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.
Companies have been consolidated to account for subsidiaries. View this table without consolidation.
Click on a column heading to resort by that heading.
|Company/Individual||Headquarters||Number of Patents||Acreage Patented||Patent Date(s)|
|1||AMCOL International Corp||Arlington Heights, IL||245||21,681||1950 to 2001|
|2||Weber Oil Company||9||21,120||1955 to 1959|
|3||National Lead Co||197||19,597||1942 to 1967|
|4||Union Oil Company of California||Sugar Land, TX||2||18,125||1986|
|5||John W Savage||Rifle, CO||15||17,000||1986 to 1987|
|6||Joseph L Fox (Trustee)||Lakewood, CO||13||16,922||1986|
|7||Phelps Dodge Mining Co||Phoenix, AZ||151||15,715||1906 to 2001|
|8||Rio Tinto Limited||136||11,402||1905 to 1978|
|9||Energy Res Tech Land||Denver, CO||6||11,012||1986|
|10||Dresser Industries||Houston, TX||14||10,869||1982 to 1989|
|11||Foote Mineral Co||Silver Peak, NV||2||10,793||1988|
|12||Lorraine E Gregg||Rifle, CO||8||10,752||1986|
|13||Ertl Theo Trustee||Boulder, CO||8||10,752||1986|
|14||Donald M Lesher Trust||Rifle, CO||8||10,752||1986|
|15||Shale Oil Syndicate Inc||13||10,460||1930 to 1945|
|16||Delos D Potter||43||10,067||1910 to 1957|
|17||Leland O Marshall||3||8,937||1923 to 1924|
|18||Basin Company||Salt Lake City, UT||81||8,100||1925 to 1929|
|19||Dorothy J Josephs||Lakewood, CO||6||7,981||1986|
|20||Amerada Hess Corp||Denver, CO||1||7,802||1986|