Legislature(2017 - 2018)
2018-01-31 House JournalFull Journal pdf
2018-01-31 House Journal Page 2283 HB 317 HOUSE BILL NO. 317 by the House Rules Committee by request of the Governor, entitled: 2018-01-31 House Journal Page 2284 "An Act amending requirements for qualifications to acquire or hold mining rights; amending rental rates for mining locations and leases; repealing annual labor requirements for mining locations; providing for waiver of a cure penalty for abandonment because of failure to properly record a statement of labor; and providing for an effective date." was read the first time and referred to the Resources and Finance Committees. The following fiscal note(s) apply: 1. Fiscal, Dept. of Natural Resources The Governor's transmittal letter dated January 26 follows: "Dear Speaker Edgmon: Under the authority of Article III, Section 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am transmitting a bill relating to amendments to qualifications to acquire or hold mining rights and to annual rental rates for mining claims, leasehold location, prospecting site and mining lease. The bill would repeal State annual labor requirements for State and federal mining claims, as well as annual labor requirements for State mining leasehold locations. Administration of the annual labor requirements is costly to the Department of Natural Resources. Minor errors on affidavits may result in unintentional abandonment of a claim or leasehold location by the locator. Further, miners on State land are already able to avoid conducting labor by paying a fee in lieu of labor. Instead of requiring annual labor or payment in lieu of labor, the progressive rental rates for State mining locations and leases will be increased. This will ease administration of mining claims and also discourage individuals from holding claims without developing them. The bill also provides for a new requirement in order to be qualified to acquire or hold a mining right. A person or entity must be a "bona fide miner" in addition to the other requirements of AS 38.05.190. A "bona fide" miner is defined as one who locates or holds a mining 2018-01-31 House Journal Page 2285 claim or lease in good faith for purposes of mineral exploration and development and not for the prevention of mineral exploration or development. The bill also provides a method for the Department of Natural Resources to request affidavits stating that a miner is "bona fide." This provision provides additional assurance that mining locations and leases will be acquired and held in good faith. For State claims and leasehold locations, the bill would also provide a waiver of the penalty for cure of abandonment caused by a failure to properly record a statement of annual labor as required before the effective date of sections 8 and 9 of the bill. The bill contains a transition provision providing for authority for the Department of Natural Resources to adopt regulations necessary to implement the changes made by the bill, effective immediately. The rest of the bill is effective September 2, 2018, and an applicability provision makes it clear that for purposes of annual labor, the bill will be applicable to the labor year that otherwise would begin September 1, 2018. I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure. Sincerely, /s/ Bill Walker Governor"