Subject to section 1411(b) of this title, priority of right for the issuance of licenses to applicants shall be established on the basis of the chronological order in which license applications which are in substantial compliance with the requirements established under subsection (a)(2) of this section are filed with the Administrator. Priority of right shall not be lost in the case of any application filed which is in substantial but not full compliance with such requirements if the applicant thereafter brings the application into conformity with such requirements within such reasonable period of time as the Administrator shall prescribe in regulations.
The Administrator shall provide by regulation for full consultation and cooperation, prior to certification of an application for the issuance or transfer of any license for exploration or permit for commercial recovery and prior to the issuance or transfer of such a license or permit, with other Federal agencies or departments which have programs or activities within their statutory responsibilities which would be affected by the activities proposed in the application for the issuance or transfer of a license or permit. Not later than 30 days after June 28, 1980, the heads of any Federal departments or agencies having expertise concerning, or jurisdiction over, any aspect of the recovery or processing of hard mineral resources shall transmit to the Administrator written comments as to their expertise or statutory responsibilities pursuant to this chapter or any other Federal law. To the extent possible, such agencies shall cooperate to reduce the number of separate actions required to satisfy the statutory responsibilities of these agencies. The Administrator shall transmit to each such agency or department a complete copy of each application and each such agency or department, based on its legal responsibilities and authorities, may, not later than 60 days after receipt of the application, recommend certification of the application, issuance or transfer of the license or permit, or denial of such certification, issuance, or transfer. In any case in which an agency or department recommends such a denial, it shall set forth in detail the manner in which the application does not comply with any law or regulation within its area of responsibility and shall indicate how the application may be amended, or how terms, conditions, or restrictions might be added to the license or permit, to assure compliance with such law or regulation.
All time periods for the review of an application for issuance or transfer of a license or permit established pursuant to this section shall, to the maximum extent practicable, run concurrently from the date on which the application is received by the Administrator.
Upon making the applicable determinations and findings required in sections 1411, 1412 of this title, and this section with respect to any applicant for the issuance or transfer of a license or a permit and the exploration or commercial recovery proposed by such applicant, after completion of procedures for receiving the application required by this chapter, and upon payment by the applicant of the fee required under section 1414 of this title, the Administrator shall certify the application for the issuance or transfer of the license or permit. The Administrator, to the maximum extent possible, shall endeavor to complete certification action on the application within 100 days after its submission. If final certification or denial of certification has not occurred within 100 days after submission of the application, the Administrator shall inform the applicant in writing of the then pending unresolved issues, the Administrator’s efforts to resolve them, and an estimate of the time required to do so.