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December 12, 2012
David Parker photo

FILE - This April 4, 2012 file photo shows the Newmont Gold Quarry pit in Battle Mountain, Nev. While the U.S. government reaps billions of dollars in royalties each year from fossil fuels extracted from federal public lands and waters, it does not collect any royalties from gold, uranium or other metals mined from the same lands, Congressional auditors reported Wednesday Dec. 12, 2012. A Government Accountability Office report found that the federal government doesn�t even know how much these so-called �hard rock� mines produce from federal public lands in 12 Western states _ where most of the mining occurs.