All public lands belonging to the United States heretofore, now or hereafter withdrawn or reserved for power development or power sites shall be open to entry for location and patent of mining claims and for mining, development, beneficiation, removal, and utilization of the mineral resources of such lands under applicable Federal statutes: Provided, That all power rights to such lands shall be retained by the United States: Provided further, That locations made under this chapter within the revested Oregon and California Railroad and reconveyed Coos Bay Wagon grant lands shall also be subject to the provisions of the Act of April 8, 1948, Public Law 477 (Eightieth Congress, second session): And provided further, That nothing contained herein shall be construed to open for the purposes described in this section any lands (1) which are included in any project operating or being constructed under a license or permit issued under the Federal Power Act [16 U.S.C. 791a et seq.] or other Act of Congress, or (2) which are under examination and survey by a prospective licensee of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, if such prospective licensee holds an uncanceled preliminary permit issued under the Federal Power Act authorizing him to conduct such examination and survey with respect to such lands and such permit has not been renewed in the case of such prospective licensee more than once.
The locator of a placer claim under this chapter, however, shall conduct no mining operations for a period of sixty days after the filing of a notice of location pursuant to section 623 of this title. If the Secretary of the Interior, within sixty days from the filing of the notice of location, notifies the locator by registered mail or certified mail of the Secretary’s intention to hold a public hearing to determine whether placer mining operations would substantially interfere with other uses of the land included within the placer claim, mining operations on that claim shall be further suspended until the Secretary has held the hearing and has issued an appropriate order. The order issued by the Secretary of the Interior shall provide for one of the following: (1) a complete prohibition of placer mining; (2) a permission to engage in placer mining upon the condition that the locator shall, following placer operations, restore the surface of the claim to the condition in which it was immediately prior to those operations; or (3) a general permission to engage in placer mining. No order by the Secretary with respect to such operations shall be valid unless a certified copy is filed in the same State or county office in which the locator’s notice of location has been filed in compliance with the United States mining laws.
The Secretary shall establish such rules and regulations as he deems desirable concerning bonds and deposits with respect to the restoration of lands to their condition prior to placer mining operations. Moneys received from any bond or deposit shall be used for the restoration of the surface of the claim involved, and any money received in excess of the amount needed for the restoration of the surface of that claim shall be refunded.
Nothing in this chapter shall affect the validity of withdrawals or reservations for purposes other than power development.