 
of circumstances was to be favored over competing uses, such as 
water supplies, in the event of a conflict. Due to the ``right 
to mine'' feature of the 1872 Mining Law, federal land managers 
have steadfastly maintained that unless an area is 
``withdrawn'' from (closed to) mining under FLPMA, they cannot 
deny a claim holder's desire to develop a mine regardless of 
its potential impacts on other resources and values.
    The impacts of 21st century mining on other resources and 
values can be substantial. Sportsmen have raised concerns that 
hardrock mining on public lands threatens fish and wildlife 
habitat; public lands contain more than 50% of the nation's 
blue-ribbon trout streams and 80% of the most critical habitat 
for elk, antelope, sage grouse, mule deer, salmon, steelhead, 
and countless other fish and wildlife species.\21\ Like mining, 
hunting and angling is economically important in western 
states--generating $280 million in 2006 in Nevada alone, for 
example. Similarly, outdoor equipment manufacturers and 
recreation enthusiasts, from mountain bikers to skiers to 
hikers, have called for better balancing of mining and other 
public lands values. They note that Moab, Utah and the Alpine 
Loop area of Colorado typify places which are epicenters of 
human-powered recreation and generate millions in recreation 
and tourism dollars, but are also experiencing explosions in 
new mining claims.\22\ Water is yet another area of growing 
conflict with mining: hardrock mining uses substantial 
quantities of water, lowers water tables, and creates effluent 
that can require treatment for a decade or more--threatening 
ground and surface water supplies for agriculture, wildlife, 
and communities in the West.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \21\National Wildlife Federation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation 
Partnership, and Trout Unlimited letter to Members of Congress, October 
15, 2007; data from ``Gas and Oil Development on Public Lands by Trout 
Unlimited (2004), and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (http://
www.fs.fed.us/biology/wildlife/elk.html)
    \22\Outdoor Alliance letter to Representative Rahall and 
Representative Costa, October 12, 2007.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sometimes the federal government has taken the costly step 
of protecting land and water by buying out claims; another 
avenue is to withdraw areas from mining. In light of the impact 
of mining on sensitive resources and the growing competition 
among resource values, there is evident need to protect 
additional critical areas from mining. Wilderness Study Areas, 
several categories of Wild and Scenic Rivers, areas designated 
under the Roadless Area Conservation Rule of 2001, and Areas of 
Critical Environmental Concern are among those areas with well-
established non-mineral values which are still open to mining 
claims under current law. Withdrawing these additional areas to 
new mining claims is unlikely to have significant impact on the 
mining industry. Closing all categories of Wild and Scenic 
Rivers to mining will likely withdraw less than 2,000 
additional acres.\23\ Inventoried Roadless Areas cover 54 
million acres, but in practice 37% are already de facto closed 
to, or managed as areas where mining is discouraged under land 
use plans. Nor does exploration and mining to date suggest that 
inventoried roadless areas are among the western lands still 
likely to harbor future mineral discoveries. A Library of 
Congress Congressional Cartography mapping project for 
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources staff overlaid 
major deposits of gold, silver, copper, molybdenum, and uranium 
with inventoried roadless areas and found that of the 55,140 
deposits they mapped, only 5.6% overlapped with inventoried 
roadless areas.\24\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \23\Personal communication, American Rivers, October 2007.
    \24\``Deposits of Minerals Subject to 1872 Mining Law and 
Inventoried Roadless Areas on National Forest System Lands.'' Map and 
analysis: Ginny Mason, Congressional Cartography, Library of Congress, 
2007, based on data from Mineral Resources Data System, USGS and USDA, 
Forest Service.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee also identified the need to give government 
entities the ability to proactively request that federal lands 
near their communities be withdrawn from new mining claims. 
Under current law, state, local, and tribal governments have 
few avenues outside the land use planning process under the 
Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 to protect lands 
and waters of high local value, such as those critical to 
drinking water supplies or tourism-based economies. For 
example, in Pima County, Arizona, the Board of Supervisors 
voted unanimously to oppose a copper mine in the Santa Rita 
Mountains, and the Board passed a resolution for all public 
land in the county to be withdrawn from mineral exploration. 
Concerns include the values of the mountains as a world 
biodiversity hotspot, scenic viewshed, important recreation 
area, and water source for the Cienega watershed, including 
high quality water for the fast-growing Tucson basin. Yet 
county opposition, under the current 1872 Mining Law, is not 
adequate to challenge a mine or limit new claim exploration. 
The advantage of a stronger local government role in putting 
areas off-limits to new claims, even for mining claimants who 
hold valid existing rights, would be early awareness of likely 
state or local community opposition to a mine, and the ability 
to make (or avoid) investments accordingly--to minimize 
confrontation, avoid litigation or a protracted permitting 
process, or consider appropriate mitigation measures from early 
stages of development.
    Perhaps the most fundamental reform needed to the Mining 
Law is clarification of the federal government's ``right to say 
no'' to proposed hardrock mines that threaten ``irreparable 
damage'' to the natural and cultural resources of the public 
lands. For all other uses of public lands--hunting, oil 
development, forest product proposals--the government has a 
responsibility to say no to reject such use if it would have 
devastating impacts, but the government lacks authority to 
exercise this responsibility for proposed mining operations.
    The Clinton Administration issued regulations including 
such a provision (65 Fed. Reg. 69,998 (2000)) which were 
contested and upheld in court, but removed from mining 
regulations written by the Bush Administration (2001). H.R. 
2262, as amended, includes that standard, using the well-
established definition of ``undue degradation'' (see Sec. 3 and 
Sec. 301, below) to create a clear, non-discretionary means of 
saying no to mining in extraordinary situations.

                ENVIRONMENTAL AND RECLAMATION STANDARDS

    The 1872 Mining Law contains no environmental or public 
health and safety provisions. Pursuant to the Federal Land 
Management Policy Act (FLPMA), the BLM has developed 
regulations and policies to address degradation of BLM land 
from hardrock operations (43 CFR 3809); the Forest Service has 
its own regulations (largely considered to be weaker) governing 
mining operations (36 CFR Part 228). Miners also are required 
to comply with a variety of other federal laws such as the 
Clean Water Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, 
Compensation, and Liability Act (Superfund), and the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). However, there is no 
comprehensive federal law as is the case with coal, oil and gas 
development. Even with a slate of federal laws and state 
hardrock mining laws, there are major regulatory gaps. For 
example, these laws do not address adequacy of mine location, 
evaluate mining plans, set comprehensive environmental 
standards for mining and reclamation requirements, or protect 
groundwater from mining operations.
    In the current vacuum of coherent environmental standards 
for permitting and oversight of mining, seemingly arbitrary 
regulatory decisions--and court cases--ensue. Different 
executive administrations have chosen to enforce regulations 
differently, making it difficult for companies to invest in 
exploration of an area with certainty that mining will be 
permitted. Statute-based environmental and reclamation 
standards should make the process of getting a mining permit 
more straightforward, with clarity and specificity in the 
process of reviewing the scope of the planned mine, 
contingencies which might be encountered, and, importantly, 
criteria that a land manager must review in order to grant a 
permit.
    Yet Committee staff research also confirmed the progress 
that has been made in recent years in regard to federal and 
state regulation of mining. Consequently, the task is to set an 
overall federal standard for hardrock mining on federal lands 
and a framework from which federal regulations would flow, 
without being redundant or overly prescriptive.
    A key issue is whether national mining standards should be 
technology-based ``design standards'' or outcome-based 
``performance standards.'' To resolve the question, the 
Committee initially looked to the BLM's hardrock manual, which 
includes the following definitions:
     A ``design standard'' is a standard that 
``prescribes a specific technology of precise procedure to be 
followed for compliance.''
     A ``performance standard'' is one that 
``prescribes the final results that must be achieved to obtain 
regulatory compliance.''
    Further research showed that the Clinton Administration 
initially proposed ``3809'' regulations which included a 
technology standard that would have applied to all the 
performance standards (e.g., the operator will achieve these 
performance standards using ``most appropriate technology and 
practices'') but Secretary Babbitt's final 2000 rule did not 
include the technology standard.
    Most of the existing federal standards are performance 
standards and not technology-based. Therefore, the rules do not 
specify what equipment or practices an operator must use to 
move earth or plant seeds to achieve revegetation of the area, 
as long as it is accomplished and reaches the performance 
standard (including such details as seed mix, coverage, slope, 
etc.). As another example, in order to meet a dust control 
standard, BLM does not specify whether an operation should use 
large water trucks or small water trucks.
    Additionally, several federal directives discourage the use 
of technology standards. According to a Executive Order 12866 
on drafting effective regulations, ``performance standards are 
generally preferred to a command-and-control design standard 
because they give regulated entities the flexibility to achieve 
the desired regulatory outcome in a most cost-effective 
way.''\25\ Another Clinton era review concluded: ``Policymakers 
should reconsider the way `best available technology'-based 
regulations are now developed and applied. Such regulations use 
agency established technology-based limits and use a technology 
to demonstrate that the limits are achievable. Even though 
these are performance-based requirements, they have a strong 
tendency to lock in the technology that is used to demonstrate 
achievability. To some extent, reliance on ``best available 
technology''-based regulations impedes the development and 
introduction of innovative technologies.''\26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \25\OMB 1996. More Benefits, Fewer Burdens. (December).
    \26\US EPA 1991. Permitting and Compliance Policy: Barriers to U.S. 
Environmental Technology Innovation, p. 39.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In some instances, technology standards are already 
required by Clean Water Act or Clean Air Act provisions. These 
standards have been further developed through a rulemaking 
process and are then applied by EPA or states with delegated 
programs under these laws. BLM should not be asked to second-
guess the technology determinations in those permits and 
potentially come to a different conclusion about the 
appropriate technology for a particular site or facility.
    For those aspects of operations that do require specific 
technologies (i.e. acid rock drainage or cyanide management), 
BLM has promulgated regulations that are a combination of 
design and performance standards.\27\ There are also guidance 
documents that provide additional details for implementing 
those design standards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \27\See Federal Register Volume 66, 2001 (3809.420(b)(11) and 
(12)).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, in hardrock mining, each mine differs greatly from 
one operation to the next so that reclamation plans must be 
done on a case-by-case basis; for example, the best technology 
that works for the large open pit at Nevada will not 
necessarily apply to a series of small beryllium mines in Utah, 
or to the big copper mines in Arizona. Therefore, the federal 
statute should provide a framework from which federal 
regulations and decisions will flow without micromanaging 
future site-specific land-based decisions.
    Accordingly, to address the concerns and debate regarding 
the prescriptive operations and reclamation standards in H.R. 
2262 as introduced, the bill, as amended, instead sets out a 
minimum list of environmental concerns which the Secretary must 
address with standards. These can be technology-based ``design 
standards'' or outcome-based ``performance standards'' 
depending on which may be appropriate to the environmental 
concern and goal. This revision conforms to the goal as stated 
above to provide a framework without micromanaging the agency's 
future site-specific decisions.

                                BONDING

    Modern mines disturb thousands of acres and typically 
require water treatment for years, due to acid drainage and the 
use of toxic processing chemicals such as cyanide. In the past, 
companies might complete some limited reclamation, then walk 
away from the site, leaving the state or federal government to 
cope with long-term management challenges, particularly water 
contamination.
    In response, many states and the federal government have 
enacted regulations that in some form require reclamation and 
closure plans to address problems associated with modern 
mining. For example, regulations established pursuant to FLPMA 
direct agencies to require financial assurances for reclaiming 
land disturbed by mining, if operators fail to do so. Under 
current hardrock mining regulations (Part 3809, January 20, 
2001), all operations exceeding casual use conducted under a 
Notice or Plan of Operations are required to provide an 
acceptable financial guarantee to BLM prior to commencing 
operations.
    However, a 2005 GAO report found that the BLM did not have 
a process for ensuring that adequate assurances are in place. 
In Arizona and California, for example, the GAO found that 15-
74% of hardrock operations lacked adequate financial 
assurances. The results of a shortfall in assurances, cost 
estimates, and weak reclamation plans are significant: GAO 
found that since the BLM began requiring financial assurances, 
48 operations had ceased and not been reclaimed, leaving a $136 
million bill for the taxpayer.\28\ Similarly, a 2003 report 
found that American taxpayers are today potentially liable for 
$1-12 billion in cleanup costs for hardrock mining sites.\29\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \28\GAO 2005. ``Hardrock Mining: BLM Needs to Better Manage 
Financial Assurances to Guarantee Coverage of Reclamation Costs.'' 
(GAO-05-377)
    \29\Kuipers, J. 2003. Putting a Price on Pollution. Mineral Policy 
Center and Center for Science in Public Participation. March.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals heard testimony on 
October 2, 2007 that the Bureau of Land Management has improved 
its financial assurances management in response to the GAO's 
report. However, there remains a need to guarantee that at the 
federal level, there is clear guidance for financial 
assurances, particularly those for long-term water treatment, 
and impetus for agencies to make oversight of assurances 
(including regular updates to address changing conditions) a 
priority.
    An associated problem requiring policy attention relates to 
mine owners who have defaulted on environmental cleanup 
responsibilities multiple times, but are still eligible to 
carry out mine operations on public land under current law. 
Further, companies sometimes structure their assets through 
corporate subsidiaries, thwarting recovery of corporate 
guarantees after bankruptcy. Accordingly, H.R. 2262 does not 
include corporate guarantees as acceptable assurances, and the 
bill requires disclosure of operator's prior bond forfeitures 
and environmental compliance history. In keeping with the 
Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, H.R. 2262 as 
amended makes those operators with outstanding violations 
ineligible for permits.

                          ABANDONED MINE LANDS

    The 1872 Mining Law includes no reclamation requirements. 
Despite regulations issued pursuant to the Federal Land 
Management Policy Act of 1976, which require operators to 
reclaim BLM land disturbed by their hardrock operations, some 
operators--often due to bankruptcy and inadequate bonding (see 
above)--have abandoned mines without reclamation.
    The extent of the nation's hardrock abandoned mine land 
(AML) problem is clearly significant, though estimates vary by 
state and agency. As of 2007, the Bureau of Land Management and 
the U.S. Forest Service have identified (largely via field 
surveys) 47,000 abandoned mine sites on lands they manage. 
However, the total number of sites on federal land could be 
much higher, especially depending on how mine sites and 
features are defined and counted. Based on mineral records and 
partial inventories, estimates in 2004 ranged from 100,000-
500,000 BLM sites and 25,000-35,000 Forest Service sites.\30\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \30\DOI/Forest Service. Abandoned Mine Lands: A Decade of Progress 
Reclaiming Hardrock Mines, September 2007 and EPA 2004: ``Cleaning Up 
the Nation's Waste Sites: Markets and Technology Trends.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Some AML sites are serious public safety hazards. At least 
eleven people have died and six people have been injured in 
abandoned mines in California in the past decade.\31\ Nevada 
has more than 50,000 sites likely to pose physical safety 
hazards including shafts and adits at AML sites within a mile 
of population centers, campgrounds, backcountry byways, other 
recreation areas, historic sites, and off road vehicle use 
areas. Many western states are finding that rapid population 
growth and recreational use of public lands juxtapose 
increasing numbers of people in areas with high densities of 
AML sites, elevating safety risks.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \31\CA Department of Conservation/Office of Mine Reclamation 2007. 
Letter to Senator Feinstein. March.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Other abandoned sites pose environmental hazards. The 
government estimates that old mines have contaminated 40% of 
all western river headwaters. Colorado, for example, has 
approximately 2,751 abandoned mine sites that have possible 
impacts on water quality in twenty watersheds. Common problems 
are acidic, metal-laden drainage from mine openings and dumps, 
mine wastes and mill tailings in stream channels, and erosion 
of mine wastes and mill tailings into waterways.
    The EPA's Superfund list currently includes more than 80 
hardrock abandoned mines or mine-related sites. Estimates in 
the late 1990s suggested that about 5% of the 25,000-35,000 
abandoned mines on Forest Service lands will require cleanup 
under Superfund authorities. The BLM and Forest Service 
estimated that another 10% of the identified sites on federal 
lands will require water related cleanup under authorities 
other than Superfund.\32\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \32\US EPA 2004 (Chapter 11) and BLM/FS report, Abandoned Mine 
Lands: A Decade of Progress Reclaiming Hardrock Mines. September 2007, 
p. 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Some solutions are relatively simple, others complex, 
expensive, and impermanent. In some instances, the highest 
priority problems may be open shafts and adits that pose 
physical hazards to people and wildlife. These must be plugged, 
filled, secured or closed off. For environmental hazards, 
remediation can range from removing small piles of waste rock 
or tailings from a floodplain or reseeding a disturbed area, to 
removing transformers, machinery and buildings, stabilizing 
large waste piles, rerouting water flows, building new 
retention ponds, reinforcing old dams, managing toxic lagoons, 
removing or covering contaminated soils.
    Reclamation is a problem with no cheap fix; hardrock 
abandoned mine cleanup could range from $20-54 billion, 
estimated the EPA's Superfund office in 2004, with about $3.5 
billion related to Superfund designated sites. Nearly 60% of 
the mining sites listed on the Superfund National Priorities 
List are expected to require from 40 years to ``perpetuity'' 
for cleanup operations.
    Expenditures fall far short of the need. Unlike coal 
mining, there is no single source of funding for the 
reclamation of abandoned hardrock mining lands. To remedy a 
particular site, the BLM and Forest Service may work with 
Federal, State, and private partners to apply for funding from 
programs including AML grants through SMCRA, CERCLA, and the 
Clean Water Act Grant Program. Nevada funds some of its program 
from industry fees of $1.50 per mining claim filing, and $20 
per acre of permitted disturbance on public lands, generating 
about $315,000 a year. According to EPA, the total federal, 
state and private party outlays for mining site remediation 
have been averaging about $100-$150 million per year. At this 
rate, only 8-20% of all the cleanup work will be completed over 
the next 30 years.\33\ Similarly, the Forest Service, with an 
annual budget of $15 million, projects it would take 370 years 
to complete an estimated $5.5 billion dollars of cleanup and 
safety mitigation work.\34\ Some state reclamation cost 
estimates include just remediation, not restoration.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \33\U.S. EPA. ``Cleaning Up the Nation's Waste Sites: Markets and 
Technology Trends,'' 2004 edition, p. 11-12.
    \34\U.S. Forest Service responses to Questions for the Record from 
the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources hearing on ``Royalties 
and Abandoned Mine Reclamation,'' October 2, 2007.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    National and state inventories of sites require continued 
effort. The DOI Inspector General's Office has identified the 
need for the BLM to undertake some additional inventory work in 
high-population and high-use areas; the Forest Service, too, 
acknowledges the merits of continuing inventory. Some states 
have more thorough abandoned site inventories than others. 
Arizona, for example, has an inventory described as a 
``patchwork'' of data of varying accuracy, and Alaska's and 
Washington's inventories are not complete.\35\ California's 
Department of Conservation acknowledges that ``the 
prioritization of AML sites for remediation will ultimately 
require a statewide inventory . . . at this time, state and 
federal agency staff have inventoried only about 2,500 of 
California's estimated 47,000 AML sites (5%).''\36\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \35\BLM 2006. ``The Cooperative Conservation Based Strategic Plan 
for Abandoned Mine Lands Program,'' March, and ``Cleaning Up Abandoned 
Mines: A Western Partnership,'' Western Governors' Association and 
National Mining Association.
    \36\California Department of Conservation, Office of Mine 
Reclamation 2007. Letter to Senator Feinstein. March 30.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    One obstacle to clean up progress at some abandoned mine 
sites is the perception that, under the Clean Water Act or 
Superfund, if one acts to remediate a site, that person or 
entity will become financially liable for cleanup of all 
pollution associated with the site. Several bills introduced in 
the 109th Congress proposed different ``Good Samaritan'' 
exemptions from liability--some broad, others allowing various 
(and controversial) provisions for reprocessing of tailings and 
waste piles--but none have yet been introduced in the 110th 
Congress. ``Good Samaritan'' provisions are outside the 
jurisdiction of the Committee on Natural Resources; 
accordingly, they are not included in H.R. 2262 as amended.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 2262 was introduced by Natural Resources Committee 
Chairman Nick J. Rahall, II (D-WV) and Energy and Mineral 
Resources Subcommittee Chairman Jim Costa (D-CA) on May 10, 
2007. The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural 
Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee on 
Energy and Mineral Resources. Three Subcommittee hearings were 
held on H.R. 2262 on July 26, 2007, August 21, 2007, and 
October 2, 2007. Preceding introduction of H.R. 2262, the 
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources and Subcommittee 
on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands held a joint 
oversight hearing on the 1872 Mining Law and its impacts on 
national forests in Tucson, Arizona. Details of the hearings 
are as follows:
     February 24, 2007, Subcommittee on Energy and 
Mineral Resources and Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests 
and Public Lands field hearing: ``Our National Forests at Risk: 
The 1872 Mining Law and its Impact on the Santa Rita Mountains 
of Arizona.'' This hearing highlighted the inability of the 
1872 Mining Law to respond to a modern-day problem: metals 
mineral values compete with community concerns for other 
increasingly important values that Western public lands 
provide, including tourism and recreation. Witnesses focused on 
the case of Augusta Resource Corporation, which is seeking a 
permit for an 800 acre open pit copper mine on private lands on 
the Rosemont Ranch with disposal of the mining waste on 3000 
acres of the Coronado National Forest adjacent to the ranch, on 
claims issued pursuant to the 1872 Mining Law.
     July 26, 2007, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral 
Resources legislative hearing on ``H.R. 2262: The Hardrock 
Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007.'' This hearing provided an 
overview on the ways in which the 1872 Mining Law is overdue 
for reform. Witnesses from the tribal, environmental, taxpayer 
advocate, and sportsmen communities outlined the Law's economic 
and environmental shortcomings.
     August 21, 2007, Subcommittee on Energy and 
Mineral Resources legislative field hearing on ``Nevada and 
H.R. 2262: Opportunities and Challenges in Reform of the 1872 
Mining Law.'' Held in Elko, NV, this hearing focused on the 
importance of hardrock mining to communities and economies. 
Witnesses emphasized the need for a fair royalty, drew 
distinctions between the impact and processes entailed in 
mining exploration versus operations, and underscored the need 
for a strong national standard for mining that recognizes 
(rather than duplicates) existing law and regulations.
     October 2, 2007, Subcommittee on Energy and 
Mineral Resources legislative hearing on ``H.R. 2262 Royalties 
and Abandoned Mine Reclamation.'' One panel, consisting of 
experts with extensive knowledge of royalties in the United 
States and internationally, focused on how to determine a fair 
and appropriate royalty, including: the advantages and 
disadvantages of gross income, net smelter, and net proceeds or 
profit types of royalties; royalty rates in other nations; and 
special tax preferences in the United States, including the 
depletion allowance. A second panel focused on the need for a 
royalty to address the hardrock abandoned mine problem in the 
Western United States. Witnesses from the EPA and Forest 
Service provided a sense of scope, status of agency inventory 
efforts, and reclamation costs.
    On Thursday, October 18, 2007 and Tuesday, October 23, 
2007, the Committee on Natural Resources met in open session to 
consider the bill. The Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral 
Resources was discharged from further consideration of H.R. 
2262.
    Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick J. Rahall II (D-
WV) offered an amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 
2262. The following amendments were then offered to the 
amendment in the nature of a substitute:
    Mr. DeFazio offered an amendment to amend Section 3(c) and 
Section 102, exempting from the royalty those who receive less 
than $250,000 in gross income from mining and imposing an 8% 
royalty on existing mining operations, which failed by voice 
vote.
    Mr. Pearce offered an amendment to create a Minerals 
Reclamation Foundation, which was withdrawn.
    Mr. Inslee offered an amendment to Section 104, clarifying 
the ability of mining claimants to use lands for mining and 
related purposes on the basis of the payment of the required 
maintenance fee, which was agreed to by voice vote.
    Mr. Heller offered an amendment to Section 102, replacing 
the 8% gross income royalty with a 5% net proceeds royalty, 
which failed by a roll call vote of 10 yeas and 16 nays, as 
follows:


    Mr. Sali offered an amendment to Section 102 to sunset the 
royalty after two years based on several economic indicators, 
which failed by a roll call vote of 9 yeas and 20 nays, as 
follows:


    Mr. Hinchey offered an amendment to Section 102 to impose a 
4% gross income royalty on Federal lands producing minerals as 
of the Act's enactment, which was agreed to by voice vote.
    Mr. Gohmert offered an amendment to Section 304 to change 
the term of an operations permit, which failed by a roll call 
vote of 14 yeas and 16 nays, as follows:


    Mr. Sali offered an amendment to Section 102 to exempt from 
the royalty any minerals used for alternative energy 
production, which failed by a roll call vote of 14 yeas and 20 
nays, as follows:


    Mr. Grijalva offered an amendment to Section 202 to include 
Indian tribes, which was agreed to by a roll call vote of 37 
yeas and 0 nays, as follows:


    Mr. Pearce offered an amendment to requiring the Secretary 
of the Interior to make certain certifications before the Act 
can take effect, which failed by a roll call vote of 17 yeas 
and 21 nays, as follows:


    Mr. Heller offered an amendment to Section 411 to allocate 
50% of the funds in the Hardrock Reclamation Account to states 
in proportion to production in each state, which failed by 
voice vote.
    Mr. Sali offered an amendment to Section 102 exempting from 
the royalty any mineral used to prevent global warming, which 
failed by roll call vote of 17 yeas and 22 nays, as follows:


    Mrs. McMorris-Rodgers offered an amendment to strike 
Section 301 and other provisions in Title III, which failed by 
a roll call vote of 16 yeas and 23 nays, as follows:


    Mr. Lamborn offered an amendment to sections on permit and 
user fees, which failed by voice vote.
    Mr. Holt and Mr. Inslee offered an amendment to Title III 
to deny permits which would impair the lands or resources of 
National Parks, which was agreed to by a roll call vote of 21 
yeas and 18 nays, as follows:


    Mr. Pearce offered an amendment to create a Mineral 
Commodity Information Administration, which failed by a roll 
call vote of 16 yeas and 23 nays, as follows:


    Mr. Heller offered an amendment to facilitate sustainable 
development projects on former mining sites, which was 
withdrawn.
    Mr. Sali offered an amendment to Title V to impose a 2% 
royalty on non-metallic minerals, which failed by a roll call 
vote of 17 yeas and 22 nays, as follows:


    Mr. Pearce offered an amendment tying the continuation in 
effect of the Act to U.S. gross domestic product, which failed 
by a voice vote.
    Mr. Pearce offered an amendment to strike Section 505(b)(6) 
which was agreed to by voice vote.
    Mr. Pearce offered an amendment to strike Title III which 
failed by a roll call vote of 12 yeas and 23 nays, as follows:


    Mr. Sali offered an amendment to Section 201 to give states 
the ability to opt in or out of making certain categories of 
Federal lands off limits to mining, which failed by a roll call 
vote of 13 yeas and 24 nays, as follows:


    Mr. Pearce offered an amendment to encourage cleanup of 
inactive and abandoned mines through protections for ``Good 
Samaritans'' which was ruled out of order.
    Mr. Cannon offered an amendment en bloc to Sections 304, 
504, and 517 which failed by voice vote.
    The Rahall amendment in the nature of a substitute, as 
amended, was adopted by a voice vote.
    H.R. 2262, as amended, was then ordered favorably reported 
to the House of Representatives by a roll call vote of 23 yeas 
and 15 nays, as follows:


             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides the short title of the legislation, 
the ``Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007.''

Section 2. Definitions and references

    This section defines affiliate, applicant, beneficiation, 
casual use, claim holder, control, exploration, Federal land, 
Indian lands, Indian tribe, locatable mineral, mineral 
activities, National Conservation System unit, operator, 
person, processing, Secretary, temporary cessation, undue 
degradation, valid existing rights, applicable date.
    The Committee has included in the bill as amended, a 
definition of ``undue degradation:'' ``undue degradation means 
irreparable harm to significant scientific, cultural or 
environmental resources on public lands that cannot be 
effectively mitigated.'' This definition is critical to the 
general standard for mineral activities established in Section 
301, and uses the definition of ``undue degradation'' 
established in the 43 CFR Part 3809 (2000).

Section 3. Application rules

    This section details when and how the Act applies to mining 
claims, millsite and tunnel site claims and operations. Section 
3 declares that the Act's requirements apply immediately to 
unpatented mining, millsite and tunnel site claims for which no 
plan of operations has been approved or notice filed. Where 
plans of operations have been approved but mining has not 
commenced, operations have ten years to come into compliance 
with the Act (unlike the bill as introduced, which allowed five 
years). Where claims are used for beneficiation and processing 
of any locatable mineral--regardless of whether mined from 
public or private lands--the provisions of the Act apply.

TITLE I--MINERAL EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT

Sec. 101. Limitation on patents

    This section prohibits issuance of patents for vein, lode, 
placer, and millsite and tunnel site claims unless the 
application for a patent was filed with the Secretary on or 
before September 30, 1994 and other administrative requirements 
are met.

Sec. 102. Royalty

    This section imposes a 8% gross income royalty on the 
production of hardrock minerals from mining claims on federal 
lands and dedicates the royalties to abandoned mine reclamation 
and community assistance. The Committee amended this section 
from the bill as introduced, to refer to the royalty as a 
``gross income'' royalty rather than a ``net smelter return'' 
royalty. However, the royalty is still calculated on the value-
based definition of ``mining income'' found in the Internal 
Revenue Code 613(c). This form of royalty keeps administration 
relatively simple. By comparison, the Committee rejected a 
``net profit'' royalty because it would result in negligible 
returns to the taxpayer and would likely reduce royalty 
payments and would be susceptible to ``creative accounting.'' 
The Committee accepted an amendment on a voice vote to impose a 
4% gross income royalty on all operations producing locatable 
minerals on Federal lands prior to and on the date of enactment 
of this Act. This section also sets forth administrative 
provisions for the payment of royalties, including record 
keeping and reporting. It gives the Secretary of the Interior 
the authority to conduct audits and investigations, and share 
information with other agencies. Penalties are imposed for 
underreporting.

Sec. 103. Claim maintenance fee and location fee

    Currently the BLM collects a one-time $30 location fee and 
an annual $125 maintenance fee per claim through annual 
appropriations authority. The Committee amended the bill as 
introduced to provide a permanent authorization for collection 
of these fees in this section. In addition, the Committee 
increased the fees to $50 and $150 respectively. Exempted from 
the maintenance fee are those claimants who hold ten or fewer 
claims and meet specific mineral production, exploration, and 
surface disturbance requirements (a ``small miner'' fee 
exemption is current practice under 43 CFR Part 3835).

Section 104. Effect of payment or use and occupancy of claims

    The Committee amended the bill as introduced to provide 
security of tenure to those who invest in mining exploration on 
public lands and discover valuable minerals. Specifically, H.R. 
2262 would authorize claimants who pay annual maintenance fees 
to use and occupy claimed lands for prospecting and mineral 
exploration activities, subject to compliance with the 
requirements of the Act and applicable provisions of law. The 
Committee intends that timely payment of the annual claim 
maintenance fee will not convey property rights nor secure a 
right to mine. To the contrary, the provision requires such use 
and occupancy to comply with the requirements of the Act and 
applicable provisions of law. The Committee amended this 
section to clarify that the filing of the claim maintenance fee 
and compliance with the other claiming and filing requirements 
do not in any way mean that the subject claims are valid or 
that the claimant has a right to conduct mineral activities on 
the claims. Any authority to conduct mineral activities accrues 
only upon the claimant's receipt of an approved permit under 
Title III and compliance with all other applicable law. 
Therefore, while granting the claimants some security, the 
Committee intends that claimants will be required to meet the 
provisions of the Act, specifically the environmental and 
permitting requirements of Title III.

TITLE II--PROTECTION OF SPECIAL PLACES

Section 201. Lands open to location

    This section identifies categories of Federal lands that 
will be closed to hardrock mining as of the enactment of the 
Act, including: lands recommended for wilderness designation or 
being managed as roadless areas; BLM Wilderness Study Areas and 
National Monuments; lands designated, eligible, or under study 
for inclusion in the Wild and Scenic River System; lands 
previously withdrawn under other law; Areas of Critical 
Environmental Concern; and areas identified in the Roadless 
Area Conservation Rule of 2001. The Committee amended the bill 
to delete inclusion of sacred sites among lands closed to 
mineral entry, reflecting the concerns that the lack of a 
publicly-available list of sacred sites would make such a 
provision impossible to administer.

Section 202. State and county government withdrawal petitions

    The Committee added this section in order to enable state, 
tribal and county governments the ability to petition for 
withdrawal from the general mining laws specific tracts of 
public lands which have high value to the state or county for 
reasons such as water supply, scenic vistas, fish and wildlife 
habitat or cultural resources. It provides a tool for balancing 
resource values and mineral development before industry makes a 
major investment in mine development. The Secretary is required 
to act on the petition within 180 days and must approve the 
petition unless it would not be in the national interest to do 
so.

TITLE III--ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS OF MINERAL EXPLORATION AND 
        DEVELOPMENT

Sec. 301. General standard for hardrock mining on public lands

    This Section establishes a general standard for hardrock 
mining on public lands that requires mineral activities on 
Federal lands to be carefully controlled to prevent undue 
degradation of public lands and resources. It enables the 
Secretary to deny permission to mine if the activities will 
result in undue degradation that cannot be effectively 
mitigated. Compared to the bill as introduced, this is a 
simpler, though similar and equally strong, standard. The 
Committee intends that this section be read and applied within 
the context of the Clinton Administration's 43 CFR Part 3809 
regulations, published in the Federal Register on November 21, 
2000, which clearly defined ``undue'' degradation and asserted 
the Department of Interior's authority to say ``no'' to a 
proposed hardrock mine that would cause undue degradation that 
could not be effectively mitigated.
    Section 301 overrides Section 302(b) of the Federal Land 
Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1732(b)) and the 
first section of the Act of June 4, 1897 (chapter 2; 30 Stat. 
36 16 U.S.C. 478) and the National Forest Management Act of 
1976 (16 U.S.C. 1600 et seq.) and replaces the standards 
contained therein with the new standard that mineral activities 
must prevent undue degradation of public lands and resources.
    The Committee intends that the new standard replace former 
policies that relied on interpretations of terms such as 
``unnecessary or undue degradation'' that resulted in confusion 
and ambiguity. For example, the 2000 43 CFR 3809 final rule 
stated: ``it is clear from the use of the conjunction `or' that 
the Secretary has the authority to prevent `degradation' that 
is necessary to mining, but undue or excessive. This policy was 
revoked by the Bush Administration on October 30, 2001 (Federal 
Register, Vol. 66, No. 210) on the argument that the word `or' 
in this case should be read as `and.' The Committee adoption of 
the phrase `undue degradation' in this section eliminates any 
ambiguity.''
    The selection of the term ``undue degradation'' is not 
random. The Committee intends that mineral activities under the 
Act will conform to the description of ``undue degradation'' 
set forth in the 2000 rules, which require that operations not 
result in substantial irreparable harm to significant resource 
values that cannot be effectively mitigated. The Committee 
anticipates the Secretary will deny a permit that cannot meet 
the ``undue degradation'' standard. The Committee intends that 
this provision be applied on a site-specific basis and that it 
would not necessarily preclude development of a large open pit 
mine. As such, a permit to mine could be denied only when:
     The public land resource values are significant at 
a particular location.
     Mining would cause substantial irreparable harm to 
the specific public land resource values that are significant 
at a particular location; i.e., a small amount of irreparable 
harm to a portion of the resource will not trigger the 
protection. The harm must be substantial.
     The harm cannot be effectively mitigated. If the 
harm can be mitigated, the permit would be approved.
    The Committee intends that the Secretaries shall rely on 
the Council on Environmental Quality's government-wide 
definition of ``mitigation'' as it appears in 40 CFR 1508.20. 
An operator who must ``mitigate'' damage to wetlands or 
riparian areas, or who must take appropriate mitigation 
measures for a pit or other disturbance, would have to take 
mitigation measures, which includes the measures listed in the 
definition found in the above-referenced subpart.

Sec. 302. Permits

    This section requires a permit for any mineral activity 
that will disturb surface resources. Mineral activities that 
cause only negligible disturbance or are a casual use of public 
lands (as defined in Sec. 1) are exempted from permit 
requirements. The Committee added language to this section to 
clarify that the Secretary should conduct the permitting 
process in coordination with the requirements of the National 
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Sec. 303. Exploration permits

    The Committee added this section in order to set forth a 
separate permitting process and requirements for exploration, 
recognizing that exploration does not disturb resources on the 
scale of a full mining operation and therefore should not 
require the same permitting process--a burden to agencies and 
industry and counterproductive to ensuring a strong domestic 
minerals program. Exploration permits may be approved if all 
the requirements of this Act and applicable law are met, 
including the duty to prevent undue degradation in Section 301.
    Specifically, H.R. 2262, as amended, authorizes the 
Secretary to approve permits for exploration as long as 
specific application, reclamation, and financial assurance 
criteria are met. Permits are to be issued for terms no longer 
than 10 years. Proposed modifications of exploration permits 
require another review process. This section also sets forth 
requirements for transfer and sale of exploration permits.

Section 304. Operations permit

    This section establishes that claimholders with valid 
claims can apply for operations permits for mining on mining, 
millsite, and tunnel site claims. This section also proscribes 
required elements of an application for an operations permit 
including plans for operations, reclamation, monitoring, and 
long-term maintenance. H.R. 2262, as amended, does not include 
a detailed list of information to be included in the permit 
application, because the Committee found that such information 
is required and will be provided during the NEPA process which 
will be conducted in concert with the consideration of the 
permit application.
    Importantly, the Committee has given the Secretary the 
right to deny a permit if requirements of the Act cannot be 
met. Requirements include: demonstration that reclamation will 
meet the Act's ``no undue degradation'' standard (see Section 
301) and the land, including fish and wildlife resources, can 
be returned to productive use; an assessment that the 
operations impacts (including cumulative impacts of mining on 
hydrology) will not cause undue degradation; compliance with 
financial assurance requirements; and a reclamation plan that 
demonstrates that 10 years after mine closure, discharge or 
effluent will not need treatment to meet water quality 
standards. The Committee extended the length of the operations 
permits from one 10-year term, with possible renewal, to a firm 
20-year limit with opportunity for an automatic additional 20-
year renewal assuming the operation is in compliance with the 
permit. The Secretaries are granted the authority to establish 
requirements for permit modification applications, and permit 
modification is required if changes are made to approved plans, 
or if unanticipated events occur, particularly those which 
jeopardize water quality and quantity. This section establishes 
a process for applications for temporary cessation of 
operations.
    The Committee included a requirement in the bill as amended 
that the federal land manager conduct a general review of each 
operations permit every 10 years, as opposed to every 3 years 
in the bill as introduced. The purpose of this review is to 
ensure that the overall conduct of operations has not diverted 
in any significant way from the original plan of operations as 
approved by the Secretary. This review should ensure that as 
operations proceed, the operator's predictions regarding the 
nature of the ore and other minerals or impurities encountered, 
type of processing that works with ore, groundwater flow rates, 
directions and quality, and methods for heap leaching, design 
of drainage and impoundments have not changed significantly. 
This section also sets forth requirements for transfer and sale 
of permits. Secretaries are required to fully comply with 
public participation requirements under NEPA.
    Unlike the bill as introduced, H.R. 2262, as amended, 
authorizes the Secretary to make additional Federal land 
available as necessary to permit mineral activities on mining 
claims. This new authority is necessary because the archaic 
terminology of the 1872 law requires that millsites, or lands 
used for processing or milling locatable minerals, shall be on 
non-mineral land and noncontiguous to the lode or placer on 
which a regular mining claim is located. The law, therefore, by 
implication requires that mining claims only be used for 
extracting ore, not processing; otherwise, they are vulnerable 
to a challenge on the lack of discovery of a valuable mineral. 
In practice these restrictions are routinely ignored. In fact, 
the BLM regulations expressly allow a mine permit to cover a 
specified area whether or not it is on or includes valid mining 
claims. Section 304 rectifies this situation by requiring that 
an operations permit may only be approved on federal land 
containing a valid mining claim, millsite claim, tunnel site 
claim, and such additional Federal lands that the Secretary 
grants a right-of-way permit under title V of FLPMA. In this 
way, the mining operator will be able to secure the additional 
space needed to conduct mineral activities while also ensuring 
that Federal lands are used in accordance with Federal law.

Sec. 305. Persons ineligible for permits

    This section declares persons in violation of this Act, 
state or Federal conservation laws or regulations, or the 
Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act and associated 
regulations to be ineligible for permits. This section mirrors 
comparable provisions of the Surface Mining Control and 
Reclamation Act (30 U.S.C. 1231).

Sec. 306. Financial assurances

    This section seeks to prevent the already substantial 
problem of abandoned hardrock mines from growing when companies 
go bankrupt. A 2005 report by the General Accounting Office\37\ 
(GAO) found that the BLM did not have a process for ensuring 
that adequate assurances, like bonds, are in place to cover 
reclamation costs for mines on public lands. This section 
requires operators to provide evidence of financial assurances 
sufficient to cover mine reclamation and restoration. The 
Secretary is authorized to adjust the amounts of the bonds or 
other assurances as size of area mined changes, or based on new 
information on reclamation or treatment costs. Financial 
assurances must be sufficient to assure reclamation by the 
Secretary in the event of forfeiture. A two-part release 
schedule for financial assurances is established: first, part 
of the assurances can be released after determination that 
operators have successfully regraded and revegetated the mine 
area. The second part can be released after confirmation that 
mine discharge has ceased for at least five years, or met water 
quality standards for five years without treatment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \37\GAO, 2005. ``Hardrock Mining: BLM Needs to Better Manage 
Financial Assurances to Guarantee Coverage of Reclamation Costs.'' 
(GAO-05-377)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The administration and several witnesses testified that BLM 
has substantially improved its financial assurance requirements 
and oversight since the GAO report was released. However, 
others--including a former BLM State Director--testified to the 
value of this section to ensure that financial assurance 
oversight remains an agency priority, and improvements 
continue, especially with regard to assurances that take into 
account the costs of long-term water treatment.

Sec. 307. Operation and reclamation

    This section mandates that lands used for mining must be 
restored to a condition capable of supporting their prior uses, 
or to other beneficial uses which conform to applicable land 
use plans, such as fish and wildlife habitat, hunting, fishing 
and other forms of recreation. The Committee amended the bill 
as introduced to delete the more prescriptive operations and 
reclamation standards included in the bill as introduced and 
instead directs Secretaries to jointly issue performance or 
technology-based standards to address eleven environmental 
concerns, such as (but not limited to) erosion control, 
vegetation cover, acid mine drainage, and restoration of fish 
and wildlife habitat. The Committee also added a provision to 
require the Secretary to work with state and local governments 
to minimize impacts on surface and ground water from mineral 
activities. Ongoing review of reclamation activities on 
forfeited claims and suspended operations permits is required.
    The Committee adopted this less prescriptive approach in 
response to the 1999 National Research Council's report on 
hardrock mining which endorsed performance standards over 
technology standards.\38\ Specifically, the National Research 
Council found that ``Federal land management agencies'' 
regulatory standards for mining should continue to focus on a 
clear statement of management goals rather than on defining 
inflexible, technically prescriptive `standards.'' Simple `one-
size-fits-all' solutions are impractical because mining 
confronts too great an assortment of site specific technical, 
environmental, and social conditions. The requirements in H.R. 
2262, as amended will provide the necessary and strong 
framework for regulating hardrock mining while also providing 
enough flexibility to ensure the appropriate outcomes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \38\National Research Council, ``Hardrock Mining on Federal 
Lands'', National Academy Press, 1999.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sec. 308. State law and regulation

    This section declares that state standards for reclamation, 
bonding, inspection, and water or air quality which either meet 
or exceed federal standards are not inconsistent with this Act. 
The states and the Secretary can use cooperative agreements to 
govern surface management activities, but the federal 
government reserves the authority to inspect and enforce those 
mines which include private as well as public lands.

Sec. 309. Limitation on the issuance of permits

    H.R. 2262, as amended, requires that no exploration or 
operations permit shall be issued under this Act if the mineral 
activities would impair the lands or resources of a National 
Park or National Monument. The bill, as amended, defines the 
term ``impair'' as including any diminution of the affected 
lands or resources including but not limited to scenic assets, 
water resources, air quality, acoustic qualities or other 
changes that would damage the lands or resources of a National 
Park or a National Monument.

TITLE IV--MINING MITIGATION

    The substance of this title is unchanged in H.R. 2262, as 
amended; however, it has been reformatted for purposes of 
clarity.

                  SUBTITLE A--LOCATABLE MINERALS FUND

Sec. 401. Establishment of fund

    This section establishes a ``Locatable Minerals Fund.''

Sec. 402. Contents of fund

    This section directs to the Locatable Minerals Fund the 
following: royalties collected under Section 102, monies 
resulting from enforcement and citizen suits, donations, 
penalties, funds from issuance of remaining grandfathered 
permits, and any balance in the annual claim maintenance fees 
not otherwise applied to administration of the mining law 
program in the Department of the Interior.

Sec. 403. Subaccounts

    This section directs 2/3 of the funding to the ``Hardrock 
Reclamation Account'' and 1/3 to the ``Hardrock Community 
Impact Assistance Account.''

            SUBTITLE B--USE OF HARDROCK RECLAMATION ACCOUNT

Sec. 411--Use and objectives of the account

    This section establishes that funds can be spent for 
reclamation on public lands used for mining, and on areas with 
mixed federal-nonfederal ownership, as long as half the lands 
are federal. The Secretary is directed to prioritize 
reclamation projects which protect public health and safety, 
particularly from water pollution, and for projects which 
restore wildlife habitat. Reclamation that is a removal or 
remedial action under Superfund must be conducted with the 
concurrence of the EPA.

Section 412. Eligible lands and waters

    This Section mandates use of funds for reclamation of 
federal lands, Indian lands, or water resources that cross 
those lands, which have been affected by mining activities 
prior to this Act, for which there is no responsible party, and 
on which minerals cannot further be extracted economically by 
mining or reprocessing beyond negligible disturbance. The 
Secretary is directed to maintain an inventory of abandoned 
mines on Federal and Indian Lands and provide an annual report 
to Congress on status of cleanup.

Sec. 413. Expenditures

    This section authorizes the Director of the Office of 
Surface Mining and Reclamation to make funds available to 
agency directors, tribes, or other public entities that are 
capable of undertaking reclamation programs.

Sec. 414. Authorization of appropriations

    This section authorizes appropriation of funds without 
fiscal year limitation.

    SUBTITLE C--USE OF HARDROCK COMMUNITY IMPACT ASSISTANCE ACCOUNT

Sec. 412. Use and objectives of the account

    This Section directs fund to be used for planning, 
construction, and maintenance of public facilities and public 
services in states, political subdivisions, and tribes negative 
impacted by hardrock mining on public lands.

Sec. 422. Allocation of funds

    This section allocates funds in proportion to the amount of 
mineral production under the general mining act in each state.

TITLE V--ADMINISTRATIVE AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

                 SUBTITLE A--ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

Sec. 501. Policy functions

    This section adds to the purposes of Mining and Minerals 
Policy Act of 1970 ``to ensure that mineral extraction and 
processing not cause undue degradation of the natural and 
cultural resources of the Federal lands.'' It also adds 
language to the National Materials and Minerals Policy, 
Research and Development Act of 1980 to ``improve the 
availability of mineral data in Federal land use decisions.''

Sec. 502. User fees

    This section authorizes the Secretaries to establish and 
collect user fees to cover administrative costs of the 
requirements of the Act.

Sec. 503. Inspection and monitoring

    This section establishes a minimum number of inspections of 
mineral activities per year, based on phase of operation. It 
gives citizens adversely affected by mineral activity 
violations the right to confidentially request inspections of 
sites. Operators are required to monitor compliance with their 
permit requirements, file reports with the Secretary, and make 
monitoring and evaluation reports available to the public.

Sec. 504. Citizen suits

    This section authorizes citizen suits against any person, 
including the Secretaries, to enforce compliance. Plaintiffs 
must give operators notice in writing of the alleged violation 
and 60 days before civil actions can begin. The bill, as 
amended, mirrors comparable provisions of the Surface Mining 
Control and Reclamation Act (30 U.S.C. 1231).

Sec. 505. Administrative and judicial review

    This section proscribes procedural guidelines for 
administrative review of agency actions. It provides for review 
of notice of violation within 30 days, review of penalties 
assessed within 45 days, and review of a decision within 30 
days. It further provides for public hearings on violations, 
requires written decisions by the Secretary on findings within 
30 days of review, and allows the Secretary to grant temporary 
relief from penalties or corrective measures.

Sec. 506. Enforcement

    This section sets forth enforcement guidelines. 30 days are 
allowed for abatement of violations, unless there is an 
imminent threat to public heath or safety of the environment, 
in which case the operation is shut down and financial 
assurances forfeited pending judicial or administrative review. 
Civil and criminal penalties are set for non-compliance, with 
caps for penalties at $25,000 per violation per day for failure 
to comply with environmental protection requirements. This 
section sets the minimum penalty for failing to cease 
operations when ordered at $1,000. Any agent of a corporation 
who knowingly facilitates a violation or refusal to cease 
operations is made culpable. The Secretary is empowered to 
suspend permits if mine operators [or owners] lie or violate 
terms of the Act or their permit. Fines are imposed for 
violations of monitoring agreements or falsifying monitoring 
information, for mining without a permit, or violating 
environmental protection requirements.

Sec. 507. Enforcement

    This section requires Secretaries of Interior and 
Agriculture to promulgate regulations to implement the Act 
within 180 days of enactment of the Act.

Sec. 508. Effective date

    This section establishes that the Act is effective on the 
date of enactment unless otherwise provided.

                  SUBTITLE B--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Sec. 511. Oil shale claims subject to special rules

    This section amends the reclamation requirement for certain 
oil shale claims and limited patents in the Energy Policy Act 
of 1992 to be consistent with the provisions in this Act.

Sec. 512. Purchasing power adjustment

    This section requires Secretary to adjust all fees, 
penalties, and other charges at least every five years based on 
the Consumer Price Index.

Sec. 513. Savings clause

    This section declares that laws, regulations, and land use 
plans with stronger requirements to protect natural and 
cultural resources than those in this Act remain in effect. 
This section also declares that no other Federal law is 
affected by this Act, except the general mining laws.

Sec. 514. Availability of public records

    This section declares that all records, materials, and 
information must be made available to the public physically and 
via the Internet.

Sec. 515. Miscellaneous powers

    This section authorizes the Secretaries of Interior and 
Agriculture to conduct investigations, inspections, and other 
inquiries. Secretaries have authority to issue subpoenas and 
order written testimony and depositions. District courts are 
authorized to require witness appearance and production of 
documents. Entry and access to facilities and records is 
authorized.

Sec. 516. Multiple mineral development and surface resources

    This section applies the provisions of the Multiple 
Minerals Development Act (30 U.S.C. 524 and 526).

Sec. 517. Mineral materials

    This section clarifies that all common minerals, such as 
clay, stone, pumice, and rock, are covered under the leasing 
and sale laws and are not to be treated as locatable minerals. 
This section removes the ability to claim mineral deposits of 
such minerals as locatable minerals under the mining laws if 
the mineral deposit had some property giving it a ``distinct 
and special value'' that had existed under the Surface 
Resources Act of 1955 (30 U.S.C. 611).

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                  Federal Advisory Committee Statement

    The functions of the proposed advisory committee authorized 
in the bill are not currently being nor could they be performed 
by one or more agencies, an advisory committee already in 
existence or by enlarging the mandate of an existing advisory 
committee.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that Rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of Rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to modify the requirements applicable 
to locatable minerals on public domain land, consistent with 
the principles of self-initiation of mining claims, and for 
other purposes.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

H.R. 2262--Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007

    Summary: H.R. 2262 would reform programs related to mining 
hardrock minerals, such as gold, copper, and uranium, on 
federal land. CBO estimates that implementing the bill would 
increase discretionary spending by $16 million in 2008 and $267 
million over the 2008-2012 period, assuming appropriation of 
the necessary amounts. We also estimate that enacting H.R. 2262 
would reduce direct spending by $10 million in 2008, $206 
million over the 2008-2012 period, and $382 million over the 
2008-2017 period. Finally, we estimate that the bill would have 
no impact on revenues in 2008, but would increase them by $160 
million over the 2009-2012 period, and $310 million over the 
2009-2017 period.
    H.R. 2262 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined 
in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no 
costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    H.R. 2262 contains private-sector mandates, as defined in 
UMRA, that would affect certain holders or operators of mining 
claims on public land. The bill would impose a royalty on the 
production of hardrock minerals from those claims. The bill 
also would require persons paying royalties to comply with 
certain administrative procedures. CBO estimates that the cost 
of those mandates would fall below the annual threshold 
established in UMRA for private-sector mandates ($131 million 
in 2007, adjusted annually for inflation).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: For this 
estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 2262 will be enacted early in 
2008. The estimated budgetary impact of H.R. 2262 is shown in 
the following table. The costs of this legislation fall within 
budget function 300 (natural resources and environment).

                               TABLE 1.--ESTIMATED BUDGETARY EFFECTS OF H.R. 2262
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            2008      2009      2010      2011      2012    2008-2012  2008-2017
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Estimated Authorization Level...........        25       151        94        88        83        441       n.a.
Estimated Outlays.......................        16        46        52        69        84        267       n.a.

                                           CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING

Estimated Budget Authority..............       -10       -55       -51       -47       -43       -206       -382
Estimated Outlays.......................       -10       -55       -51       -47       -43       -206       -382

                                               CHANGES IN REVENUES

Estimated Revenues......................         0        70        30        30        30        160        310
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note.--n.a. = not available.

    Basis of estimate: H.R. 2262 would reform programs related 
to mining hardrock minerals on federal land. The bill would 
establish a new regulatory framework for administering permits 
to develop hardrock minerals. Key features of that framework 
would require miners to seek additional permits to explore for 
and develop mineral resources and meet certain standards 
related to reclamation of mined lands. The bill also would 
reauthorize and increase certain mining-related fees and impose 
a royalty on gross income from hardrock mining on federal land. 
Under current law, hardrock miners pay no royalties to the 
federal government. Under the bill, income from hardrock mining 
fees and royalties would be available, subject to 
appropriation, to support reclamation programs and to provide 
assistance to certain state, local, and tribal governments. 
Finally, H.R. 2262 would modify procedures related to 
administrative and judicial review of mining activities, 
withdraw certain federal land from such activities, and 
establish procedures to allow local governments to petition for 
further withdrawals of federal land within their jurisdiction.
    CBO estimates that implementing the bill would increase 
spending subject to appropriation, offsetting receipts (a 
credit against direct spending), and revenues. Effects of 
provisions estimated to have significant budgetary effects are 
described in the following sections.

Spending subject to appropriation

    H.R. 2262 would authorize the appropriation of federal 
proceeds (including fees and royalties) from hardrock mining to 
restore public land where mining has occurred and to provide 
assistance to certain state, local, and tribal governments. 
(Estimates of such proceeds, which would affect direct spending 
and revenues, are described later in this estimate.) The bill 
also would make several changes to mining permits and the 
review of those permits that CBO expects would significantly 
increase federal costs to administer programs related to 
hardrock mining on federal land. In total, CBO estimates that 
implementing the legislation would increase discretionary 
spending by $16 million in 2008 and $267 million over the 2008-
2012 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.
    Spending of Proceeds from Hardrock Mining. As discussed in 
more detail in the following sections, H.R. 2262 would increase 
federal proceeds from hardrock mining. The bill also would 
establish the Locatable Minerals Fund, into which such proceeds 
would be deposited along with certain other mining-related fees 
and charges. Subject to appropriation, the bill would authorize 
the Secretary of the Interior to spend two-thirds of amounts in 
the proposed fund, including interest, to restore public land 
where mining has occurred. The bill would authorize 
appropriations of the remaining one-third of such funds for 
financial assistance to state, local, and tribal governments 
with federal mining lands within their jurisdictions.
    Based on information from the Department of the Interior 
(DOI) and industry experts, CBO estimates that deposits to the 
proposed fund, including intragovernmental transfers of 
interest credited to unspent balances in the fund, would total 
$25 million in 2008 and $441 million over the 2008-2012 period. 
Assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, we estimate 
that resulting spending would total $3 million in 2008 and $252 
million over the 2008-2012 period. That estimate is based on 
historical spending patterns for similar activities.
    Administrative Costs. Based on information from DOI 
regarding the department's costs to administer hardrock mining 
activities under current law, CBO estimates that implementing 
H.R. 2262 would increase the department's costs by about $15 
million annually starting in 2008, particularly for costs 
related to new permitting requirements established under the 
bill.
    H.R. 2262 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to 
charge fees to offset those increased administrative costs. CBO 
expects, however, that it would take about one year for DOI to 
begin to collect such fees; therefore, we estimate that 
increased costs incurred during 2008 would not be offset, and 
we estimate that the agency would require additional net 
appropriations of $15 million to administer hardrock mining 
programs in that year. Starting in 2009, however, we estimate 
that DOI would collect fees sufficient to fully offset 
additional administrative costs incurred under H.R. 2262, 
requiring no further net appropriations beyond 2008. As a 
result, we estimate that administering proposed changes to 
hardrock mining programs under H.R. 2262 would increase net 
discretionary spending by $13 million in 2008 and $15 million 
over the 2008-2012 period, assuming appropriation of the 
necessary amounts.

Direct spending and revenues

    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 2262 would increase 
offsetting receipts from certain fees, thereby reducing direct 
spending. We also estimate that the bill would increase 
revenues by imposing a royalty on income generated from mining 
for hardrock minerals on federal land. Direct spending and 
revenue effects are presented in Table 2 and described in the 
following sections.

                                         TABLE 2.--ESTIMATED DIRECT SPENDING AND REVENUE EFFECTS UNDER H.R. 2262
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                  By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     2008    2009    2010    2011    2012    2013    2014    2015    2016    2017   2008-2012  2008-2017
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING

Estimated Budget Authority........................     -10     -55     -51     -47     -43     -40     -37     -35     -33     -31      -206       -382
Estimated Outlays.................................     -10     -55     -51     -47     -43     -40     -37     -35     -33     -31      -206       -382

                                                                   CHANGES IN REVENUES

Estimated Revenues................................       0      70      30      30      30      30      30      30      30      30       160        310
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Offsetting Receipts from Location and Maintenance Fees. 
Under current law, hardrock miners pay certain fees to the 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM): a one-time location fee of $30 
when recording a hardrock claim and annual maintenance fees of 
$125 per claim. According to BLM, location and maintenance 
fees--which are scheduled to expire after 2008--totaled roughly 
$50 million in 2007. Those fees are currently recorded in the 
budget as offsets to federal spending.
    H.R. 2262 would permanently reauthorize location and 
maintenance fees. The bill also would increase those fees, 
respectively, to $50 and $150 per claim. Based on information 
from BLM about anticipated trends in the number of hardrock 
claims located and maintained each year, CBO estimates that the 
proposed higher fees would generate additional offsetting 
receipts totaling $10 million in 2008, $206 million over the 
2009-2012 period, and $382 million over the 2009-2017 period. 
(As discussed previously, under H.R. 2262, those amounts would 
be deposited in the Locatable Minerals Fund, and any spending 
would be subject to appropriation.)
    Revenues from Royalties: Under current law, hardrock miners 
do not pay royalties to the federal government. H.R. 2262 would 
establish a royalty on future production of hardrock minerals. 
In general, the royalty rate on production from existing claims 
would be 4 percent of gross income; the rate for new claims 
established pursuant to H.R. 2262 would be 8 percent.
    Budgetary Treatment of Royalties. CBO believes that 
imposing royalties on miners with existing claims is an 
exercise of the government's sovereign power to levy compulsory 
fees. Governmental receipts from such fees are recorded in the 
budget as revenues. Royalties generated from new claims, 
however, would be considered voluntary, resulting from 
business-like transactions, and would be recorded in the budget 
as offsetting receipts.
    Royalties from Existing Claims. CBO expects that, under 
H.R. 2262, royalties from existing claims would generate new 
revenues. Although general data on the value of hardrock 
minerals produced throughout the United States are available, 
estimates of the portion attributable to federal land--and 
gross income to firms with federal mining claims--are 
uncertain, particularly because companies are not currently 
required to report data related to production from federal 
land. However, based on information from BLM, the U.S. 
Geological Survey, and industry experts, CBO estimates that 
total income subject to the proposed royalty would average 
roughly $1 billion a year, with most of that income earned by 
gold producers, We further estimate that increased revenues 
under H.R. 2262, net of reductions to income and payroll taxes, 
would total $160 million over the 2009-2012 period and $310 
million over the 2009-2017 period. Under H.R. 2262, royalties 
due on minerals produced during the first 12 months following 
enactment of the bill could be deferred until after that 12-
month period; therefore, we anticipate that no royalties would 
be paid in 2008.
    Royalties from New Claims. According to BLM and industry 
experts, after locating a mining claim, it typically takes at 
least 10 years to explore, develop, and produce commercial 
quantities of minerals that would generate federal royalties. 
Therefore, CBO expects that any new claims established over the 
2008-2017 period are unlikely to generate any significant 
federal royalties until after 2017.
    Estimated impact on state, local, and tribal governments: 
H.R. 2262 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in 
UMRA. The bill would authorize assistance for planning, 
construction, and maintenance of public facilities and public 
services to state, local, and tribal governments in areas that 
have been affected by mineral activities.
    It also would allow those governments to file petitions 
that would lead to limiting or ending mining activities on 
specific tracts of federal land. Petitions would have to 
outline specific resources and values that the jurisdiction 
intends to protect by limiting mining activities, including 
watersheds and drinking water supplies, wildlife habitats, 
cultural or historic resources, scenic areas, and, in the case 
of Indian tribes, religious and cultural values. Such petitions 
would have to be approved by the Secretary unless, within 180 
days, the Secretary publishes findings that identify why 
complying with the petition would be contrary to the national 
interest.
    Finally, the bill would authorize cooperative agreements 
between the federal government and states for implementing and 
enforcing mining regulations, particularly in cases where 
mineral activities would affect lands where federal and state 
jurisdiction overlap.
    Estimated impact on the private sector: H.R. 2262 contains 
private-sector mandates, as defined in UMRA, that would affect 
certain holders or operators of mining claims on public land. 
The bill would impose a royalty on the production of hardrock 
minerals from mining claims that are on the date of enactment 
(1) subject to an operations permit and (2) producing hardrock 
minerals in commercial quantities. The royalty would be set at 
4 percent of gross income from mining. Based on information 
from BLM, USGS, and industry experts, CBO estimates that the 
cost of that mandate would total about $200 million over the 
2008-2012 period. In addition, the bill would require persons 
paying royalties to comply with certain administrative 
procedures. The cost of complying with the procedures would be 
minimal. Consequently, the aggregate cost to the private sector 
of the mandates in the bill would fall below the annual 
threshold established in UMRA ($131 million in 2007, adjusted 
annually for inflation).
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Megan Carroll and 
Tyler Kruzich; Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: 
Leo Lex; Impact on the Private Sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                           Earmark Statement

    H.R. 2262 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9(d), 9(e) or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

       SECTION 2324 OF THE REVISED STATUTES OF THE UNITED STATES


SEC. 2324. MINING DISTRICT REGULATIONS BY MINERS: LOCATION, 
                    RECORDATION, AND AMOUNT OF WORK; MARKING OF 
                    LOCATION ON GROUND; RECORDS; ANNUAL LABOR OR 
                    IMPROVEMENTS ON CLAIMS PENDING ISSUE OF PATENT; CO-
                    OWNER'S SUCCESSION IN INTEREST UPON DELINQUENCY IN 
                    CONTRIBUTING PROPORTION OF EXPENDITURES; TUNNEL AS 
                    LODE EXPENDITURE.

  The miners of each mining district may make regulations not 
in conflict with the laws of the United States, or with the 
laws of the State or Territory in which the district is 
situated, governing the location, manner of recording, amount 
of work necessary to hold possession of a mining claim, subject 
to the following requirements: The location must be distinctly 
marked on the ground so that its boundaries can be readily 
traced. All records of mining claims made after May 10, 1872, 
shall contain the name or names of the locators, the date of 
the location, and such a description of the claim or claims 
located by reference to some natural object or permanent 
monument as will identify the claim. On each claim located 
after the 10th day of May 1872, that is granted a waiver under 
section 10101 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, 
or section 103(a) of the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 
2007 and until a patent has been issued therefor, not less than 
$100 worth of labor shall be performed or improvements made 
during each year. On all claims located prior to the 10th day 
of May 1872, $10 worth of labor shall be performed or 
improvements made each year, for each one hundred feet in 
length along the vein until a patent has been issued therefor; 
but where such claims are held in common, such expenditure may 
be made upon any one claim; and upon a failure to comply with 
these conditions, the claim or mine upon which such failure 
occurred shall be open to relocation in the same manner as if 
no location of the same had ever been made, provided that the 
original locators, their heirs, assigns, or legal 
representatives, have not resumed work upon the claim after 
failure and before such location. Upon the failure of any one 
of several coowners to contribute his proportion of the 
expenditures required hereby, the coowners who have performed 
the labor or made the improvements may, at the expiration of 
the year, give such delinquent co-owner personal notice in 
writing or notice by publication in the newspaper published 
nearest the claim, for at least once a week for ninety days, 
and if at the expiration of ninety days after such notice in 
writing or by publication such delinquent should fail or refuse 
to contribute his proportion of the expenditure required by 
this section, his interest in the claim shall become the 
property of his co-owners who have made the required 
expenditures. The period within which the work required to be 
done annually on all unpatented mineral claims located since 
May 10, 1872, including such claims in the Territory of Alaska, 
shall commence at 12 o'clock meridian on the 1st day of 
September succeeding the date of location of such claim.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


MINING AND MINERALS POLICY ACT OF 1970

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                         TITLE I--MINING POLICY

  Sec. 101. The Congress declares that it is the continuing 
policy of the Federal Government in the national interest to 
foster and encourage private enterprise in (1) the development 
of economically sound and stable domestic mining, minerals, 
metal and mineral reclamation industries, (2) the orderly and 
economic development of domestic mineral resources, reserves, 
and reclamation of metals and minerals to help assure 
satisfaction of industrial, security and environmental needs, 
(3) mining, mineral, and metallurgical research, including the 
use and recycling of scrap to promote the wise and efficient 
use of our natural and reclaimable mineral resources, and (4) 
the study and development of methods for the disposal, control, 
and reclamation of mineral waste products, and the reclamation 
of mined land, so as to lessen any adverse impact of mineral 
extraction and processing upon the physical environment that 
may result from mining or mineral activities and to ensure that 
mineral extraction and processing not cause undue degradation 
of the natural and cultural resources of the public lands.
   For the purpose of this Act ``minerals'' shall include all 
minerals and mineral fuels including oil, gas, coal, oil shale 
and uranium.
   It shall be the responsibility of the Secretary of the 
Interior to carry out this policy when exercising his authority 
under such programs as may be authorized by law other than this 
Act. It shall also be the responsibility of the Secretary of 
Agriculture to carry out the policy provisions of paragraphs 
(1) and (2) of this section.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


 SECTION 5 OF THE NATIONAL MATERIALS AND MINERALS POLICY, RESEARCH AND 
                        DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 1980


                  PROGRAM PLAN AND REPORT TO CONGRESS

  Sec. 5. (a)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (e) The Secretary of the Interior shall promptly initiate 
actions to--
          (1)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (3) improve the availability and analysis of mineral 
        data in Federal land use decisionmaking, except that 
        for National Forest System lands the Secretary of 
        Agriculture shall promptly initiate actions to improve 
        the availability and analysis of mineral data in public 
        land use decisionmaking.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


             SECTION 2511 OF THE ENERGY POLICY ACT OF 1992


SEC. 2511. OIL SHALE CLAIMS.

  (a)  * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (f) Reclamation.--In addition to other applicable 
requirements, any person who holds a limited patent or 
maintains a claim pursuant to this section shall be required to 
carry out reclamation [as prescribed by the Secretary] and to 
furnish a bond or other appropriate financial guarantee in an 
amount sufficient to ensure adequate reclamation of the lands 
to be disturbed by any aspect of the proposed mining activities 
in the same manner as if such claim was subject to title II and 
title III of the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


                          ACT OF JULY 23, 1955


AN ACT To amend the Act of July 31, 1947 (61 Stat. 681) and the mining 
 laws to provide for multiple use of the surface of the same tracts of 
the public lands, and for other purposes.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  Sec. 3. (a) No deposit of common varieties of mineral 
materials, including but not limited to sand, stone, gravel, 
pumice, pumicite, [or cinders] cinders, and clay and no deposit 
of petrified wood shall be deemed a valuable mineral deposit 
within the meaning of the mining laws of the United States so 
as to give effective validity to any mining claim hereafter 
located under such mining laws: Provided, however, That nothing 
herein shall affect the validity of any mining location based 
upon discovery of some other mineral occurring in or in 
association with such a deposit. ``Common varieties'' as used 
in this Act does not include deposits of such materials which 
are valuable because the deposit has some property giving it 
distinct and special value and does not include so-called 
``block pumice'' which occurs in nature in pieces having one 
dimension of two inches or more. ``Petrified wood'' as used in 
this Act means agatized, opalized, petrified, or silicified 
wood, or any material formed by the replacement of wood by 
silica or other matter.
  (b)(1) Subject to valid existing rights, after the date of 
enactment of the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007, 
notwithstanding the reference to common varieties in subsection 
(a) and to the exception to such term relating to a deposit of 
materials with some property giving it distinct and special 
value, all deposits of mineral materials referred to in such 
subsection, including the block pumice referred to in such 
subsection, shall be subject to disposal only under the terms 
and conditions of the Materials Act of 1947.
  (2) For purposes of paragraph (1), the term ``valid existing 
rights'' means that a mining claim located for any such mineral 
material--
          (A) had and still has some property giving it the 
        distinct and special value referred to in subsection 
        (a), or as the case may be, met the definition of block 
        pumice referred to in such subsection;
          (B) was properly located and maintained under the 
        general mining laws prior to the date of enactment of 
        the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007;
          (C) was supported by a discovery of a valuable 
        mineral deposit within the meaning of the general 
        mining laws as in effect immediately prior to the date 
        of enactment of the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act 
        of 2007; and
          (D) that such claim continues to be valid under this 
        Act.

  Sec. 4. (a) * * *
  (b) Rights under any mining claim hereafter located under the 
mining laws of the United States shall be subject, prior to 
issuance of patent therefore, to the right of the United States 
to manage and dispose of the vegetative and mineral material 
surface resources thereof and to manage other surface resources 
thereof (except mineral deposits subject to location under the 
mining laws of the United States). Any such mining claim shall 
also be subject, prior to issuance of patent therefor, to the 
right of the United States, its permittees, and licensees, to 
use so much of the surface thereof as may be necessary for such 
purposes or for access to adjacent land: Provided, however, 
That any use of the surface of any such mining claim by the 
United States, its permittees or licensees, shall be such as 
not to endanger or materially interfere with prospecting, 
mining or processing operations or uses reasonably incident 
thereto: Provided further, That if at any time the locator 
requires more timber for his mining operations than is 
available to him from the claim after disposition of timber 
therefrom by the United States, subsequent to the location of 
the claim, he shall be entitled, free of charge, to be supplied 
with timber for such requirements from the nearest timber 
administered by the disposing agency which is ready for 
harvesting under the rules and regulations of that agency and 
which is substantially equivalent in kind and quantity to the 
timber estimated by the disposing agency to have been disposed 
of from the claim: Provided further, That nothing in this Act 
shall be construed as affecting or intended to affect or in any 
way interfere with or modify the laws of the States which lie 
wholly or in part westward of the ninety-eight meridian 
relating to the ownership, control, appropriation, use, and 
distribution of ground or surface waters within any unpatented 
mining claim.
  (c) Except to the extent required for the mining claimant's 
prospecting, mining or processing operations and uses 
reasonably incident thereto, or for the construction of 
buildings or structures in connection therewith, or to provide 
clearance for such operations or uses, or to the extent 
authorized by the United States, no claimant of any mining 
claim hereafter located under the mining laws of the United 
States shall, prior to issuance of patent therefore, sever, 
remove, or use any vegetative and mineral material or other 
surface resources thereof which are subject to management or 
disposition by the United States under the preceding subsection 
(b). Any severance or removal of timber which is permitted 
under the exceptions of the preceding sentence, other than 
severance or removal to provide clearance, shall be in 
accordance with sound principles of forest management.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  Sec. 8. This Act may be cited as the ``Surface Resources Act 
of 1955''.
                              ----------                              


                          ACT OF JULY 31, 1947

                          (Public Law 80-291)

AN ACT To provide for the disposal of materials on the public lands of 
                           the United States.

  Section 1. The Secretary, under such rules and regulations as 
he may prescribe, may dispose of mineral materials (including 
but not limited to [common varieties of] the following: sand, 
stone, gravel, pumice, pumicite, cinders, and clay) and 
vegetative materials (including but not limited to yucca, 
manzanita, mesquite, cactus, and timber or other forest 
products) on public lands of the United States, including, for 
the purposes of this Act, land described in the Acts of August 
28, 1937 (50 Stat. 874), and of June 24, 1954 (68 Stat. 270), 
if the disposal of such mineral or vegetative materials (1) is 
not otherwise expressly authorized by law, including, but not 
limited to, the Act of June 28, 1934 (48 Stat. 1269), as 
amended, and the United States mining laws, and (2) is not 
expressly prohibited by laws of the United States, and (3) 
would not be detrimental to the public interest. Such materials 
may be disposed of only in accordance with the provisions of 
this Act and upon the payment of adequate compensation 
therefore, to be determined by the Secretary: Provided, 
however, That, to the extent not otherwise authorized by law, 
the Secretary is authorized in his discretion to permit any 
Federal, State, or Territorial agency, unit or subdivision, 
including municipalities, or any association or corporation not 
organized for profit, to take and remove, without charge, 
materials and resources subject to this Act, for use other than 
for commercial or industrial purposes or resale. Where the 
lands have been withdrawn in aid of a function of a Federal 
department or agency other than the department headed by the 
Secretary or of a State, Territory, county, municipality, water 
district or other local governmental subdivision or agency, the 
Secretary may make disposals under this Act only with the 
consent of such other Federal department or agency or of such 
State, Territory, or local governmental unit. Nothing in this 
Act shall be construed to apply to lands in any national park, 
or national monument or to any Indian lands, or lands set aside 
or held for the use or benefit of Indians, including lands over 
which jurisdiction has been transferred to the Department of 
the Interior by Executive order for the use of Indians. As used 
in this Act, the word ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of the 
Interior except that it means the Secretary of Agriculture 
where the lands involved are administered by him for national 
forest purposes or for the purposes of title III of the 
Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act or where withdrawn for the 
purpose of any other function of the Department of Agriculture.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  Sec. 5. This Act may be cited as the ``Materials Act of 
1947''.
                              ----------                              


                         ACT OF AUGUST 4, 1892

 AN ACT To authorize the entry of lands chiefly valuable for building 
                  stone under the placer mining laws.

[Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any 
person authorized to enter lands under the mining laws of the 
United States may enter lands that are chiefly valuable for 
building stone under the provisions of the law in relation to 
placer mineral claims: Provided, That lands reserved for the 
benefit of the public schools or donated to any State shall not 
be subject to entry under this act.
  [Sec. 2. That an act entitled ``An act for the sale of timber 
lands in the State of California, Oregon, Nevada, and 
Washington Territory,'' approved June third, eighteen hundred 
and seventy-eight, be, and the same is hereby, amended by 
striking out the words ``States of California, Oregon, Nevada, 
and Washington Territory'' where the same occur in the second 
and third lines of said act, and insert in lieu thereof the 
words, ``public-land States,'' the purpose of this act being to 
make said act of June third, eighteen hundred and seventy-
eight, applicable to all the public-land States.
  [Sec. 3. That nothing in this act shall be construed to 
repeal section twenty-four of the act entitled ``An act to 
repeal timber-culture laws, and for other purposes,'' approved 
March third, eighteen hundred and ninety-one.]
                              ----------                              


                        ACT OF JANUARY 31, 1901

           AN ACT Extending the mining laws to saline lands.

[Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all 
unoccupied public lands of the United States containing salt 
springs, or deposits of salt in any form, and chiefly valuable 
therefor, are hereby declared to be subject to location and 
purchase under the provisions of the law relating to placer-
mining claims: Provided, That the same person shall not locate 
or enter more than one claim hereunder.]

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    We strongly oppose H.R. 2262, the ``Hardrock Mining and 
Reclamation Act of 2007'' because we believe it will decimate 
the remnants of an already sadly diminished domestic mining 
industry. It will export American jobs, good American jobs, to 
other nations, and make us more dependent on others for the 
materials necessary for our high tech future. H.R. 2262 leaves 
a grave legacy that threatens our long term economic and 
national security.
    While the Committee Majority may be content to allow our 
mineral import deficit to grow\1\, we believe that a domestic 
mining industry is one of the foundations of our economy and 
our military security. Indeed, China and India agree with us, 
as they are consuming huge amounts of energy and minerals which 
they are willing to secure from parts around the globe and with 
which they are fueling unprecedented economic growth. At 
current rates of relative economic growth, one or both of them 
will surpass the United States in economic output within two 
decades. Data from the World Trade Organization shows that 
China vaulted past America at the beginning of this year as an 
exporter and has since moved at lightning speed to eclipse 
Germany's once indomitable export machine. However, according 
to the Majority there is ``no reason, no reason whatsoever, why 
`good public land law' should be linked to the gross national 
product.''\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\See Attachment 1.
    \2\Response of Chairman Rahall, Full Committee Markup of H.R. 2262, 
Tuesday, October 23, 2007 to an amendment offered by Congressman Pearce 
stating that H.R. 2262 would expire if and when the United States does 
not have the number one gross domestic product in the world.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Majority's irreverence to establishing a balanced 
minerals policy that will help our country compete with these 
booming rivals became quite apparent during the legislative 
process. The legislative process was perfunctory at best. H.R. 
2262 was drafted without any input from the Minority side of 
the aisle. Numerous requests from Members for additional 
hearings were denied. Regular order with a Subcommittee level 
markup was bypassed. The only opportunity for Minority input 
was at the Full Committee markup where almost all amendments 
from the Minority were rejected and deemed ``dilatory'' by the 
Committee Chairman. Those amendments may seem ``dilatory'' to 
the Committee Majority because they do not have hardrock mining 
in their Districts; however, many of us do. Those amendments 
were the only voice we had to protect the jobs and tax base in 
our Districts. If this is the ``new direction'' that was 
promised to America last November, America was misled.
    We are unaware of any witness in the three legislative 
hearings held by the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral 
Resources who testified that H.R. 2262 will increase domestic 
mining activity. Rather, several witnesses testified that H.R. 
2262 will be devastating to our domestic production of 
minerals, will be crippling to our economy and will send more 
jobs overseas. We agree.
    The problems with H.R. 2262 are extensive and pervasive; 
however, we wish to highlight in these Dissenting Views three 
of the most significant concerns raised during the hearings:
           Title I, 8% Gross Royalty;
           Title II, Land Withdrawal; and
           Title III, Mine Veto.

                      I. Title I, 8% Gross Royalty

    Under H.R. 2262, as reported, existing hardrock mines will 
be subject to a new 4% gross royalty. We are extremely 
concerned that this 4% royalty on existing mines constitutes a 
``taking'' of private property rights under the Fifth Amendment 
of the Constitution and a breach of contract. The lands 
affected by this provision are in many cases, private. In many 
cases in the Western Government Land States, private mining 
lands adjoin government lands, but under this provision, the 
government would be extracting a royalty if government lands 
adjacent to the mine were necessary for any use by the mine. 
For those who understand agriculture, the analogy would be a 
proposal of a 4% gross royalty on all crops raised on lands 
that had been conveyed under the Homestead Act, under the false 
premise that the government was due such royalty because a 
farmer used public roads to get the crops to market. A 
``royalty'' by definition is a payment made to an owner for the 
use of land or property belonging to the owner, assessed on the 
value of the produce derived. It has never been associated with 
ancillary uses. Under this bill, the Majority demands that an 
owner pay a royalty to the government for something the 
government does not own. While the Majority may feel that the 
government owns, or should own, everything, we do not. We 
believe our Founding Fathers did not intend for the government 
to own, or claim ownership of everything.
    In addition, all new hardrock mines will be subject to an 8 
percent gross royalty. The hearing record seems irrelevant to 
the Majority, as the objection to this extremely high tax was 
overwhelming. The following were statements made during the 
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources hearings, that 
appear to have fallen on deaf ears:
     ``8% is excessive.''--James Otto, Author of World 
Bank Mining Royalties publication (Washington, DC hearing 10/
02/07).
     ``I am only aware of a single royalty that is as 
high as the royalty proposed in the bill, just one in my 20 
years of practice. An 8% royalty would really be ruinous. . . 
.''--James Cress, Attorney, Holme Roberts & Owen LLP 
(Washington, DC hearing 10/02/07).
     ``I am particularly concerned about the potential 
impacts of the eight percent net smelter return royalty called 
for in the last legislation. . . . All the royalty costs will 
be absorbed by the mining companies, and this will be a direct 
adverse impact on the amount of mining tax revenues that flows 
to the State and to the Counties.''--Elaine Burkdull Spencer, 
Elko County Economic Diversification Authority (Elko, Nevada 
field hearing 8/21/07).
     ``We do not believe that this type of royalty 
fairly addresses the needs of the public or of the mining 
industry. To a large extent, as you've heard, we have no 
control over price; therefore, it is impossible to pass on any 
additional cost. I bring to you for your consideration Nevada's 
model of the Nevada net proceeds of mine tax. This is a tax 
that has served the State and the industry very well since 
statehood, and we would be delighted to work with the Committee 
on how this Nevada model might be used to become, in a sense, 
essentially a production royalty or a production payment 
fee.''--Russ Fields, Nevada Mining Association (Elko, Nevada 
field hearing 8/21/07).
     ``What I would suggest is that if you are going to 
implement a royalty that actually you look to the states who 
are going to be impacted by the loss of their revenues. They're 
the one's that are going to come back to you and ask you to 
help them replace their industries that they've lost.''--Walter 
Martin (Elko, Nevada field hearing 8/21/07).
    H.R. 2262 was moved through the Committee with such haste 
that an economic analysis on the impact of an 8 percent gross 
royalty by any stakeholder, the Administration or Congress was 
not performed. Perhaps it was for good reason, as the three 
economic analyses performed on similar mining legislation in 
1993 are instructive. Those economic analyses showed that there 
would be a huge loss of revenue to the government and a 
dramatic loss of jobs in the mining sector.
    One hearing witness described a real world example that 
occurred in British Columbia in the 1970's when the province 
imposed a 2.5 percent gross royalty that increased to 5 percent 
in the second year. The witness stated that revenues collected 
from royalties on metal mines declined from $28.4 million in 
1974 to $15 million in 1975. Exploration expenditures also 
decreased from $38 million in 1972 to $15.3 million in 1975. 
Ultimately, the royalty had a devastating impact on the mining 
industry, and British Columbia repealed the royalty in 1976.
    Moreover, it has been intimated by proponents of this bill 
that they acknowledge the proposed royalty is so high that it 
would stop mining in the US, but that it will be ``subject to 
negotiation'' with the Senate. In other words, the proponents 
cynically admit that the legislation they are asking Members of 
Congress to vote for would kill a vitally important industry 
for our nation's future, but they are ``gambling'' with the 
Senate. Not only does this show a markedly callous and cynical 
disregard for the well-being of Americans dependent on mining 
for their livelihoods, it also represents an affront to the 
House of Representatives by asking elected Members to vote for 
a bill that they acknowledge will destroy an entire industry in 
order to improve their ``bargaining power'' with the Senate. 
The proponents are in sum, arguing that Members go on record to 
destroy an industry so that they can bargain for some changes. 
We strongly believe this Inside-the-Beltway cynicism and 
gamesmanship contributes to the current congressional approval 
ratings which have sunk to their lowest level. A bill should be 
able to pass the ``red face test.'' The proponents admit theirs 
does not, yet ask other Members to trust them that they do not 
mean to destroy mining in America, even though the Committee 
record clearly shows that their bill will do just that.
    The Majority is wrong when they say that the industry does 
not contribute to state and federal treasuries. The current 
taxation system on hardrock mining in the U.S. is similar to 
Canada's where special taxes or royalties are levied by the 
State and shared with the Counties where the mines are located. 
The Federal government receives revenues from the claim 
maintenance fees ($55 million in FY 2006), document processing 
fees, cost recovery rules and corporate and personal income 
taxes. These revenues from the claim maintenance fees, claim 
location fees and other monies collected through the cost 
recovery rule are not shared with the States or Counties where 
the mine is located.Compare this to the zero revenue received 
by the federal government from lands that produce nothing.
    If a royalty were imposed, a more reasonable approach would 
be that advocated for by Congressman Heller, whose district 
encompasses roughly 99% of Nevada. Representative Heller 
offered an amendment outlining a royalty paradigm modeled after 
Nevada's successful state model. Nevada serves as a premiere 
laboratory for what royalty would work and what royalty would 
not. The Majority summarily dismissed Rep. Heller's tested-and-
proven approach for their own 8 percent unprecedented and 
untested gross royalty.

                     II. Title II, Land Withdrawal

    H.R. 2262 withdraws vast new categories of federal lands 
from mineral entry and development including roadless areas. 
Prohibiting economic activity on federal lands is detrimental 
to Western States. Federally held public lands account for as 
much as 86 percent of the land in certain Western states. These 
same states account for 75 percent of our nation's metals 
production. As such, access to federal lands for mineral 
exploration and development is critical to maintain a strong 
domestic mining industry.
    In addition, H.R. 2262 places a presumption in favor of 
withdrawing land unless the Secretary of the Interior can prove 
that it is in the ``national interest'' not to. While an 
individual mine may or may not rise to the level of a 
``national interest,'' domestic mining does. The minerals are 
where Mother Nature has placed them, and to have a presumption 
against developing them is bad mineral policy.
    H.R. 2262's withdrawal language does not require a mineral 
survey to determine if any areas are prospective for mineral 
discovery. Even the Wilderness Act requires a mineral 
assessment prior to Congressional Wilderness Designation. As a 
result of these surveys, some areas were not included in 
Wilderness because of their mineral potential.
    More than 400 million acres of federal land have already 
been withdrawn from mineral entry and set aside for either 
military or conservation purposes. To put this in perspective, 
only 6 million acres nationwide have been or are being mined. 
Approximately half of those 6 million acres have been 
reclaimed. This includes locatable minerals (the subject of 
H.R. 2262) coal, sand and gravel, and industrial minerals such 
as potash and trona.
    Following are statements from the hearing that appear to 
have fallen on deaf ears.
     ``Title II of the bill, protection of special 
places, renders millions of acres off limits to exploration and 
mining on which exploration and development are not currently 
prohibited. At the very least, no withdrawal should be made 
until an appropriate and careful study of the mineral resource 
potential has been completed. But really, better yet, these 
lands should remain open to exploration and mining. Please keep 
in mind that substantial land withdrawals have already occurred 
over the past decades, putting many millions of acres off 
limits to exploration and mining, including here in Nevada.''--
Ronald Parraat President, AuEx Ventures, Inc (Elko, Nevada 
field hearing 8/21/07).
     ``The provision's closing enormous tracts of land 
to mining. Mining towns are traditionally against wholesale 
withdrawal from mineral entry. And traditionally, Congress has 
looked at those lands with high esthetic or environmental 
values on a case-by-case basis. I think that's a good policy, 
and I think that this Committee should take a good hard look at 
what may happen by withdrawing some 58 million acres of land 
from mineral entry.''--John Hutchings, Eureka County Department 
of Natural Resources (Elko, Nevada field hearing 8/21/07).

                       III. Title III, Mine Veto

    Several provisions in H.R. 2262 grant the Secretary the 
power to deny or ``veto'' proposed mining operations that will 
be in full compliance with all applicable environmental and 
reclamation standards. The veto can be done at anytime in the 
process even after significant investment has been made in 
construction of mine infrastructure. Such a veto is 
unprecedented for projects on federal lands.
    A mine veto provision singles out the mining industry by 
preventing owners of mining claims the ability to exercise 
their rights secured by law. Other users of the public lands 
(i.e., timber industry, coal, oil and gas or other lessees) are 
not subject to such arbitrary denials. For these other industry 
lessees, once their right to be on the land has been acquired 
and all environmental requirements are met, projects move 
forward and are not subject to a veto.
    An example of this mine veto authority is seen in the 
definition of ``irreparable harm.'' H.R. 2262's new 
``irreparable harm'' standard authorizes a mine veto nearly 
identical to the one rejected in 2001 due to the Bureau of Land 
Management's (BLM) projections of thousands of job losses and 
substantial adverse economic impacts. After a thorough public 
process, the BLM found ``the requirement to avoid . . . 
irreparable harm to significant resource values which cannot be 
effectively mitigated has the greatest potential for affecting 
mining activities (both large and small). In some cases, this 
provision could preclude operations altogether.'' This new 
standard is a lawyer's dream of ambiguity leading to fighting 
about whether we mine instead of how we mine. Not one witness 
over the course of the three hearings held asked for this 
definition change and so it is not backed by any record.
    Uncertainty created by the mine veto provisions will deter 
investment in domestic mining projects. Investors need to know 
that a mining project in the United States can obtain approval 
and proceed unimpeded as long as the operator complies with all 
relevant laws and regulations.
    Ronald Parrat, President, AuEx Ventures, Inc., testifying 
at the Elko Field hearing summarized it best:

    H.R. 2262 eliminates the right under the current mining law 
to use and occupy public lands for mineral exploration and 
development. Instead, the bill empowers federal land managers 
with discretionary veto power to reject current applications 
for exploration and mining where mineral development is already 
allowed under current multiple use guidelines. The 
discretionary permitting process proposed in H.R. 2262 ignores 
the fundamental geological fact that commercial mineral 
deposits are rare occurrences. Mineral deposits cannot be 
moved. They need to be developed where they're found. And laws 
and regulations covering exploration and mining really must 
recognize and acknowledge this unique aspect.

    Beyond the mine veto, the list of onerous provisions in 
Title III goes on. It should also be noted that Title III 
creates a whole new environmental permitting system for 
hardrock mines even though a comprehensive framework of state 
and federal laws and regulations governing this type of mining 
is already in place. Title III even puts in new ``acoustic 
quality'' buffers to prohibit mining near the National Park 
System or National Monuments. Under the definition of impair 
they include ``scenic assets'' and ``acoustic qualities.'' 
There are existing operations within and close to National 
Parks and National Monuments that may be adversely affected by 
this provision.

                            IV. Conclusions

    We firmly believe more hearings were necessary before H.R. 
2262 was marked-up at the Natural Resources Committee, our 
request for additional hearings and citizens guidance was 
denied by the Majority. Our efforts to further evaluate H.R. 
2262, its impact on our constituents and the security of our 
nation was expressed in a letter to the Committee Chairman on 
October 16, 2007. Western residents, local industry and the 
Republican Members who largely represent the mining region of 
our country, were left out of the drafting process of the bill 
and were relegated to bystander status as this bill was pushed 
through Committee.
    We very strongly believe that H.R. 2262 will harm domestic 
mining investment and will cause mines to close prematurely. We 
do not believe it will generate the expected revenues. Rather, 
it will force taxpayers to bare the burden of the increased 
federal bureaucracies needed to implement and administer the 
Act without an industry to monitor.
    We believe that this Act will increase the United States' 
dependency on foreign sources of mined materials impacting our 
economy, balance of trade and national security. It will 
certainly adversely impact the rural mining communities in the 
West whose citizens working in the mines earn the best non-
supervisory wages in the country. We believe that maintaining 
an industrial base in America--from raw materials to finished 
product is vitally important to our economic survival and our 
national security. This bill fails to secure our national 
supply of minerals and leaves us vulnerable and dependent on 
unstable nations with little or no regard for their own 
environmental concerns and certainly no regard for the 
importance of protecting America's economy.


                                   Don Young.
                                   Mary Fallin.
                                   Stevan Pearce.
                                   Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
                                   Dean Heller.
                                   Jeff Flake.
                                   John J. Duncan, Jr.
                                   Elton Gallegly.
                                   Chris Cannon.
                                   Rob Bishop.
                                   Bill Shuster.
                                   Bill Sali.
                                   Louie Gohmert.
                                   Tom Tancredo.
                                   Henry E. Brown, Jr.
                                   Doug Lamborn.