American job growth impacted by outdated mineral permitting process
May 02, 2012
The Oregonian reported this week on the decrease in mining inve...
The 1849 gold rush, sparked by the discovery of a large gold nuggest in California’s American River, shined a bright light on a lucrative minerals mining industry. As a result, the historic Armador County in California saw many miners over the next 100 years, but closed the doors of their last mine in 1958.
The area was largely dormant until 1998 when Armador County supervisors approved the new Lincoln Gold Mine project. Unfortunately, it took 14 years and more than 40 reviews and permits from different state and federal agencies to get the project underway. It’s no wonder that mining investors largely avoid the United States. Who can afford to wait that long?
he fact that the United States saw three different presidents hold office in the time it took for Sutter Gold Mine Inc. to navigate the complex and outdated permitting process should be a red flag.
In 2012, Australia and Canada were ranked the best places to invest in minerals mining. Both countries have environmental laws for mining that are similar to U.S. regulations, but have permitting timelines of approximately two years—compared to seven to 10 years (or 14, in Lincoln Gold Mine’s case) in the United States.
In recent years, countries with more efficient permitting strategies attracted 5 to 9 percent more worldwide minerals exploration dollars. Supporting legislation that would reduce permitting delays while maintaining strict environmental safeguards will attract investors in U.S. mining and see our nation benefit from the jobs, economic growth and security minerals can provide.
Learn more about the United States’ lack of coherent minerals mining policy and what you can do to change it.