The hardrock mining industry owns gold, silver, and other precious metals and minerals beneath an estimated 50,632 acres of U.S. public land in Washington, 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 Washington|
Total number of claim-holders: 639
Acres of public land claimed by the mining industry, estimated: 50,632 (87% of Seattle (55955 acres))
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: 23%
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||Teck Cominco||World HQ in Canada||379||7,830||1896 to 2000|
|2||Kinross||World HQ in Canada||220||3,292||1969 to 1999|
|3||Mt St Helens Mining||Kelso, WA||114||2,355||1900 to 1995|
|4||Metaline Contact Mns||Murray, ID||113||2,335||1924 to 1973|
|5||Wind River Mining Co||Portland, OR||65||1,343||1993|
|6||Maria T Thomas||Concrete, WA||62||1,281||1992 to 1999|
|7||Richard E Delano||Calabasas, CA||58||1,198||1993|
|9||Graymont Western US Inc||Salt Lake City, UT||44||908||1988 to 1991|
|10||Lawmont Mining Co||Federal Way, WA||34||702||1967 to 1968|
|See all claim holders in Washington|
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||Pend Oreille County||564||11,689||details||map|
|See all counties|
|Name of Mine||Location of Mine||Mine Status||Metal Mined||Owner or Parent Company of Owner|
|K-2 Mine Site||Ferry County, WA||Closed||Gold||Kinross Gold Corporation|
|Kettle River Mill Site||Ferry County, WA||Closed||Gold||Kinross Gold Corporation|
|Midnite Mine||Stevens County, WA||Closed||Uranium||Newmont Mining Corp|
|Crown Jewel / Buckhorn||Okanogan County, WA||Proposed||Gold||Crown Resources|
|Pend Oreille Mine||Pend Oreille County, WA||Closed||Lead and/or Zinc Ore||Teck Cominco Limited|
Source: EWG analysis.