GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
What GAO Found The Department of the Interior's (Interior) Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Mining Law Administration Program (mining law program) was appropriated and expended almost $40 million annually from fiscal years 2011 through 2013.
What GAO Found Since January 1990, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has leased 107 coal tracts, and associated coal production and revenues have grown. Most lease sales have had a single bidder and were leased the first time offered.
What GAO FoundIn summary, there were nearly 70 different types of leasable minerals extracted from federal lands and waters in fiscal years 2010 and 2011, but their volume cannot be aggregated because they use different units of measure.
What GAO Found The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Forest Service, and the Department of Energy (DOE) are the key agencies that oversee uranium exploration and extraction on federal land, but GAO identified three areas where their oversight processes differ.
What GAO Found: Based on data reviewed from BLM's Bond Review Report, mine operators had provided financial assurances valued at approximately $1.5 billion to guarantee reclamation costs for 1,365 hardrock operations on federal land managed by BLM.
The General Mining Act of 1872 helped foster the development of the West by giving individuals exclusive rights to mine gold, silver, copper, and other hardrock minerals on federal land. However, miners often abandoned mines, leaving behind structures, safety hazards, and contaminated land and water.
The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service manage about 628 million acres of public land, mostly in 11 western states and Alaska.
The General Mining Act of 1872 helped open the West by allowing individuals to obtain exclusive rights to mine billions of dollars worth of gold, silver, and other hardrock (locatable) minerals from federal lands without having to pay a federal royalty.
The Mining Act of 1872 helped foster the development of the West by giving individuals exclusive rights to mine gold, silver, copper, and other hardrock minerals on federal lands. However, miners often abandoned mines, leaving behind structures, safety hazards, and contaminated land and water.