Code Section

Public Resources Code - PRC

DIVISION 2. GEOLOGY, MINES AND MINING [2001 - 2815]

  ( Heading of Division 2 amended by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1143. )
  

CHAPTER 2. The California Geological Survey [2200 - 2211]
  ( Heading of Chapter 2 amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 521, Sec. 15. )

  
2207.  

(a) The owner or the operator of a mining operation within the state shall forward to the supervisor annually, not later than a date established by the supervisor, upon forms approved by the board from time to time, a report that identifies all of the following:

(1) The name, address, and telephone number of the person, company, or other owner of the mining operation.

(2) The name, address, and telephone number of a designated agent who resides in this state, and who will receive and accept service of all orders, notices, and processes of the lead agency, board, supervisor, or court.

(3) The location of the mining operation, its name, its mine number as issued by the Division of Mine Reclamation, its section, township, range, latitude, longitude, and approximate boundaries of the mining operation marked on a United States Geological Survey 71/2-minute or 15-minute quadrangle map.

(4) The lead agency.

(5) The approval date of the mining operation’s reclamation plan.

(6) The mining operation’s status as active, idle, reclaimed, or in the process of being reclaimed.

(7) The commodities produced by the mine and the type of mining operation.

(8) A copy of the previously completed annual inspection form and a requested date, within 12 months of the prior inspection date, for the next annual inspection by the lead agency.

(9) Proof of financial assurances.

(10) Ownership of the property, including government agencies, if applicable, by the assessor’s parcel number, and total assessed value of the mining operation.

(11) The approximate permitted size of the mining operation subject to Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 2710), in acres.

(12) The approximate total acreage of land newly disturbed by the mining operation during the previous calendar year.

(13) The approximate total of disturbed acreage reclaimed during the previous calendar year.

(14) The approximate total unreclaimed disturbed acreage remaining as of the end of the calendar year.

(15) The total production for each mineral commodity produced during the previous year.

(16) A copy of any approved reclamation plan and any amendments or conditions of approval to any existing reclamation plan approved by the lead agency.

(b) (1) Every year, not later than the date established by the supervisor, the person submitting the report pursuant to subdivision (a) shall forward to the lead agency, upon forms furnished by the board, a report that provides all of the information specified in subdivision (a).

(2) The owner or operator of a mining operation shall allow access to the property to any governmental agency or the agent of any company providing financial assurance mechanisms in connection with the reclamation plan in order that the reclamation can be carried out by the entity or company, in accordance with the provisions of the reclamation plan.

(c) Subsequent reports shall include only changes in the information submitted for the items described in subdivision (a), except that, instead of the approved reclamation plan, the reports shall include any reclamation plan amendments approved during the previous year. The reports shall state whether review of a reclamation plan, financial assurances, or an interim management plan is pending under subdivision (h) of Section 2770, or whether an appeal before the board or lead agency governing body is pending under subdivision (e) or (h) of Section 2770. The supervisor shall notify the person submitting the report and the owner’s designated agent in writing that the report and the fee required pursuant to subdivision (d) have been received, specify the mining operation’s mine number if one has not been issued by the Division of Mine Reclamation, and notify the person and agent of any deficiencies in the report within 90 days of receipt. That person or agent shall have 30 days from receipt of the notification to correct the noted deficiencies and forward the revised report to the supervisor and the lead agency. A person who fails to comply with this section, or knowingly provides incorrect or false information in reports required by this section, may be subject to an administrative penalty as provided in subdivision (c) of Section 2774.1.

(d) (1) The board shall impose, by regulation, pursuant to paragraph (2), an annual reporting fee on, and method for collecting annual fees from, each active or idle mining operation. The maximum fee for any single mining operation may not exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) annually and may not be less than one hundred dollars ($100) annually, as adjusted for the cost of living as measured by the California Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers, calendar year averages, using the percentage change in the previous year, except that the maximum fee for any single mining operation shall not exceed six thousand dollars ($6,000) in the 2017–18 fiscal year and eight thousand dollars ($8,000) in the 2018–19 fiscal year.

(2) (A) The board shall adopt, by regulation, a schedule of fees authorized under paragraph (1) to cover the department’s cost in carrying out this section and Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 2710), as reflected in the Governor’s proposed Budget, and may adopt those regulations as emergency regulations. In establishing the schedule of fees to be paid by each active and idle mining operation, the fees shall be calculated on an equitable basis reflecting the size and type of operation. The board shall also consider the total assessed value of the mining operation, the acreage disturbed by mining activities, and the acreage subject to the reclamation plan.

(B) Regulations adopted pursuant to this subdivision shall be adopted by the board in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code). The adoption of any emergency regulations pursuant to this subdivision shall be considered necessary to address an emergency and shall be considered by the Office of Administrative Law to be necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, and general welfare.

(3) The total revenue generated by the reporting fees may not exceed, and may be less than, the amount of eight million dollars ($8,000,000), as adjusted for the cost of living as measured by the California Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers, calendar year averages, using the percentage change in the previous year, beginning with the 2017–18 fiscal year and annually thereafter. If the director determines that the revenue collected during the preceding fiscal year was greater or less than the cost to operate the program, the board shall adjust the fees to compensate for the overcollection or undercollection of revenues.

(4) (A) The reporting fees established pursuant to this subdivision shall be deposited in the Mine Reclamation Account, which is hereby created. Any fees, penalties, interest, fines, or charges collected by the supervisor or board pursuant to this chapter or Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 2710) shall be deposited in the Mine Reclamation Account. The money in the account shall be available to the department and board, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for the purpose of carrying out this section and complying with Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 2710), which includes, but is not limited to, the classification and designation of areas with mineral resources of statewide or regional significance, reclamation plan and financial assurance review, mine inspection, and enforcement.

(B) (i) In addition to reporting fees, the board shall collect five dollars ($5) per ounce of gold and ten cents ($0.10) per ounce of silver mined within the state and shall deposit the fees collected in the Abandoned Mine Reclamation and Minerals Fund Subaccount, which is hereby created in the Mine Reclamation Account. The department may expend the moneys in the subaccount, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for only the purposes of Section 2796.5 and as authorized herein for the remediation of abandoned mines.

(ii) Notwithstanding subdivision (j) of Section 2796.5, fees collected pursuant to clause (i) may also be used to remediate features of historic abandoned mines and lands that they impact. For the purposes of this section, historic abandoned mines are mines for which operations have been conducted before January 1, 1976, and include, but are not limited to, historic gold and silver mines.

(5) In case of late payment of the reporting fee, a penalty of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) or 10 percent of the amount due, whichever is greater, plus interest at the rate of 11/2 percent per month, computed from the delinquent date of the assessment until and including the date of payment, shall be assessed. New mining operations that have not submitted a report shall submit a report prior to commencement of operations. The new operation shall submit its fee according to the reasonable fee schedule adopted by the board, and the month that the report is received shall become that operation’s anniversary month.

(e) The lead agency, or the board when acting as the lead agency, may impose a fee upon each mining operation to cover the reasonable costs incurred in implementing this chapter and Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 2710).

(f) For purposes of this section, “mining operation” means a mining operation of any kind or character whatever in this state, including, but not limited to, a mining operation that is classified as a “surface mining operation” as defined in Section 2735, unless excepted by Section 2714. For the purposes of fee collections only, “mining operation” may include one or more mines operated by a single operator or mining company on one or more sites, if the total annual combined mineral production for all sites is less than 100 troy ounces for precious metals, if precious metals are the primary mineral commodity produced, or less than 100,000 short tons if the primary mineral commodity produced is not precious metals.

(g) Any information in reports submitted pursuant to subdivision (a) that includes or otherwise indicates the total mineral production, reserves, or rate of depletion of any mining operation may not be disclosed to any member of the public, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 6252 of the Government Code. Other portions of the reports are public records unless excepted by statute. Statistical bulletins based on these reports and published under Section 2205 shall be compiled to show, for the state as a whole and separately for each lead agency, the total of each mineral produced therein. In order not to disclose the production, reserves, or rate of depletion from any identifiable mining operation, no production figure shall be published or otherwise disclosed unless that figure is the aggregated production of not less than three mining operations. If the production figure for any lead agency would disclose the production, reserves, or rate of depletion of less than three mining operations or otherwise permit the reasonable inference of the production, reserves, or rate of depletion of any identifiable mining operation, that figure shall be combined with the same figure of not less than two other lead agencies without regard to the location of the lead agencies. The bulletin shall be published annually by June 30 or as soon thereafter as practicable.

(h) The approval of a form by the board pursuant to this section is not the adoption of a regulation for purposes of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code) and is not subject to that act.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 521, Sec. 20. (SB 809) Effective January 1, 2018.)