Biden plan would overhaul 151-year-old mining law, make companies pay royalties for copper and gold

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is recommending changes to a 151-year-old law that governs mining for copper, gold and other hardrock minerals on U.S.-owned lands, including making companies pay royalties on what they extract. A plan released Tuesday by the Interior Department also calls for the creation of a mine-leasing system and coordination of permitting efforts among a range of federal agencies. The White House has been pushing to boost domestic mining for minerals needed for electric vehicles, solar panels and other clean energy. Under terms of an 1872 law, the U.S. does not collect royalties on minerals extracted from federal lands. The Biden plan would impose royalties of 4% to 8% on hardrock minerals.