Article Image

IPFS News Link • Precious Metals

The BLM's Quiet War On Precious Metals

•, Via

On the East Coast, it manages little land but manages an enormous share of Western states. It owns over two-thirds of Nevada. This gives the federal government enormous sway over the West. Want to go hunting? Want to start a logging company? Want to go hiking? Better make sure it's okay with the federal government first.

The BLM does allow the public and businesses to use some of its land. That's the lawThe BLM is supposed to accommodate energy production, outdoor recreation, and conservation.

One of the uses that the BLM allows is gold mining. According to the GAO, billions of dollars worth of gold are mined from these lands annually. The status quo is quite favorable for mining of gold and some other precious metals like silver, lithium, and copper because the miners are not required to pay royalties to the federal government which owns the land the resources are extracted. This is in contrast with fossil fuel extraction on public land where energy companies are required to pay royalties.

But recent moves by the Biden administration bureaucrats in charge of BLM suggest that the administration is taking aim at precious metal production and might cut off the supply of precious metals from precious land.

The BLM and the broader Biden administration are doing this in two ways.

First, Biden is designating more and more federal land as national monumentsNational monuments are kind of halfway between national parks that are set aside for conservation and limited recreational activities such as hiking and the normal federal land managed by the BLM which is generally open to hiking, hunting, and sometimes mining and logging. Every president has the power to declare federal land a national monument under an obscure law from 1906, the Antiquities Act. The Antiquities Act was meant to be used to preserve prehistoric Native American ruins, but as written allows the president to unilaterally use, at his discretion.