The sequestration’s impact on minerals mining

Posted on March 28, 2013 by Minerals Make Life

The sequester, a group of cuts to federal spending, took effect March 1, barring further congressional action. The cuts have taken place across the board, evenly split between domestic and defense programs. Only now have we seen its impact on mining.

Today, the Interior Department informed dozens of states that it will withhold millions of dollars in federal mineral revenue payments due to budget cuts necessitated by sequestration.

The Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) informed the treasurers of 36 states that the sequestration will force withholding of millions of dollars in monthly mineral lease payments through at least July. The cuts are expected to hit the Western states the hardest, especially Wyoming, which received $955 million from ONRR in 2012.

Wyoming Treasurer Mark Gordon was stunned and noted that the state would struggle to make ends meet without the $10 million in monthly federal minerals revenue payments. Wyoming contributions to the mining community are significant. U.S. mining has the largest share of total state employment in the state with 13 percent and cuts like these will negatively impact an industry that has been thriving.

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