The hardrock mining industry has acquired the title to an estimated 3.7 million acres of land previously owned by the public and rich in gold, silver, and other precious metals and minerals. Although a moratorium on new mining "patents" - conversion of public lands to private - has been in place since 1994, the government continues to grant pending requests. Since 2000, 15,600 acres of public lands across 12 western states have been converted to private ownership, for a price capped at $5 per acre in 1872. See who has gained title to lands since 1980, 1990, or 2000.
|Quick facts about patented lands in The United States|
Acres of federal land, previously public, titled the mining industry: 3,718,326
Companies and individuals granted patents, total: 60,688
Dollars paid for each acre: $2.50 or $5
Land area given away since 1990: 32,267 acres
Royalties paid to federal government from mines on patented public land: $0
|Decade||Patents Granted||Estimated Acreage|