Hardrock Mining Rule Revised
The Bush administration is reversing several hardrock mining rules issued by former President Clinton, which will make it easier for companies to mine gold, silver, copper and other minerals on federal property.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently published a rule that retains the requirement that hardrock companies post bonds sufficient to cover cleanup expenses after mining is complete.
However, the BLM will modify its surface mining regulations to eliminate the provision allowing the Department of Interior to deny permits to proposed mines that could result in substantial irreparable harm to the environment. The mining industry had been lobbying hard to overturn the provision, saying it was too broad and vague to be enforceable.