Category: Mining

Subscribe to Mining RSS Feed

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Determines Protection for Greater Sage-Grouse No Longer Warranted

In a speech at the Rocky Mountain National Wildlife Refuge, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced yesterday that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) will not list the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Finding that protection under the ESA is no longer warranted due to an “unprecedented conservation partnership,” the USFWS announced that it was … Continue Reading

Miners and States take Notice, the EPA is Updating its CERCLA Financial Responsibility Requirements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has recently announced that it would take steps to finalize rules establishing financial responsibility requirements for hard rock mines under section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”). Section 108(b) gives the EPA the authority to require certain facilities to have some type of financial … Continue Reading

Molybdenum: An Essential Element in America’s Future

Minerals Make Life – an initiative created by the National Mining Association – has recently developed an infographic detailing the importance of the super element molybdenum. Few elements have a higher melting point than molybdenum, making it an extremely tough metal. A small amount of molybdenum in a product can make a significant contribution to its performance. … Continue Reading

Struggling U.S. Rare Earth Industry is Vital to a Stable Global Economy

Rare earth elements are found in nearly every aspect of our lives. Televisions, smartphones, tablets, computers, stereos, and cars all contain rare earth elements. Our national security also relies on rare earths in precision-guided missiles, radar, night-vision goggles, lasers, satellites, fighter jets, and submarines. Virtually every aspect of modern society relies in part on rare … Continue Reading

New Rules on MLPs & Qualifying Income: What Oil Services and Exploration Companies Need to Know

On Tuesday, May 5, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released proposed regulations defining qualifying income for Master Limited Partnerships (“MLPs”). MLPs are publicly traded partnerships that are taxed as a partnership rather than a corporation. Being taxed as a MLP has many advantages. While shareholders in a corporation face double taxation  ̶  paying taxes … Continue Reading

The Silver Lining of America’s Economy

Minerals Make Life – an initiative created by the National Mining Association – has recently developed an informative infographic on the important role silver plays in our society. Out of all metals, silver is unique in that it has the highest electrical and thermal conductively. These characteristics make silver an important ingredient in products we … Continue Reading

Another George Clooney Film in the Making? Nevada Supreme Court Rejects Rule Against Perpetuities Argument for Mining Agreement

The Nevada Supreme Court recently decided that the rule against perpetuities does not apply to area-of-interest provisions in commercial mining agreements. While you should not expect this case to become a summer blockbuster starring George Clooney, it nonetheless provides certainty for area-of-interest provisions in older mining agreements in Nevada (and lends insights into how other … Continue Reading

Mineral Law Blog Launches New Responsive Design and Enhanced Reader Features

Dear Mineral Law Blog Readers. Sharing analysis and insight about key oil, gas, pipeline and mining law developments has been our mission since launching our Blog in late 2010. While our commitment to keep you informed hasn’t changed, technology certainly has. Back when we first started posting, it was still largely a desktop- and RSS-dominated … Continue Reading

Zinc: It’s Not Just for Lifeguards

Minerals Make Life – an initiative created by the National Mining Association – has recently developed an infographic explaining the importance of the mineral zinc. Many consumers do not know it, but minerals are present in products we all use on a regular basis. That includes the mineral zinc, which is used in sunscreen, swimming … Continue Reading

U.S. House Hearing Supports Legislation for Development of Domestic Minerals (H.R. 761)

On Wednesday, July 23, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing, titled “American Metals and Mineral Security: An examination of the domestic critical minerals supply and demand chain.”  During the hearing, a panel of witnesses spoke on the benefits of securing a supply of minerals through … Continue Reading

Construction Aggregate Production Rebounds in California; Gold Production Declines

On April 29th, the California Geological Survey (CGS) released production data from 2012 indicating that the production of construction aggregate (sand, gravel and crushed stone) increased for the first time since 2007 in California.  Construction aggregate production increased by 7.3 percent to 121.3 million tons (valued at $1.162 billion).  Portland cement production also increased by … Continue Reading

A Resurgence in U.S. Manufacturing Requires a Sensible Mining Permitting Process

A new short video found at the website for Minerals Make Life – a National Mining Association initiative – illuminates the close ties between the widespread resurgence of manufacturing in the United States and the need for stable access to mineral resources.  As manufacturing experiences a resurgence in the United States, an expected 2 to … Continue Reading

New Information on Demand for Rare Earths Demonstrates Need to Increase Efficiency in U.S. Mining Permitting Processes

Minerals Make Life – a national, non-profit mining association – has recently developed an illuminating infographic indicating the increased demand for rare earth minerals. Presence of these minerals in the earth’s crust is common, but much less common in terms of minable concentrations. While demand for rare earths is rising, the current state of U.S. … Continue Reading

Minnesota Environmental Quality Board Approves Model Standards For Local Silica Sand Mining Regulations

On March 19, the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB) approved its proposed model standards for local silica sand mining regulations and planning.  The standards are intended to serve as guidelines for city and county governments as they work to develop their own local ordinances for mining, processing, and transporting silica sand.  The Minnesota Legislature mandated … Continue Reading

BREAKING: California’s New General Industrial Storm Water Permit Will Impact Oil, Gas, and Mining Industries

Today, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) released for public comment its Draft Industrial Storm Water Permit and supporting documents.  This is the fourth (and likely final) version of the Draft Industrial Storm Water Permit, which is designed to replace the existing Industrial Storm Water Permit in place since 1997. The Draft Industrial … Continue Reading

Draft Of Model Silica Sand Mining Regulations Released By Minnesota Environmental Quality Board

Update: The Minnesota Environmental Quality Board extended the public comment period for the draft model guidelines by two weeks.  The deadline for public comments is now January 27. On December 13, the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB) – in collaboration with several other state agencies, including the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Minnesota Pollution … Continue Reading

Proposed Sage-Grouse Protections May Impact Mining Along the California-Nevada Border

Via my colleagues Barbara Craig, Ryan Steen and Sarah Stauffer Curtiss: On October 28, 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) proposed to list the Bi-State distinct population segment (“Bi-State DPS”) of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) and to designate critical habitat for the Bi-State … Continue Reading

Leniency for California Miners — And a Call for “Top to Bottom” Reform of California Surface Mining Law

California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 447 on Saturday, September 28, 2013, which modifies the Office of Mine Reclamation’s (OMR) authority to list or delist a mine from its list of “good mines” under Cal. Public Resources Code Section 2717 (more commonly referred to as the AB 3098 List).  Mines on the AB 3098 List … Continue Reading

Oregon Mining Operations Benefit from New Sage Grouse Habitat Law

Over 40 percent of the lands in Malheur County have been designated as core habitat for sage grouse by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (“ODFW”). Other counties in southeastern Oregon are also heavily affected. ODFW’s approach was to simply recommend against any development in core habitat, without consideration whether off-site mitigation could result … Continue Reading

Please Note: BLM Oregon/Washington State Office Has Relocated

Readers please note that the Oregon/Washington State Office of the Bureau of Land Management has relocated, effective today. The new address is the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building at 1220 SW 3rd Avenue, Portland, OR  97204. The mailing address and telephone number remain the same: P.O. Box 2965, Portland, OR  97208 and (503) 808-6001 (press 2). For … Continue Reading

BLM California State Office Cancels Statutorily-Required Oil & Gas Lease Auctions for 2013

The third Bureau of Land Management auction of oil and gas sales scheduled for the 2013 fiscal year should have been held today for federal lands in California. However, last month the BLM California office issued a short notice stating that it would cancel remaining 2013 oil and gas lease sales planned for May, June, … Continue Reading

Construction Aggregate Shortage Continues in California

On March 1st, the California Geological Survey (CGS) released information forecasting a continuing shortage of permitted aggregate resources (sand, gravel and crushed stone) in California.  According to CGS’s Map Sheet 52 and accompanying report, California only has permitted resources to meet approximately one-third of aggregate demand over the next 50 years.  Aggregate is essential for … Continue Reading
LexBlog