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Washington Office Public Affairs
Release Date: 06/29/09
Contacts: Tom Gorey , 202-452-5137  

BLM Announces Adjustments to Mining-Related Location and Annual Maintenance Fees

The Bureau of Land Management today published in the Federal Register a final rule that adjusts for inflation the agency's fees for the location (or “staking”) and maintenance of unpatented mining claims, mill sites, and tunnel sites. The location fee increases from $30 to $34 and the maintenance fee rises from $125 to $140 for such unpatented claims, in which no Federal land has been transferred to the individual or company staking the claim.

The adjusted fees are due on or before September 1, 2009. Mining claimants must pay the new location fee for any mining claim or site located after the effective date of this final rule, which is today (June 29, 2009).  Those who have already submitted maintenance fees for the 2010 maintenance year will be given an opportunity to pay the additional amount without penalty upon notice from the BLM.  
Since Fiscal Year 1993, mining claimants staking new claims or sites have been required to pay a one-time location fee. Claimants must also pay an annual “maintenance” fee in lieu of performing annual assessment work and making annual filings.
In accordance with the Mining Law of 1872, as amended, and in light of recent related regulatory actions, the BLM's new final rule establishes a regular schedule for adjusting mining-related location and annual maintenance fees. Specifically, the new rule authorizes adjustments to these fees to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index every five years after August 10, 1993, or more frequently if the Secretary of the Interior determines an adjustment to be reasonable.
The BLM has not adjusted location and maintenance fees since 2004. The adjustments made in this final rule are based on the change in the Consumer Price Index from December 31, 2003, through December 31, 2008, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The link to today’s final rule in the Federal Register is:

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Last updated: 10-20-2009