1872 Mining Law Fact #16
Published: June 6, 2003
When Woody Guthrie wrote "This Land is Your Land," he clearly didn't have the 1872 Mining Law in mind.
Foreign corporations are reaping profits from billions of dollars in American publiclyowned minerals because of the outdated 1872 Mining Law. The law grants multinational hardrock mining companies access to American public lands under the law, yet they pay zero royalties to taxpayers for the precious minerals they extract.
Of the top 25 producing gold mines in the United States, as identified by the USGS, 16 are owned by foreign multinationals - including Canadian Barrick Gold Corporation, owner of 2 of the top 5. That translates into over $1.9 billion in gold transferred from the American public to foreign coffers. Under the 1872 Mining Law,
This Land Was Made for Corporate Greed.