EARTHWORKS

Perhaps now Newmont can afford a real royalty?

Alan Septoff's avatar
By Alan Septoff

November 2, 2010

Today Newmont, the largest U.S. based gold mining company and second largest in the world, announced record third quarter results: $2.6 billion in revenue and $534 million in net income.

Amount Newmont has ever paid U.S. taxpayers for mining public minerals from publicly owned lands: ZERO.

Today Newmont, the largest U.S. based gold mining company and second largest in the world, announced record third quarter results: $2.6 billion in revenue and $534 million in net income.

Amount Newmont (and the rest of the mining industry) has ever paid U.S. taxpayers for mining public minerals from publicly owned lands: ZERO.

That's because, unlike every other extractive industries, the 1872 Mining Law allows the mining industry to extract publicly owned hardrock minerals (like gold, silver, copper, uranium) from public lands without paying the taxpayers a dime.  EARTHWORKS estimates that approximately $500 billion worth of minerals have been mined from public lands without royalty.

The reason that this continues after almost 140 years -- even as coal, oil and gas pay up to 18% royalty?  Every time mining law reform is considered in Congress -- as it was recently -- the mining industry claims penury.  "Oh, please don't "tax"* us!" They plead/demand.  "You'll force us to shut down mines and throw people out of work!"

But, gold is now at record highs, more than $1,300 per ounce.  As Newmont has reported, record revenues/profits have followed.

I wonder what excuse they'll come up with now?

(*A royalty is not a tax.  A tax is fee levied by a government on top of another transaction, e.g. a sales tax, or income tax.  A royalty is a price charged for a good by the owner of that good in order for another to make use of it -- as in this case, when the mining industry wants to extract and sell minerals that the public owns.)

 

Tagged with: royalty, newmont, mining reform, 1872 mining law

comments powered by Disqus

On Twitter

@EnergizeMN @TomStyer Dead link. We're dying to see how we were debunked.
RT @arbelaez_jhon: #BLM to resume #fracking permitting in #CA despite risks and unknowns bit.ly/1tPxxLE

On Facebook