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June 24, 1991

Members of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C.

Dear Colleagues :

I am pleased to transmit to you a copy of perhaps the first-ever compilation of the major mining and mineral resource laws under the jurisdiction of our Committee.

From gold on public domain lands and manganese nodules on the ocean floor, to geothermal, oil, gas and coal, these laws govern the development of a wide variety of fuel and non-fuel mineral resources that are so important to the security of the Nation.

The Committee jurisdiction over these laws is with the Subcommittee on Mining and Natural Resources, chaired by our colleague Nick Rahall. The enclosed compilation includes the three major reforms to these laws enacted under his tenure; namely, the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Act of 1987, the Geothermal Steam Act Amendments of 1988, and the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Act of 1990. These modifications, along with Chairman Rahall's efforts to reform the Mining Law of 1872, are a reminder that few things remain static, and as such, copies of this compilation can also be obtained in looseleaf binder format.

Sincerely yours,





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Sec. 2319. All valuable mineral deposits in lands belonging to the United States, both surveyed and unsurveyed, are hereby declared to be free and open to exploration and purchase, and the lands in which they are found to occupation and purchase, by citizens of the United States and those who have declared their intention to become such, under regulations prescribed by law, and according to the local customs or rules of miners in the several mining-districts, so far as the same are applicable and not inconsistent with the laws of the United States. (30 U.S.C. 22)

SEC. 2320. Mining-claims upon veins or lodes of quartz or other rock in place bearing gold, silver, cinnabar, lead, tin, copper, or other valuable deposits, heretofore located, shall be governed as to length along the vein or lode by the customs, regulations, and laws in force at the date of their location. A mining-claim located after the tenth day of May, eighteen hundred and seventy-two, whether located by one or more persons, may equal, but shall not exceed, one thousand five hundred feet in length along the vein or lode; but no location of a mining-claim shall be made until the discovery of the vein or lode within the limits of the claim located. No claim shall extend more than three hundred feet on each side of the middle of the vein at the surface, nor shall any claim be limited by any mining regulation to less than twenty-five feet on each side of the middle of the vein at the surface, except where adverse rights existing on the tenth day of May, eighteen hundred and seventytwo, render such limitation necessary. The end-lines of each claim shall be parallel to each other. (30 U.S.C. 23)

SEC. 2321. Proof of citizenship, under this chapter, may consist, in the case of an individual, of his own affidavit thereof; in the case of an association of persons unincorporated, of the affidavit of their authorized agent, made on his own knowledge, or upon information and belief; and in the case of a corporation organized under the laws of the United States, or of any State or Territory thereof, by the filing of a certified copy of their charter or certificate of incorporation. (30 U.S.C. 24) SEC. 2322. The locators of all mining locations heretofore made or which shall hereafter be made, on any mineral vein, lode, or ledge,

This title is not an official short title, but merely a popular name. The Act has no official short title. The Mining Law of 1872 consists of the Act of May 10, 1872 (R.S. § 2319 et seq.; 30 U.S.C. 22 et seq.)

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