Currently on file with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are 902 mining plans and notices filed by 108 companies and 225 individuals, encompassing a total estimated area of 35,420 acres of BLM-managed public land in California. These plans and notices are filed on public land laden with gold, silver, copper and other precious metals and minerals worth billions of dollars. And these operations are only those on BLM lands, not on Forest Service lands, for which mining plans and notices are not entered into the government's LR2000 database that forms the backbone of this site. But whether the mines are on BLM or Forest Service land, none of the corporate revenue is reimbursed to the public. Instead, companies leave behind unfathomable amounts of waste. In 2001 alone, the industry dumped enough mercury nationally to fill a billion thermometers and arsenic in quantities that would pollute all public drinking water supplies for 350 years. In 2001, mines generated 45 percent of all pollution reported in the U.S. while accounting for just 0.36 percent of all industrial facilities.
|Quick facts about mining plans on BLM land in California|
Acres of U.S. public land (BLM land only) under mining plans and notices, estimated: 35,420
Foreign-owned corporations among top BLM land mine operators: 3 of 10
Pollution from all US mining operations, ranking among all U.S. industries: : #1 in total toxic releases
Pollution from top 89 mines in US: 5 times pollution from entire U.S. chemical industry (3,600 plants)
Western water polluted by mine waste: 40 percent of Western headwaters
Proposed mining operations that have been blocked by the Department of Interior because they posed a risk to public health or the environment: None
Other land uses that supercede rights of mining companies to operate on public lands: None
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 Mining Plans & Notices on BLM land||Estimated Acreage||Plan Date(s)|
|1||Barrick Gold Corporation||World HQ in Canada||3||9,000||1983 to 1991|
|2||Glamis Gold LTD||World HQ in Canada||10||5,747||1987 to 1995|
|3||Gold Fields Mining Co||Lakewood, CO||8||4,003||1981 to 1987|
|4||Canyon Resources Co||Golden, CO||4||3,491||1995 to 1996|
|5||Viceroy Gold Corp||World HQ in Canada||2||1,380||1990 to 1997|
|6||American Girl Mining||Winterhaven, CA||7||1,010||1986 to 1990|
|7||Newmont Mining Corp||Denver, CO||4||1,004||1993|
|8||Golden Queen Mining||Mojave, CA||5||930||1987 to 1997|
|9||Rand Mining Co||Randsburg, CA||9||586||1985 to 1999|
|10||Elementis Specialties Inc||Newberry Spgs, CA||2||530||1991 to 1994|
|See all plan/notice holders in California|
|County||Number of Mining Plans & Notices on BLM land||Estimated Acreage|
|4||San Bernardino County||185||4,221||details||map|
|10||San Diego County||22||136||details||map|
|See all counties|
|Name of Mine||Location of Mine||Mine Status||Metal Mined||Owner or Parent Company of Owner|
|Mt. Pass Mine & Mill||San Bernardino County, CA||Open||Rare earths||Molycorp|
|Castle Mountain Mine||San Bernardino County, CA||Closed||Gold||Viceroy Resource Corporation|
|Jamestown||Stanislaus County, CA||Closed||Gold||Sonora Mining Corporation|
|Dredge 21||Yuba County, CA||Suspended||Gold||Cal-sierra Development, Inc|
|Picacho||Imperial County, CA||Closed||Gold||Glamis Gold Ltd.|
|Sixteen To One Mine||Sierra County, CA||Open||Gold||Original Sixteen To One Mine|
|Rand Mine||San Bernardino County, CA||Open||Gold||Glamis Gold Ltd|
|Briggs Gold Mine||Inyo County, CA||Open||Gold||Canyon Resources Corporation|
|Mesquite Gold Mine||Imperial County, CA||Open||Gold||Newmont Mining Corp|
|Mclaughlin Gold Mine||Lake County, CA||Closed||Gold||Barrick Gold Corporation|
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.