Reform to The General Mining Law of 1872

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The General Mining Act of 1872 still governs current-day critical mineral extraction activities. The provisions of the Act are outdated and fail to adequately address historic issues within the critical mineral industry, such as standardized tribal consultation practices and protections for sacred sites. Growth predictions for the domestic critical mineral extraction market in the coming decades indicate an increasing demand for materials to be sourced and processed within the United States. The laws governing critical mineral extractions must reflect the priorities of the Tribal Nations they impact. Approximately 97% of nickel, 79% of lithium, 68% of cobalt, and 89% of copper deposits in the United States are located within 35 miles of Indian reservations.1 As the critical mineral mining industry grows in response to the need for sustainable energy technologies, steps must be taken to preserve and strengthen Tribal Nations’ land and natural resources priorities, as well as their right to self-determination.