The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 ensures that before a mining permit is issued, all applicants must submit a reclamation plan and post a reclamation surety bond or performance bond to ensure that they follow reclamation procedures. The mining project cannot begin until the plan is approved and a surety bond is secured. Bonds are required for coal or surface mining and each state or the federal government may have different requirements for the initial approval process.
The surety bond ensures that there is enough money to complete reclamation. The amount of the bond must equal the amount of the proposed reclamation plan. This bond will not be released until the state or federal regulatory office had determined that the reclamation is successful. This can be a long period of time, such as over 10 years after the reclamation has been completed.
The bond amount can be quite large, as it must be enough to complete the full reclamation project in the event the applicant does not follow through on the contract. The premium would be a percentage of the bond amount. Credit and financial statemetns help determine the premium amount.
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