02/26/2009 - The chair of the Elko County Commission testified before a House panel Thursday that her community would suffer economically if reforms to the 1872 hard-rock mining law impose steep federal taxes on the industry.
Commission chairwoman Sheri Eklund-Brown told the Natural Resources subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources that mining is a vital industry in Nevada, providing the state’s best-paying jobs.
The committee is considering HR699 a bill that would require mining companies to pay a royalty, just as oil and gas companies do, for extracting minerals from public lands in Nevada and other states. More gold is mined in Nevada than anywhere else in the country.
While Nevada and other states impose royalties on mining operations, the federal government does not. The Pew Center for Responsible Mining said minerals valued at $1 billion annually are extracted from federal lands.
The bill would also set limits on where mines can operate, to protect certain federal lands.
Read the full article Mining Law Reform Considered in House on Las Vegas Sun's Web site.