Legislative and Regulatory Update
December 2021 by Scott Harn
• Big banks penalized for rigging gold price
Major banks have agreed to pay a total of $152 million to settle a class-action settlement that accused them of rigging the price of gold through the daily London gold price fix.
Eighteen lawsuits were consolidated in 2014, and the plaintiffs included Barclays, Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotia Bank), Société Générale, London Gold Market Fixing Limited, Deutsche Bank, UBS and HSBC. (Charges against UBS bank were dismissed in 2016 for a “lack of evidence.”)
All were members of the London Bullion Market Association.
Barclays, Scotia Bank, Société Générale and London Gold Market Fixing Limited were the last to agree to the settlement in mid-November, 2021.
The amount of the settlement pales in comparison to the profits these major banks reaped in futures gold contracts over the ten-year period when they were accused of artificially suppressing gold prices stated Ronan Manly, a precious metals analyst with BullionStar.
These latest settlements are on top of major fines already paid by Scotia Bank ($127 million) and JP Morgan Chase ($920 million).
The best news is that it will be much more difficult for the big banks to conspire to suppress the price of gold in the future because of the risk of a more severe punishment. I would expect to see gold prices increase as a result, which bodes well for all mining companies and individual miners.
• Mining royalties excluded from reconciliation bill
A proposal to charge royalties for extraction of gold and other precious metals was removed from the House reconciliation bill referred to as “Build Back Better” by the current administration before it was passed by the House.
Rep. Grivalja (D-New Mexico) had included an 8% royalty on new mines and a 4% royalty on existing mines, and another seven cents “reclamation fee” on every ton of material moved, which included overburden.
- Comments needed regarding proposed NEPA improvements
- Efforts underway to fix the ESA
• Oregon dredging bill defeated
• California bill would exempt dredgers from permitting
• Possible ESA listing
• Washington State tries to impose more fees on miners
• Conformation for some
• Congress canceling regulations
Because the old timers were so good at locating the better paying deposits—most of them along clay seams in this particular area—it makes good sense to try and locate these clay lines at old mining sites.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) issued emergency rules without public comment just prior to our publication deadline.
- Oregon miners petition US Supreme Court in Bohmker v. Oregon
- Wheeler receives hearing as EPA administrator
BLM stated we had 30 days to amend our claim so that it fit within one 40-acre square or we would forfeit the claim.
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