Interagency Working Group on Mining Reform Fundamental Principles

Last updated: 26 October 2022

The Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Mining Reform is an interdepartmental consultative group that convenes agency experts and consults with the public to provide guidance on reforming hardrock mining laws, regulations and permitting policies, created as a response to Section 40206 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The IWG is directed to submit a report to the Congress by 15 November 2022 that recommends regulatory and legislative measures that would streamline permitting activities for the exploration and development of domestic critical minerals (e.g., international mining standards, royalties, financial assurance requirements, reclamation of existing sites, local community engagement, incentives, etc.).
To support President Biden's vision for the promotion of the sustainable and responsible domestic production of critical minerals, the IWG released a list of its Fundamental Principles for Domestic Mining Reform in February 2022, which serves as the framework for the creation of new or updated laws governing hardrock mining on public lands in the US. The list covers a variety of mining reform objectives, with particular focus on securing a sustainable domestic supply of critical minerals, prioritising recycling, adopting royalties for all minerals extracted from public land, establishing a fully funded hardrock mine reclamation program and providing more certainty and efficiency in the permitting process. 
The legislative aim of the process is to fill the gap in the law on hardrock mining in public lands, as the primary law in the US – the General Mining Law of 1872 – does not include a requirement for royalties on critical mineral extraction or sale and does not include any environmental, reclamation or financial assurance provisions. 

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