Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hardrock Mining: Information on State Royalties and the Number of Abandon Mine Sites and Hazards

This Government Accountability Office testimony (GAO-09-854T) dated July 14, 2009 reports that the royalties the states assess often differ depending on land ownership and the mineral being extracted with the actual amount assessed for a particular mine depending not only on the type of royalty, its rate, and exclusions, but also on other factors, such as the mine’s location relative to markets.

Using a definition of abandoned that the GAO provided, states reported that there are at least 161,000 abandoned hardrock mine sites in their states, and these sites have at least 332,000 features that may pose physical safety hazards and at least 33,000 sites that have degraded the environment.

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