The hardrock mining industry owns gold, silver, and other precious metals and minerals beneath an estimated 635,225 acres of U.S. public land in California, resources worth millions of dollars a year, acquired for as little as $0.84 per acre and held in perpetuity for a yearly rental fee as low as $0.62 an acre. Under a 132-year-old law originally intended to spur development of the West, an industry dominated by a handful of multinational corporations pays no federal royalties, and leaves behind a landscape of dramatically diminished value, scarred with tunnels, pits, and toxic waste piles.
|Quick facts about mining claims in California|
Total number of claim-holders: 7,792
Acres of public land claimed by the mining industry, estimated: 635,225 (86% of Yosemite National Park)
Dollars paid for each acre: as little as $0.84, and as little as $0.62 yearly rental fee
Reimbursement to the federal government for gold, silver and other precious metals taken from public land: $0
Companies owning minerals on at least 10,000 public acres: 28
Percentage of claims held by foreign companies: 8%
Land area ever claimed by the mining industry nationally, estimated: 79 million acres (the size of New Mexico)
EWG analysis of data compiled by the Bureau of Land Management.
Companies have been consolidated to account for subsidiaries. View this table without consolidation.
|Company/Individual||Headquarters||Number of Claims||Acreage Claimed||Date(s) Filed|
|1||Glamis Gold LTD||World HQ in Canada||1,011||16,564||1896 to 2003|
|2||Alma K Iverson||Costa Mesa, CA||96||15,360||1999 to 2002|
|3||John E Gates||Costa Mesa, CA||95||15,200||2002|
|4||James M Mills||Costa Mesa, CA||95||15,200||2002|
|5||James R Teed||Costa Mesa, CA||95||15,200||2002|
|6||Priscilla K Gates||Costa Mesa, CA||95||15,200||2002|
|7||Robert Slotten||Costa Mesa, CA||95||15,200||2002|
|8||Mary Ann Mills||Costa Mesa, CA||95||15,200||2002|
|9||James C Teed||Costa Mesa, CA||81||12,960||2002|
|10||Tetra Technologies Inc||The Woodlands, TX||562||11,240||1992 to 2001|
|See all claim holders in California|
Some of the claimants in this table may be in partnership with other individuals or companies with a claim to the same land.
|County||Number of Claims||Estimated Acreage|
|1||San Bernardino County||5,720||175,119||details||map|
|See all counties|
|Name of Mine||Location of Mine||Mine Status||Metal Mined||Owner or Parent Company of Owner|
|Picacho||Imperial County, CA||Closed||Gold||Glamis Gold Ltd.|
|Briggs Gold Mine||Inyo County, CA||Open||Gold||Canyon Resources Corporation|
|Mesquite Gold Mine||Imperial County, CA||Open||Gold||Newmont Mining Corp|
|Mclaughlin Gold Mine||Lake County, CA||Closed||Gold||Barrick Gold Corporation|
|Sixteen To One Mine||Sierra County, CA||Open||Gold||Original Sixteen To One Mine|
|Rand Mine||San Bernardino County, CA||Open||Gold||Glamis Gold Ltd|
|Dredge 21||Yuba County, CA||Suspended||Gold||Cal-Sierra Development, Inc|
|Castle Mountain Mine||San Bernardino County, CA||Closed||Gold||Viceroy Resource Corporation|
|Jamestown||Stanislaus County, CA||Closed||Gold||Sonora Mining Corporation|
|Mt. Pass Mine & Mill||San Bernardino County, CA||Open||Rare earths||Molycorp|
Source: EWG analysis.