January 06, 2023
2022 was another significant year for minerals mining and set the...
Clamp a royalty on minerals and metals mined on federal lands in the United States? Congress is considering doing so as part of an effort to radically change the General Mining Law. It would be a mistake that would penalize U.S. companies and workers, make worse our dependence on foreign sources of metals and minerals critical to the national defense, and hamper efforts to reduce carbon pollution.
The most destructive effect of a bill introduced by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) would be on U.S. competitiveness. As proposed, minerals and metals would be subject to a royalty of 12%, higher than rates in other mining countries.
If approved, it would lessen whatever incentives companies have to keep marginal U.S. mines in operation or invest in new ones. To remain competitive, companies would be more inclined to shift mining to countries that impose lesser royalties or none at all. The cost in dollars, forfeited jobs and lost tax revenue could be enormous.