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The Daily Times: Lawmakers seek to rekindle mining reform efforts

While the U.S. government reaps billions of dollars in royalties each year from fossil fuels extracted from federal lands and waters, it does not collect any money from gold, uranium or other metals mined from the same places, Congressional auditors reported Wednesday.

The federal government doesn’t even know how much these so-called “hard rock” mines produce from federal public lands in the 12 western states where most of the mining occurs, the Government Accountability Office report found.
And there is no federal law requiring the disclosure of production figures from individual mines.

Two Democratic lawmakers are hoping public concerns over the economy and the “fiscal cliff” will reinvigorate a movement on Capitol Hill to reform the General Mining Act of 1872, which exempted mining companies from paying royalties for profiting from U.S. public lands.