Alaska Statutes Title 27. Mining § 27.19.040. Reclamation financial assurance

(a) The commissioner shall require an individual financial assurance in an amount not to exceed an amount reasonably necessary to ensure the faithful performance of the requirements of the approved reclamation plan.  The commissioner shall establish the amount of the financial assurance to reflect the reasonable and probable costs of reclamation.  The assurance amount may not exceed $750 for each acre of mined area, except that the $750 an acre limitation does not apply to the assurance amount required for a lode mine.

(b) The commissioner shall establish a statewide bonding pool for mining operations as an alternative to individual financial assurance.  The commissioner may determine which mining operations are eligible to participate in the bonding pool based on the projected cost of reclamation in relation to the size of the bonding pool;  however, a mining operation may not be allowed to participate in the bonding pool if the mining operation will chemically process ore or has the potential to generate acid.  A miner participating in the bonding pool shall contribute an initial deposit not to exceed 15 percent of the financial assurance amount plus an additional nonrefundable annual fee not to exceed five percent of the financial assurance amount.  The commissioner shall refund the 15 percent deposit upon satisfactory completion of the approved reclamation plan.  If requested by the miner, the commissioner may apply the deposit to a new reclamation plan.  In addition to its use for mining operations under this chapter, the commissioner shall allow the bonding pool to be used to meet the requirements of AS 27.21.160 .  Income and other earnings on the bonding pool shall be added to the bonding pool.

(c) If the commissioner determines that a miner has violated or permitted a violation of the approved reclamation plan and has failed to comply with a lawful order of the commissioner, the commissioner shall forfeit the financial assurance and deposit it in the statewide bonding pool.  The commissioner shall use the reclamation and administrative costs recovered under AS 27.19.070(a) to supplement the forfeited financial assurance deposited in the statewide bonding pool for reclamation of the site subject to the forfeiture.  If the commissioner is unable to recover the full cost of reclamation under AS 27.19.070(a) , the commissioner may use the bonding pool to reclaim the site to the standards of this chapter, except that the commissioner may not use a deposit that is refundable under (b) of this section to fulfill another miner's reclamation obligation.

(d) A miner not required to post a financial assurance may submit a reclamation plan under AS 27.19.030(a) and participate in the bonding pool.

(e) A miner may satisfy the requirement under this section for an individual financial assurance by providing, in a form acceptable to and approved by the commissioner, any of the following:

(1) a surety bond;

(2) a letter of credit;

(3) a certificate of deposit;

(4) a corporate guarantee that meets the financial tests set in regulation by the commissioner;

(5) payments and deposits into the trust fund established in AS 37.14.800 ;  or

(6) any other form of financial assurance that meets the financial test or other conditions set in regulation by the commissioner.

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