The hardrock mining industry owns gold, silver, and other precious metals and minerals beneath an estimated 123,457 acres of U.S. public land in Colorado, 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 Colorado|
Total number of claim-holders: 1,478
Acres of public land claimed by the mining industry, estimated: 123,457 (50% of Rocky Mountain 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
Percentage of claims held by foreign companies: 12%
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||Phelps Dodge Mining Co||Phoenix, AZ||556||7,662||1944 to 1998|
|2||Newmont Mining Corp||Denver, CO||361||7,435||1895 to 1978|
|3||Teck Cominco||World HQ in Canada||217||4,364||1925 to 1998|
|4||Kinross||World HQ in Canada||180||3,697||1977 to 1979|
|5||Barrick Gold Corporation||World HQ in Canada||133||2,748||1952 to 1995|
|6||Robert L Crouch||Georgetown, TX||16||2,560||2001|
|7||Joan T Crouch||Georgetown, TX||16||2,560||2001|
|8||Ronald E Mcalister||Kerns, UT||16||2,560||2001|
|9||Erlene F Mcalister||Kerns, TX||16||2,560||2001|
|10||Vivian B Mcalister||Phoenix, AZ||16||2,560||2001|
|See all claim holders in Colorado|
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|
|5||San Miguel County||292||6,533||details||map|
|9||La Plata County||201||4,957||details||map|
|See all counties|
|Name of Mine||Location of Mine||Mine Status||Metal Mined||Owner or Parent Company of Owner|
|Summitville||Rio Grande County, CO||Closed||Gold||Galactic Resources|
|Cripple Creek & Victor Mine||Teller County, CO||Open||Gold||Anglo American|
|Henderson||Clear Creek County, CO||Open||Molybdenum||Phelps Dodge|
Source: EWG analysis.