Media Releases

Members of Congress announce 1872 Mining Law reform

August 3, 2017 • Earthworks

“We are so grateful to Senators Udall, Bennet, Heinrich, and Representative Luján for championing reform of the antiquated 1872 Mining Law.

Media Releases

New Study: 74% of U.S. gold mines pollute water

July 20, 2017

Washington, D.C., July 20 -- A new study of U.S. gold mines’ operating records reveals that major gold mines surveyed by the United States Geological Survey have spilled contaminants, and 74% polluted water with cyanide, arsenic, nitrates or other hazardous materials. Earthworks and Great Basin Resource Watch released U.S. Gold Mines: Spills & Failures Report the same day the House Natural Resources Committee holds an oversight hearing on mining reform.


Earthworks testimony at ‘Seeking Innovative Solutions for the Future of Hardrock Mining’ hearing

July 20, 2017 • Lauren Pagel

Testimony of Lauren Pagel, Earthworks’ Policy Director, before House Natural Resources’ subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources oversight hearing titled “Seeking
Innovative Solutions for the Future of Hardrock Mining”


U.S. Gold Mines Spills & Failures

July 20, 2017 • Bonnie Gestring & John Hadder

The track record of environmental impacts resulting from pipeline spills, accidental releases and failure to capture and treat mine impacted water.

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An Unhappy Birthday for the 1872 Mining Law

May 11, 2016 • Alan Septoff

May 10th, yesterday, was the 144th birthday of the General Mining Law of 1872.

Some things, like the U.S. Constitution, embody timeless principles. The 1872 Mining Law is not one of those things.


New Transparency Report Reveals How Much Extractive Industries Pay the Government

January 11, 2016 • Aaron Mintzes

Last month, the United States Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (USEITI) published its first report. The good news is that the numbers match up well. A multi-stakeholder group (MSG) of industry, government, and civil society representatives decides which revenue streams the report will include. The Department of Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) unilaterally disclosed all 2013 payments received from companies on public lands and waters. Unfortunately, only a disappointing 12% of eligible companies agreed to have their Internal Revenue Service (IRS) corporate income tax payments reconciled.


Mineral withdrawal holiday card to Congress

December 23, 2015 • Earthworks, et al

Joint card from enviros and community groups thanking Oregon delegation and Jared Huffman of California for efforts to protect OR wilderness from mining, and urging them to move forward with a 20 year withdrawal in 2016


Senators Introduce Sweeping Mining Reform Bill

November 17, 2015 • Aaron Mintzes

Last week, Senators Udall, Bennet, Heinrich, Markey, and Wyden introduced the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2015 (1872 reform). Pegged as the solution to preventing future Animas River disasters, this legislation will reform the antiquated General Mining Law of 1872 and bring the hardrock mining industry in to the 21st century.