Am I the only one who, while watching GameStop go bananas on the stock exchange, was reminded of how the 1872 Mining Law has been put to work for the Canyon uranium mine ? Yes, indeed, I imagine I am. But I assure you, there’s some resemblance between all the call options recently placed on GameStop and the mine’s 40-year tenure on our public lands. What on Earth am I talking about?
The general idea behind the 1872 Mining Law was to authorize what trespassing miners had already been doing for many years: going onto federal public lands to search for pay dirt. Under the law, a miner who found a “valuable mineral deposit” and followed a list of other rules could stake a mining claim and get the government’s blessing to mine.
Over a century later, in the late 1970s, a uranium-mining company used this law to stake two […]
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