Legislative and Regulatory Update
May 2020 by Scott Harn
• Congress deals with other priorities
With the coronavirus being the main focus of attention at both the state and federal level, there was no significant mining legislation to report on over the past month. We did, however, receive word from Trump administration officials that several of our proposed regulatory changes/improvements are moving toward publication in the Federal Register and this is very welcome news. Take a look at the PLP Update in this issue for more on this topic.
• Alaska miners get relief on state lands
The State of Alaska legislature passed SB 155, which provides clarity for exploration and mining rights on state lands, allows miners a clear path to cure filing errors, and provides clear definitions of annual labor and what activities satisfy annual labor requirements.
“The evidence is clear—mineral deposits alone are not enough to attract precious commodity investment dollars...”
• Critical minerals obtain national security status
• Idaho to take over EPA permitting
Many of you are aware that we have been engaged in litigation with anti-mining activists that have been attacking us through the Karuk Tribe of California since 2003. It all started with their lawsuit against the US Forest Service (USFS), challenging that District Rangers do not have the authority to allow small-scale mining activities under a Notice of Intent (NOI) when the Ranger concludes that the mining activity is not likely to create a substantial surface disturbance.
During discussions with other property rights advocates and members of the current administration, Karen Budd-Falen’s name was mentioned many times as a possible director for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
There are currently three controlling agencies or entities over suction dredging in California—and you can make that four if the state legislature decides to further muddy the waters with additional legislation to block suction gold dredging in the state.
• Sheriff withdraws Forest Service law enforcement authority
I hope this case inspires some of you. It shows that miners can and do succeed when they are persistent and well-prepared, even when representing themselves against state and federal attorneys in a court of law.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - What does a prospector look for when seeking ores? • Ask The Experts - Is a detector any good at discriminating pyrite or chalcopyrite in ferrous-reject mode? • Ask The Experts - Does the Journal know if any gold mining has been shut down over the Covid-19 virus? • Ask The Experts - Is this a promising assay? • Ask The Experts - How do you utilize magnets in your prospecting equipment? • Ask The Experts - Is using hydrogen peroxide a good indicator for PGMs? • A Note from the Editor • Going Over Old Ground With Newer Technology • Hard Rock 101: Breaking Rock—Part I • Tips and Tricks • Prospecting in the Age of Covid-19 • Sharing Gold Fever with a Friend • Panning on North Fork American Yields Good Gold • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: Dum-Dum Dodges a Boom-Boom • 'Wormholes'—Reckless Adventure • All About Lead Minerals, Silver and Gold • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices