Who owns the west?

Placer Dome Inc

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Placer Dome Inc and its subsidiaries are a few of 92,125 beneficiaries of a 131-year-old federal mining law that gives away precious metals, minerals, and even the title to the land itself for less than $10 an acre. Placer Dome Inc and its subsidiaries own the minerals under an estimated 268,758 acres of claimed land, have gained title to an estimated 2,030 acres of lands previously owned by the public, and have submitted mining plans and notices that encompass 15,851 acres of BLM-managed land, not including the acreages of mines they may operate on Forest Service land. giving Placer Dome Inc and its subsidiaries more total land holdings (claims and patents) than over 99.5% of all other mining interests.

World Headquarters

Ste. 1600, Bentall IV
Vancouver, British Columbia,

Subsidiaries Include

Getchell Gold Corp (100%)
Bald Mountain Gold Mining Co (100%)
Placer AMEX Inc (100%)
Golden Sunlight (100%)
Cortez Joint Venture (60%)

Partners Include

Estate of Mark T Miller, Cortez Joint Venture, Stephen D Lappin, Newmont Mining Corp, Anglogold Inc, Amselco Expl Inc, Charles Bement, Sunny Hills Mines Inc, Stephen D Damele, USMX Inc, Elaine Bement, Richard K Mulvaney, L C Carter, Bagley Corp, Morry Mauzy, Carl Pescio, J J Strutzel, Getchell Gold Corp, Glynn Smith, Walter W Smith (plus 2 others)

Information on subsidiaries and parent companies shown here represents our best estimate of corporate structure at the time of this website release, and are drawn from various publicly available sources. Please report any noted omissions and errors to EWG with a credible source or citation. Thank you.

Overview of Ownership

Statistics on this page include the ownership of subsidiaries. View this page without subsidiary information included.

 ClaimsPatentsMining Plans & Notices
Number13,766 15 48
Estimated Acreage268,758 2,030 15,851

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Source: EWG analysis of US BLM data.

Examples of Mines

These mines are owned by Placer Dome Inc, its subsidiaries, or its parent company.

Name of MineLocation of MineMine StatusMetal MinedMap Link
Cortez (Pipeline) Gold MineLander County, NVOpenGoldmap
Golden Sunlight Gold MineJefferson County, MTOpenGoldmap
Turquoise RIdge (Getchell)Humboldt County, NVOpenGoldmap
Bald Mountain Gold MineEureka County, NVOpenGoldmap
Cortez (Pediment) Gold MineLander County, NVProposedGold-

Source: EWG analysis.



Like all U.S. claimholders, Placer Dome Inc and its subsidiaries acquired ownership of precious metals and minerals on U.S. public land for about $2 per acre, and maintains possession of the claim with a small per-acre fee, typically $5 each year. Placer Dome Inc pays no royalties to the federal government for metals and minerals mined from this land.

For Placer Dome Inc and its subsidiaries:

Claims by State.

StateNumber of ClaimsEstimated AcreageDate(s)
Nevada 13,352260,5181886 - 2003
Montana 2955,7821936 - 1992
New Mexico 611,2601931 - 1981
California 581,1981955 - 1988
U.S. Total 13,766268,7581886 - 2003

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Source: EWG analysis of US BLM data.


Placer Dome Inc and its subsidiaries are some of the 63,768 beneficiaries of a long-standing federal subsidy called "patenting" that allows mining interests to purchase public land for no more than $5 an acre. Since acquiring title to the land, Placer Dome Inc may have mined it, sold it, leased it, or passed it on to heirs or other corporate interests. Regardless of who owns the property now, the U.S. public has lost all rights- metals, minerals, and title - on land that was once public park or forest.

For Placer Dome Inc and its subsidiaries:

Patents by State.

StateNumber of PatentsEstimated AcreageDate(s)
Nevada 51,1351979 - 1989
Montana 44191983 - 1992
Oregon 12131904
Colorado 21141899 - 1912
South Dakota 21001895 - 1900
Utah 1501897
U.S. Total 152,0301895 - 1992

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Source: EWG analysis of US BLM data.

Mining Plans & Notices on BLM Land

Placer Dome Inc and its subsidiaries are some of the 3,323 mine operators on U.S. BLM lands with mining plans and notices listed as currently active in government records, operating under laws that allow mining interests to extract and sell precious metals and minerals previously held by the public. Placer Dome Inc may also operate mines on Forest Service lands, which are not contained in the LR2000 database that is the backbone of this website. Because the government often fails to promptly close out records for mines no longer active, active mining may be completed for some of the operations represented by plans and notices in this website. But regardless of the status of mining operations on a particular site, filings of plans and notices are indicative of mining on the property - whether past, present, or planned. Mining operations led by Placer Dome Inc may well have left behind permanent pollution. In 2001 mines generated 45 percent of all pollution in EPA's Toxic Release Reporting system while accounting for just 0.36 percent of all industrial facilities.

For Placer Dome Inc and its subsidiaries:

Plans and Notices on BLM land by State.

StateNumber of Plans and Notices on BLM landEstimated AcreageDate(s)
Nevada 4313,2391981 - 2003
Montana 32,6061991 - 1997
New Mexico 151994
Oregon 121989
U.S. Total 4815,8511981 - 2003

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Source: EWG analysis of US BLM data.

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.