Federal Land Management: Key Differences and Stakeholder Views of the Federal Systems Used to Manage Hardrock Mining, Report to the Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources, House of Representatives [open pdf - 2MB]
From the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Highlights: "Hardrock minerals, such as gold and copper, are crucial resources for modern technology. However, mining by its nature can create lasting health hazards and environmental contamination. The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management and the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service are responsible for managing hardrock mining on the federal lands they manage. Federal management of hardrock mining has been a source of ongoing debate, in part because the agencies use two different systems, depending on where the resources occur:  the location system under the General Mining Act of 1872 to manage hardrock mining on public domain lands (those usually never in state or private ownership), and  the leasing system first adopted in the 1940s to manage hardrock mining on acquired lands (those granted or sold to the United States by a state or citizen). GAO was asked to review hardrock mining on federal lands. This report describes, among other things, stakeholder views on the systems and areas for improvement."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/