The hardrock mining industry owns gold, silver, and other precious metals and minerals beneath an estimated 43,783 acres of U.S. public land in Sierra County, 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 Sierra County|
Total number of claim-holders: 1,002
Acres of public land claimed by the mining industry, estimated: 43,783 (4,378 typical city blocks)
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
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||Robert W Latta||Sierra City, CA||13||1,541||2001|
|2||Ralph C Hostetler||Penn Valley, CA||13||1,541||2001|
|3||Aaron Latta||Sierra City, CA||11||1,500||2001|
|4||Bette Latta||Sierra City, CA||11||1,500||2001|
|5||Don Marten||Santa Rosa, CA||12||1,401||2001|
|6||Helene Latta||Sierra City, CA||8||1,200||2001|
|7||Heather Latta||Sierra City, CA||7||1,080||2001|
|8||Original 16 To 1 Mine Inc||Alleghany, CA||51||1,047||1872 to 1985|
|9||Mark Marten||Sierra City, CA||6||940||2001|
|10||Sandra Rouse||Grass Valley, CA||7||840||1995|
|See all claim holders in Sierra County|
Some of the claimants in this table may be in partnership with other individuals or companies with a claim to the same land.
|Name of Mine||Location of Mine||Mine Status||Metal Mined||Owner or Parent Company of Owner|
|Sixteen To One Mine||Sierra County, CA||Open||Gold||Original Sixteen To One Mine|
Source: EWG analysis.
Source: EWG analysis of Bureau of Land Management's Land and Mineral Records 2000 (LR2000) data system. For claims, acreages are estimated based on maximum allowable size of claims. For patents, acreages are taken directly from the LR2000 database where available, and are estimated based on maximum allowable size of claim that preceded the patent where acreages are not noted in LR2000. All notices are assumed to be five acres in size, and the size of plans are calculated directly as the size of the land represented by the legal land description in the LR2000 database. The acreages we estimate through these methods would tend to overestimate the actual amount. We welcome corrections here, and would welcome a federal data management system that included the acreages involved in these important federal land transactions.