30 U.S. Code § 1412 - Licenses for exploration and permits for commercial recovery
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(a) Authority to issue
Subject to the provisions of this chapter, the Administrator shall issue to applicants who are eligible therefor licenses for exploration and permits for commercial recovery.
(b) Nature of licenses and permits
(1) A license or permit issued under this subchapter shall authorize the holder thereof to engage in exploration or commercial recovery, as the case may be, consistent with the provisions of this chapter, the regulations issued by the Administrator to implement the provisions of this chapter, and the specific terms, conditions, and restrictions applied to the license or permit by the Administrator.
(2) Any license or permit issued under this subchapter shall be exclusive with respect to the holder thereof as against any other United States citizen or any citizen, national or governmental agency of, or any legal entity organized or existing under the laws of, any reciprocating state.
(3) A valid existing license shall entitle the holder, if otherwise eligible under the provisions of this chapter and regulations issued under this chapter, to a permit for commercial recovery. Such a permit recognizes the right of the holder to recover hard mineral resources, and to own, transport, use, and sell hard mineral resources recovered, under the permit and in accordance with the requirements of this chapter.
(1) The Administrator may not issue—
(A) any license or permit after the date on which an international agreement is ratified by and enters into force with respect to the United States, except to the extent that issuance of such license or permit is not inconsistent with such agreement;
(B) any license or permit the exploration plan or recovery plan of which, submitted pursuant to section 1413 (a)(2) of this title, would apply to an area to which applies, or would conflict with,
(i) any exploration plan or recovery plan submitted with any pending application to which priority of right for issuance applies under section 1413 (b) of this title,
(iii) any equivalent authorization which has been issued, or for which formal notice of application has been submitted, by a reciprocating state prior to the filing date of any relevant application for licenses or permits pursuant to this subchapter;
(C) a permit authorizing commercial recovery within any area of the deep seabed in which exploration is authorized under a valid existing license if such permit is issued to other than the licensee for such area;
(D) any exploration license before July 1, 1981, or any permit which authorizes commercial recovery to commence before January 1, 1988;
(E) any license or permit the exploration plan or recovery plan for which applies to any area of the deep seabed if, within the 3-year period before the date of application for such license or permit,
(i) the applicant therefor surrendered or relinquished such area under an exploration plan or recovery plan associated with a previous license or permit issued to such applicant, or
(ii) a license or permit previously issued to the applicant had an exploration plan or recovery plan which applied to such area and such license or permit was revoked under section 1416 of this title; or
(2) No permittee may use any vessel for the commercial recovery of hard mineral resources or for the processing at sea of hard mineral resources recovered under the permit issued to the permittee unless the vessel is documented under the laws of the United States.
(3) Each permittee shall use at least one vessel documented under the laws of the United States for the transportation from each mining site of hard mineral resources recovered under the permit issued to the permittee.
(4) For purposes of the shipping laws of the United States, any vessel documented under the laws of the United States and used in the commercial recovery, processing, or transportation from any mining site of hard mineral resources recovered under a permit issued under this subchapter shall be deemed to be used in, and used in an essential service in, the foreign commerce or foreign trade of the United States, as defined in section 109 of title 46, and shall be deemed to be a vessel as defined in section 53701 (13) of title 46.
(5) Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, the processing on land of hard mineral resources recovered pursuant to a permit shall be conducted within the United States: Provided, That the President does not determine that such restrictions contravene the overriding national interests of the United States. The Administrator may allow the processing of hard mineral resources at a place other than within the United States if he finds, after opportunity for an agency hearing, that—
(A) the processing of the quantity concerned of such resource at a place other than within the United States is necessary for the economic viability of the commercial recovery activities of a permittee; and
(B) satisfactory assurances have been given by the permittee that such resource, after processing, to the extent of the permittee’s ownership therein, will be returned to the United States for domestic use, if the Administrator so requires after determining that the national interest necessitates such return.
Source(Pub. L. 96–283, title I, § 102,June 28, 1980, 94 Stat. 558.)
In subsec. (c)(4), “section 109 of title 46” substituted for “section 905(a) of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936” and “section 53701 (13) of title 46” substituted for “section 1101(b) of that Act” on authority of Pub. L. 109–304, § 18(c),Oct. 6, 2006, 120 Stat. 1709, which Act enacted sections 109 and 53701 of Title 46, Shipping.