Congress approves huge hike in filing fees for mining claims
4/26/2012 7:53 PM
By Brad Jones
GPAA Editor/Content Director
In yet another blatant attack on the small-scale mining community, Congress passed an omniobus spending bill on Monday unleashing a huge increase in filing fees for association mining claims.
The fee hike will raise the cost of filing fees from $100 for an entire claim to $140 for every 20 acres of the claim. For example, a 160-acre claim will now cost $1,120 instead of $100 to file and renew each year under the new law.
According to the IMCJ’s Mining & Prospecting Journal no timetable has been issued as to when the new increased fees will take effect.
The ICMj’s Mining & Prospecting Journal also reports that “according to Sonja Santillan of the BLM’s Washington office, the old $100 price was quoted in the Act, but the price will actually be $140 per acre in accordance with the current regulations. There are no changes to the small miners waiver for those who own less than 10 claims.”
HR 2055 was passed by both the Senate and House and subsequently signed into law by President Barack Obama Dec. 23 of last year. An amendment in the bill under "House Report 112-331 - Military Contruction and Veteran Affairs" included a change in mining claim maintenance fees as follows:
CLAIM MAINTENANCE FEE AMENDMENTS
Sec. 430. Section 10101 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (30 U.S.C. 28f) is amended--
(A) by striking so much as precedes the second sentence and inserting the following:
`(a) Claim Maintenance Fee-
`(1) LODE MINING CLAIMS, MILL SITES, AND TUNNEL SITES- The holder of each unpatented lode mining claim, mill site, or tunnel site, located pursuant to the mining laws of the United States on or after August 10, 1993, shall pay to the Secretary of the Interior, on or before September 1 of each year, to the extent provided in advance in appropriations Acts, a claim maintenance fee of $100 per claim or site, respectively.'; and
(B) by adding at the end the following:
`(2) PLACER MINING CLAIMS- The holder of each unpatented placer mining claim located pursuant to the mining laws of the United States located before, on, or after August 10, 1993, shall pay to the Secretary of the Interior, on or before September 1 of each year, the claim maintenance fee described in subsection (a), for each 20 acres of the placer claim or portion thereof.'; and
(2) in subsection (b), by striking the first sentence and inserting the following: `The claim main tenance fee under subsection (a) shall be paid for the year in which the location is made, at the time the location notice is recorded with the Bureau of Land Management.'.