Monday, January 26, 2015

Foreign-owned mines operate royalty-free under outdated US law | Reveal

Let’s say you own 245 million acres. And underneath that land are billions of dollars’ worth of minerals – gold, silver, copper, uranium and more. Would you let foreign companies in to tear up your land, put your water at risk and take those minerals without paying royalties? 

You already are. That’s the amount of public surface land controlled by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the federal government’s biggest landholder. And companies that mine these lands are exempt from federal royalty payments. And it’s happening right now. Take, for example, the Dewey Burdock uranium project in South Dakota. It encompasses 240 acres of public surface land, plus more than 4,000 subsurface acres of uranium-rich earth.

 As of two months ago, a Hong Kong-based company had secured the right to mine and profit off that uranium, used to replenish nuclear power plants around the world, particularly in China. In November, Hong Kong’s Azarga Resources merged with Powertech to become Azarga Uranium and manage the Dewey Burdock project...

MORE: Foreign-owned mines operate royalty-free under outdated US law | Reveal

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