Hardrock Leasing and Reclamation Act of 2019

Last updated: 27 October 2022

The Hardrock Leasing and Reclamation Act of 2019 is an update to the Materials Act of 1947. The Materials Act provides for the disposal of mining materials on public lands and governs mining on lands including Indian reservations. The Hardrock Leasing and Reclamation Act expands the areas under the jurisdiction of the original act by making special lands, such as National Parks, National Monuments, Wilderness Study Areas, Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and Roadless Areas, off-limits to hardrock mining.
The act also establishes reclamation standards for abandoned mines, a 12.5% royalty on new mining operations and an 8% royalty on existing operations. The act replaces the patenting system previously in place with a leasing system more similar to the permitting system used for oil, gas and coal. 
The act establishes a comprehensive inspection, monitoring and enforcement system for hardrock mining, setting civil and criminal penalties for non-compliance, prescribing guidelines for administrative and judicial review and authorizing citizen suits. 

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