A congressional committee has passed a measure to impose gross royalties of 4 percent on existing hard-rock mining operations and 8 percent on new ones.
The vote in the House Committee on Natural Resources was on an
amendment to legislation rewriting the General Mining Law of 1872.
The measure is expected to pass a final committee vote on Tuesday.
The full House may consider the bill before Thanksgiving, but its fate in the Senate is uncertain.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, a longtime protector of Nevada's gold mining industry, hasn't taken a position on the House bill.
He said he and other senators are working to craft legislation of their own.