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Overseas Mining Laws

United States

United States

The US is a world leader in the production of many important mineral commodities, including copper, pig iron and uranium.


The United States' reporting standard for the mining industry for securities purposes is contained in the Security and Exchange Commission's ("SEC") Industry Guide 7. It defines proven and probable Reserves using its own definitions, and prohibits the disclosure of quantitative estimates, for all mineralisation other than those two Reserve categories (though disclosure of Measured and Indicated Resources as quantitative mineralised material estimates is now informally allowed). Similarly, it restricts disclosure of value estimates to Reserves only, which SEC policy generally requires to be on an historic cost accounting basis. The SEC does not maintain a formal Competent or Qualified Person policy.

National Mining Legislation:

National Mining Act 1872 (This act declared all valuable mineral deposits in lands belonging to the United States to be free and open to exploration and purchase. This law provides citizens of the United States the opportunity to explore for, discover, and purchase certain valuable mineral deposits on public domain minerals.)
Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act 1970s
Federal Land Policy and Management Act 1976
Office of Surface Mining regulates surface coal mining
Mine Safety and Health Administration regularly inspects coal mines

Other Laws Relevant to Mining:

National Historic Preservation Act (1966), which governs the preservation of historic properties throughout the United States.
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (1976), which governs the control of hazardous waste

Useful Links:

United States Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management

United States Department of Labor - Mine Safety and Health Administration