Bill Summary & Status Bill Summary & Status for the 106th Congress


SPONSOR: Rep Rahall, Nick J., II (introduced 01/19/99)
Jump to: Titles, Status, Committees, Amendments, Cosponsors, Summary

STATUS: Floor Actions


STATUS: Detailed Legislative Status

House Actions

Jan 19, 99:
Referred to the House Committee on Resources.
Feb 10, 99:
Executive Comment Requested from Interior.
Feb 10, 99:
Referred to the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.

STATUS: Congressional Record Page References

01/19/99 Introductory remarks on Measure (CR E67)



Rep Miller, George - 01/19/99Rep DeFazio, Peter A. - 01/19/99
Rep Gejdenson, Sam - 03/03/99Rep Faleomavaega, Eni F. H. - 03/03/99
Rep Stark, Fortney Pete - 03/03/99Rep Pallone, Frank, Jr. - 03/03/99
Rep Luther, Bill - 04/20/99Rep Blumenauer, Earl - 05/19/99
Rep Lowey, Nita M. - 05/19/99Rep Wu, David - 08/03/99




Mineral Exploration and Development Act of 1999- Title I: Mineral Exploration and Development - Sets forth guidelines for mineral exploration on public domain lands. Declares that holders of mining claims executed under this Act have the exclusive right of possession and use of the claimed land for mineral activities.

(Sec. 103) Prescribes rules for mining claim location and use of public land surveys. Provides for administrative adjudication of conflicting claims. Mandates a specified location fee for every unpatented mining claim located after the date of enactment of this Act.

(Sec. 104) Subjects existing unpatented mining claims, mill sites, and tunnel sites to the provisions of this Act ("converted mining claims").

(Sec. 105) Sets forth certain annual claim maintenance fees. Mandates that all monies received from such fees be deposited into the Abandoned Locatable Minerals Mine Reclamation Fund (established under this Act).

(Sec. 106) States that failure to comply with the requirements of this Act shall be deemed conclusively to constitute forfeiture of the mining claim.

(Sec. 107) Prescribes procedural guidelines for: (1) contesting a mining claim on the basis of discovery; and (2) demonstrating the continued sufficiency of a mining claim.

Title II: Environmental Considerations of Mineral Exploration and Development - Directs the Secretary of the Interior, and for National Forest System lands the Secretary of Agriculture (the Secretaries), to require that mineral activities on Federal lands be conducted in a manner that minimizes adverse impacts to the environment. Prescribes surface management guidelines for the granting of both an exploration and an operations permit. Requires applications for such permits to contain both an operations plan and a reclamation plan, and evidence of financial assurances. Limits an operations permit to a ten-year term (subject to renewal).

(Sec. 205) Declares persons in violation of this Act ineligible for permits. Sets as a prerequisite to the issuance of any permit evidence of financial assurance payable to the United States for all lands to be affected by the mineral activities described in the permit application.

(Sec. 207) Mandates that lands subject to mineral activities be restored to a condition capable of supporting their prior uses, or to other beneficial uses which conform to applicable land use plans. Sets forth reclamation standards applicable to mineral exploration.

(Sec. 208) Declares that State standards for reclamation, bonding, inspection, and water or air quality which either meet or exceed Federal standards shall not be construed as inconsistent with this Act. Permits cooperative agreements between the States and the Secretary. Prohibits the Secretary from delegating authorities or responsibilities conferred under this Act to any State or its political subdivision.

(Sec. 209) Requires the Secretaries, in preparing land use plans, to determine those areas deemed unsuitable for certain mineral activities. Requires withdrawal of such areas from mineral exploration and development.

Title III: Abandoned Locatable Minerals Mine Reclamation Fund - Establishes the Abandoned Locatable Minerals Mine Reclamation Fund (the Fund) to be administered by the Secretary of the Interior acting through the Director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement for the reclamation and restoration of land and water resources adversely affected by past minerals activities on certain public lands.

(Sec. 303) Restricts reclamation expenditures to Federal or Indian land and water resources that traverse or are contiguous to Federal or Indian lands where such resources have been affected by past mineral activities.

Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 306) Subjects to a royalty scheme of eight percent of the net smelter return the production of locatable minerals (or mineral concentrates or products derived from locatable minerals) from any mining claim under this Act.

Title IV: Administrative and Miscellaneous Provisions - Subtitle A: Administrative Provisions - Amends the Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970 and the National Materials and Minerals Policy Research and Development Act of 1980 to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to implement minerals policy and actions to improve availability and analysis of mineral data in Federal land use decision-making for National Forest System lands.

(Sec. 402) Authorizes the Secretaries to establish and collect user fees to reimburse the United States for expenses incurred in administering this Act.

(Sec. 403) Prescribes procedural guidelines for the publication of an application for an operations permit and public participation requirements.

(Sec. 404) Instructs the Secretaries to: (1) inspect mineral activities to ensure compliance with surface management requirements; and (2) require all operators to maintain a monitoring and evaluation system to identify compliance with them. Authorizes citizen suits to enforce compliance.

(Sec. 406) Prescribes procedural guidelines for administrative and judicial review of agency actions.

(Sec. 407) Sets forth enforcement guidelines and civil and criminal penalties for non-compliance.

Subtitle B: Miscellaneous Provisions - Provides transitional rules for: (1) new and preexisting claims; (2) claims that have not been converted; (3) contest proceedings; and (4) oil shale claims.

(Sec. 413) Adjusts the dollar amounts established under this Act to a certain inflation formula.

(Sec. 417) Prohibits the issuance after January 4, 1997, of patents for vein, lode, placer, and mill site mining claims unless certain administrative requirements are met.

(Sec. 418) Declares that the Multiple Minerals Development Act, and certain other Federal law, apply to all mining claims located or converted under this Act.

(Sec. 419) Amends Federal law to subject all mineral materials deposits to disposal under the terms of the Materials Act of 1947 (eliminating the concept of uncommon varieties). Renames specified Federal Acts: (1) the Surface Resource Act of 1955; and (2) the Materials Act of 1947. Repeals the Building Stone Act and the Saline Placer Act.

(Sec. 420) Declares that this Act applies to Federal lands used for beneficiation or processing activities for any mineral regardless of Federal title to the mineral.

(Sec. 421) Requires recipients of funds under this Act to comply with the "Buy American Act."

Expresses the sense of the Congress that such funds should be used to purchase only American-made equipment and products.

Declares a person ineligible to receive any contract made with funds provided under this Act if the person has been judicially determined to have intentionally affixed a "Made in America" label to a product that is not U.S.-made.

(Sec. 423) Declares that court-awarded compensation for a Federal taking under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution shall be paid from the Fund.

Directs the Secretary of the Interior to report annually to the Congress the percentage of each mining claim held by a foreign firm.