HR 1830 IH
H. R. 1830
To provide for claim maintenance fees and royalties on hardrock mining claims, and for other purposes.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 6, 1997
June 6, 1997
Ms. FURSE introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Resources
To provide for claim maintenance fees and royalties on hardrock mining claims, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. DEFINITIONS.
(a) DEFINITIONS- As used in this Act:
(1) The term ‘locatable mineral’ means any mineral not subject to disposition under any of the following:
(A) the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 181 and following);
(B) the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970 (30 U.S.C. 100 and following);
(C) the Act of July 31, 1947, commonly known as the Materials Act of 1947 (30 U.S.C. 601 and following); or
(D) the Mineral Leasing for Acquired Lands Act (30 U.S.C. 351 and following).
(2) The term ‘mineral activities’ means any activity for, related to or incidental to mineral exploration, mining, beneficiation and processing activities for any locatable mineral, including access. When used with respect to this term--
(A) The term ‘exploration’ means those techniques employed to locate the presence of a locatable mineral deposit and to establish its nature, position, size, shape, grade and value.
(B) The term ‘mining’ means the processes employed for the extraction of a locatable mineral from the earth.
(C) The term ‘beneficiation’ means the crushing and grinding of locatable mineral ore and such processes as are employed to free the mineral from other constituents, including but not necessarily limited to, physical and chemical separation techniques.
(D) The term ‘processing’ means processes downstream of beneficiation employed to prepare locatable mineral ore into the final marketable product, including but not limited to, smelting and electrolytic refining.
(3) The term ‘mining claim’ means a claim for the purposes of mineral activities.
(4) The term ‘Secretary’ means, unless otherwise provided in this Act, the Secretary of the Interior acting through the Director of the Minerals Management Service.
SEC. 2. MINING CLAIM MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS.
(a) IN GENERAL- The holder of each mining claim located on lands open to location shall pay to the Secretary an annual claim maintenance fee of $100 per claim per calendar year.
(b) TIME OF PAYMENT- The claim maintenance fee payable pursuant to subsection (a) for any year shall be paid on or before August 31 of each year, except that for the initial calendar year in which the location is made, the locator shall pay the initial claim maintenance fee at the time the location notice is recorded with the Bureau of Land Management.
(c) OIL SHALE CLAIMS SUBJECT TO CLAIM MAINTENANCE FEES UNDER ENERGY POLICY ACT OF 1992- This section shall not apply to any oil shale claims for which a fee is required to be paid under section 2511(e)(2) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (106 Stat. 3111; 30 U.S.C. 242).
(d) CLAIM MAINTENANCE FEES PAYABLE UNDER 1993 ACT- The claim maintenance fees payable under this section for any period with respect to any claim shall be reduced by the amount of the claim maintenance fees paid under section 10101 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 with respect to that claim and with respect to the same period.
(e) WAIVER- (1) The claim maintenance fee required under this section may be waived for a claim holder who certifies in writing to the Secretary that on the date the payment was due, the claim holder and all related parties held not more than 10 mining claims on lands open to location. Such certification shall be made on or before the date on which payment is due.
(2) For purposes of paragraph (1), with respect to any claim holder, the term ‘related party’ means each of the following:
(A) The spouse and dependent children (as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986), of the claim holder.
(B) Any affiliate of the claim holder.
(f) CO-OWNERSHIP- Upon the failure of any one or more of several co-owners to contribute such co-owner or owners’ portion of the fee under this section, any co-owner who has paid such fee may, after the payment due date, give the delinquent co-owner or owners notice of such failure in writing (or by publication in the newspaper nearest the claim for at least once a week for at least 90 days). If at the expiration of 90 days after such notice in writing or by publication, any delinquent co-owner fails or refuses to contribute his portion, his interest in the claim shall become the property of the co-owners who have paid the required fee.
SEC. 3. ROYALTY.
(a) RESERVATION OF ROYALTY- Production of all locatable minerals from any mining claim located under the general mining laws, or mineral concentrates or products derived from locatable minerals from any mining claim located under the general mining laws, as the case may be, shall be subject to a royalty of 8 percent of the gross income from such production. The claimholder and any operator to whom the claimholder has assigned the obligation to make royalty payments under the claim and any person who controls such claimholder or operator shall be jointly and severally liable for payment of such royalties.
(b) DUTIES OF CLAIM HOLDERS, OPERATORS, AND TRANSPORTERS- (1) A person--
(A) who is required to make any royalty payment under this section shall make such payments to the United States at such times and in such manner as the Secretary may by rule prescribe; and
(B) shall notify the Secretary, in the time and manner as may be specified by the Secretary, of any assignment that such person may have made of the obligation to make any royalty or other payment under a mining claim.
(2) Any person paying royalties under this section shall file a written instrument, together with the first royalty payment, affirming that such person is liable to the Secretary for making proper payments for all amounts due for all time periods for which such person has a payment responsibility. Such liability for the period referred to in the preceding sentence shall include any and all additional amounts billed by the Secretary and determined to be due by final agency or judicial action. Any person liable for royalty payments under this section who assigns any payment obligation shall remain jointly and severally liable for all royalty payments due for the claim for the period.
(3) A person conducting mineral activities shall--
(A) develop and comply with the site security provisions in operations permit designed to protect from theft the locatable minerals, concentrates or products derived therefrom which are produced or stored on a mining claim, and such provisions shall conform with such minimum standards as the Secretary may prescribe by rule, taking into account the variety of circumstances on mining claims; and
(B) not later than the 5th business day after production begins anywhere on a mining claim, or production resumes after more than 90 days after production was suspended, notify the Secretary, in the manner prescribed by the Secretary, of the date on which such production has begun or resumed.
(4) The Secretary may by rule require any person engaged in transporting a locatable mineral, concentrate, or product derived therefrom to carry on his or her person, in his or her vehicle, or in his or her immediate control, documentation showing, at a minimum, the amount, origin, and intended destination of the locatable mineral, concentrate, or product derived therefrom in such circumstances as the Secretary determines is appropriate.
(c) RECORDKEEPING AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS- (1) A claim holder, operator, or other person directly involved in developing, producing, processing, transporting, purchasing, or selling locatable minerals, concentrates, or products derived therefrom, subject to this Act, through the point of royalty computation shall establish and maintain any records, make any reports, and provide any information that the Secretary may reasonably require for the purposes of implementing this section or determining compliance with rules or orders under this section. Such records shall include, but not be limited to, periodic reports, records, documents, and other data. Such reports may also include, but not be limited to, pertinent technical and financial data relating to the quantity, quality, composition volume, weight, and assay of all minerals extracted from the mining claim. Upon the request of any officer or employee duly designated by the Secretary or any State conducting an audit or investigation pursuant to this section, the appropriate records, reports, or information which may be required by this section shall be made available for inspection and duplication by such officer or employee or State.
(2) Records required by the Secretary under this section shall be maintained for 6 years after cessation of all mining activity at the claim concerned unless the Secretary notifies the operator that he or she has initiated an audit or investigation involving such records and that such records must be maintained for a longer period. In
any case when an audit or investigation is underway, records shall be maintained until the Secretary releases the operator of the obligation to maintain such records.
(d) AUDITS- The Secretary is authorized to conduct such audits of all claim holders, operators, transporters, purchasers, processors, or other persons directly or indirectly involved in the production or sales of minerals covered by this Act, as the Secretary deems necessary for the purposes of ensuring compliance with the requirements of this section. For purposes of performing such
audits, the Secretary shall, at reasonable times and upon request, have access to, and may copy, all books, papers and other documents that relate to compliance with any provision of this section by any person.
(e) COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS- (1) The Secretary is authorized to enter into cooperative agreements with the Secretary of Agriculture to share information concerning the royalty management of locatable minerals, concentrates, or products derived therefrom, to carry out inspection, auditing, investigation, or enforcement (not including the collection of royalties, civil or criminal penalties, or other payments) activities under this section in cooperation with the Secretary, and to carry out any other activity described in this section.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (4)(A) of this subsection (relating to trade secrets), and pursuant to a cooperative agreement, the Secretary of Agriculture shall, upon request, have access to all royalty accounting information in the possession of the Secretary respecting the production, removal, or sale of locatable minerals, concentrates, or products derived therefrom from claims on lands open to location under the general mining laws.
(3) Trade secrets, proprietary, and other confidential information shall be made available by the Secretary pursuant to a cooperative agreement under this subsection to the Secretary of Agriculture upon request only if--
(A) the Secretary of Agriculture consents in writing to restrict the dissemination of the information to those who are directly involved in an audit or investigation under this section and who have a need to know;
(B) the Secretary of Agriculture accepts liability for wrongful disclosure; and
(C) the Secretary of Agriculture demonstrates that such information is essential to the conduct of an audit or investigation under this subsection.
(f) INTEREST AND SUBSTANTIAL UNDERREPORTING ASSESSMENTS- (1) In the case of mining claims where royalty payments are not received by the Secretary on the date that such payments are due, the Secretary shall charge interest on such under payments at the same interest rate as is applicable under section 6621(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. In the case of an underpayment, interest shall be computed and charged only on the amount of the deficiency and not on the total amount.
(2) If there is any underreporting of royalty owed on production from a claim for any production month by any person liable for royalty payments under this section, the Secretary may assess a penalty of 10 percent of the amount of that underreporting.
(3) If there is a substantial underreporting of royalty owed on production from a claim for any production month by any person responsible for paying the royalty, the Secretary may assess an additional penalty of 10 percent of the amount of that underreporting.
(4) For the purposes of this subsection, the term ‘underreporting’ means the difference between the royalty on the value of the production which should have been reported and the royalty on the value of the production which was reported, if the value which should have been reported is greater than the value which was reported. An underreporting constitutes a ‘substantial underreporting’ if such difference exceeds 10 percent of the royalty on the value of production which should have been reported.
(5) The Secretary shall not impose the assessment provided in paragraphs (2) or (3) of this subsection if the person liable for royalty payments under this section corrects the underreporting before the date such person receives notice from the Secretary that an underreporting may have occurred, or before 90 days after the date of the enactment of this section, whichever is later.
(6) The Secretary shall waive any portion of an assessment under paragraph (2) or (3) of this subsection attributable to that portion of the underreporting for which the person responsible for paying the royalty demonstrates that--
(A) such person had written authorization from the Secretary to report royalty on the value of the production on basis on which it was reported, or
(B) such person had substantial authority for reporting royalty on the value of the production on the basis on which it was reported, or
(C) such person previously had notified the Secretary, in such manner as the Secretary may by rule prescribe, of relevant reasons or facts affecting the royalty treatment of specific production which led to the underreporting, or
(D) such person meets any other exception which the Secretary may, by rule, establish.
(7) All penalties collected under this subsection shall be deposited in the Treasury.
(g) EXPANDED ROYALTY OBLIGATIONS- Each person liable for royalty payments under this section shall be jointly and severally liable for royalty on all locatable minerals, concentrates, or products derived therefrom lost or wasted from a mining claim located or converted under this section when such loss or waste is due to negligence on the part of any person or due to the failure to comply with any rule, regulation, or order issued under this section.
(h) EXCEPTION- No royalty shall be payable under subsection (a) with respect to minerals processed at a facility by the same person or entity which extracted the minerals if an urban development action grant has been made under section 119 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 with respect to any portion of such facility.
(i) DISBURSEMENT OF REVENUES- The receipts from royalties collected under this section with respect to any mining claim shall be disbursed in the same manner as provided in section 35 of the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 181 and following).
(j) EFFECTIVE DATE- The royalty under this section shall take effect with respect to the production of locatable minerals after the enactment of this Act, but any royalty payments attributable to production during the first 12 calendar months after the enactment of this Act shall be payable at the expiration of such 12-month period.
SEC. 4. PURCHASING POWER ADJUSTMENT.
The Secretary shall adjust all dollar amounts established in this Act for changes in the purchasing power of the dollar every 10 years following the date of enactment of this Act, employing the Consumer Price Index for all-urban consumers published by the Department of Labor as the basis for adjustment, and rounding according to the adjustment process of conditions of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (104 Stat. 890).
SEC. 5. SAVINGS CLAUSE.
Nothing in this Act shall be construed as repealing or modifying any Federal law, regulation, order or land use plan, in effect prior to the effective date of this Act, that prohibits or restricts the application of the general mining laws, including such laws that provide for special management criteria for operations under the general mining laws as in effect prior to the effective date of this Act, to the extent such laws provide environmental protection greater than required under this Act.
SEC. 6. EFFECTIVE DATE.
This Act shall take effect on the date 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act.