1872 mining law up for rewrite

A congressional hearing was held last week on proposed changes in the Mining Law of 1872, a law that governs hard rock mining mainly in the West.

Under the law, private corporations have earned an estimated $245 billion worth of minerals from the public’s lands. The corporations can acquire public lands for as little as $2.50 an acre.

On the same day as the hearing, Canadian corporations Nevada Sunrise Gold Corporation and Nevada Sunrise LLC announced a revised sales agreement of Kinsley Mountain property in Elko County containing 141 unpatented mining claims to Kinsley Resources Inc. for $5,357,143.

Elko County Commission chair Sheri Eklund-Brown and U.S. Rep. Dean Heller both testified against the proposed changes in U.S. law, which have President Obama’s support and would create an 8 percent gross royalty on mineral production from new mines on public lands and a 4 percent gross royalty on already operating mines.