Local Economics

We've learned through a Freedom of Information Act request that the Forest Service's estimated the cost of preparing the required environmental impact statements Chetco River Mining and Exploration's mining proposals is:
  • $431,000.00 for the plan to mine Gold #11 in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, and
  • $379,000.00 for the 6 mining plans on the Chetco outside the Wilderness.
This cost is born by the taxpayer and not the mining company.  The mining company pays no fees or royalties for the minerals it extracts and no percentage of the fees it charges the public to come and mine the river.  In many instances the public is left with paying for reclamation or clean-up of mine sites.  See the Medford Mail Tribune on the $11.1 million the clean-up of the Blue Ledge Mine (Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest) will cost the taxpayer.

See response to Freedom of Information Act request with Forest Service estimates on cost of environmental impact statements for Chetco River Mining and Explorations mining plans of operation.

Hardrock mining makes no measurable contribution to the economic of Southwest Oregon. Miners take valuable minerals like gold from public lands for free.  They pay the public no royalties for the minerals and often leave the public to pay for the clean-up. While mining advocates often tout the economic benefits of mining to local communities, there little or no evidence to support these claims.  

See Southwest Oregon Mining Facts especially Hardrock Mining Makes No Measurable Contribution to the Economy of Southwest Oregon and Mining Economics.