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MINERAL RESOURCES ALLIANCE DECLARES HOUSE MINING BILL DISASTROUS FOR STATES, INDUSTRY

 WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The House mining law reform bill contains provisions that would cripple the hardrock mining industry, wipe out thousands of high-paying mining jobs and devastate communities across the country, said a spokesman for the Mineral Resources Alliance (MRA).
 Commenting on today's mark-up of H.R. 322 in a House Natural Resources subcommittee, Coeur d'Alene Mines President and CEO Dennis Wheeler remarked: "This bill is a job-killer. Plain and simple. If enacted into law, it will cause severe hardships for thousands of American families who depend on the hardrock mining industry to make a decent living."
 Wheeler expressed particular concern about three major components of H.R. 322 which would make mining on federal lands a difficult and costly endeavor -- an 8 percent gross royalty, an unsuitability clause and an extensive new layer of environmental provisions known as Title II.
 Reaction by industry supporters to subcommittee chairman Rep. Richard Lehman's (D-Calif.) substitute bill, introduced at the mark-up to replace Rep. Nick Rahall's (D-W.Va.) bill, was clearly negative.
 "The Lehman substitute differs little from the Rahall bill and in some respects, is even more harmful to the mining industry," said mining law expert Stephen Alfers. "It still contains an unworkable unsuitability clause, imposes a gross royalty, abolishes patenting and maintains prescriptive reclamation requirements -- just as are contained in the Rahall bill," continued Alfers.
 Alfers added that these specific provisions, plus a host of others contained in H.R. 322, are designed to make compliance nearly impossible. The net effect would be to force small or marginally viable companies out of business and drive larger companies out of the country.
 The MRA continues to support the Senate-passed bill, S. 775, as the most reasonable and effective mining law reform proposal, according to Wheeler.
 The MRA is a group of more than 1,200 companies and organizations committed to responsible and balanced changes to the U.S. Mining Law.
 -0- 10/28/93
 /CONTACT: Peter Soh for the Mineral Resources Alliance, 202-331-3363/


CO: Mineral Resource Alliance ST: District of Columbia IN: MNG SU: LEG

DC-KD -- DC002 -- 7700 10/28/93 08:05 EDT
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Date:Oct 28, 1993
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