16 U.S. Code § 410aaa–49 - Study as to validity of mining claims

The Secretary shall not approve any plan of operation prior to determining the validity of the unpatented mining claims, mill sites, and tunnel sites affected by such plan within the preserve and shall submit to Congress recommendations as to whether any valid or patented claims should be acquired by the United States, including the estimated acquisition costs of such claims, and a discussion of the environmental consequences of the extraction of minerals from these lands.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary shall permit the holder or holders of mining claims identified on the records of the Bureau of Land Management as Volco #A CAMC 105446, Volco #B CAMC 105447, Volco 1 CAMC 80155, Volco 2 CAMC 80156, Volco 3 CAMC 170259, Volco 4 CAMC 170260, Volco 5 CAMC 78405, Volco 6 CAMC 78404, and Volco 7 CAMC 78403, Volco Placer 78332, to continue exploration and development activities on such claims for a period of two years after October 31, 1994, subject to the same regulations as applied to such activities on such claims on the day before October 31, 1994.
At the end of the period specified in paragraph (1), or sooner if so requested by the holder or holders of the claims specified in such paragraph, the Secretary shall determine whether there has been a discovery of valuable minerals on such claims and whether, if such discovery had been made on or before July 1, 1994, such claims would have been valid as of such date under the mining laws of the United States in effect on such date.
If the Secretary, pursuant to paragraph (2), makes an affirmative determination concerning the claims specified in paragraph (1), the holder or holders of such claims shall be permitted to continue to operate such claims subject only to such regulations as applied on July 1, 1994 to the exercise of valid existing rights on patented mining claims within a unit of the National Park System.

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