Last updated:

Bureau of Land Management
For Release: Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Contact:
Roger Haskins
202-452-0355
 
 

BLM Revises Mining Claim Location and Annual Maintenance Fees

The Bureau of Land Management today is giving notice that it is increasing mining claim fees, which by law must be adjusted for inflation based on the Consumer Price Index. The increase affects mining claim location and maintenance fees for mining claims located on federal lands subject to the 1872 Mining Law.

The new rule incorporating the revised fees takes effect today and is listed on the Federal Register Website. The direct link to the Website is: www.archives.gov/federal_register/public_inspection/public_inspection_list.html#spec_L

“This is the first mining fee revision since August 1993 and reflects a 25 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index since that time,” said Bob Anderson, Deputy Assistant Director for Minerals, Realty and Resource Protection. “Waivers from the maintenance-fee increase are still available for qualified small miners.

The one-time location fee is now $30 for each new mining claim or site. The annual maintenance fee for each claim or site is now $125.

Under a final technical rule pursuant to requirements of the maintenance fee statute (30 U.S.C. 28[j]), adjustments to the fees are made using the Consumer Price Index (CPI), published by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The CPI increased by 25 percent from January 1993 through December 30, 2003. That change was applied to the previous location fee ($25 per claim or site) and maintenance fee ($100 per claim or site) to produce the new fee schedule.

The method for calculating the fee adjustment is specified in the statute, leaving no discretion to the BLM in the adjustment process. For this reason, the BLM is issuing the final technical rule without comment from the public.

The fee adjustments must be published in the Federal Register on or before July 1st in order to be effective on the following September 1st. (See 43 CFR Part 3834, Subpart B for further information, (68 FR 61046, October 27, 2003.)

Copies of the rule are available from BLM State Offices and its Washington, D.C., Office. In addition, the complete text of the rule has been posted on the BLM’s Internet Home Page (www.blm.gov). The text is also accessible on the Federal Register Web site (www.access.gpo.gov) and is available for public viewing at the Office of the Federal Register.

There are currently about 290,000 active mining claims on Federal land. The BLM collected $28 million in mining claim fees in Fiscal Year 2003.

The BLM, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior, manages more land – 261 million surface acres – than any other Federal agency. Most of this public land is located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1.8 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on the public lands.