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					Activity purposed
 on mining claim
                             notice or
                                                     STATE OR FEDERAL LAND MANAGER                                                                                     Alaska Placer Mining Claim Operations Guide
(Producing opera-              plan        Alaska Dept. of Natural                Bureau of Land                         U.S. Forest Service (USFS)
tions in AK require                          Resources (ADNR)                 Management- Alaska (BLM)
                                                                                                                                                                                 Guide for anyone who owns, leases, or has an interest in placer mining claims in Alaska.
a Mining License                           (A Production Royalty Tax                                                                                                                                                                                                   U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

and annual filing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

                                           is also required on produc-
of Mining License                          tion from State Claims, see
Tax. See Dept. of                          DNR Section).
Revenue Section)                                                                                                                                                                   December 2009 Update
Simple mining claim             NO         Perform and file annual labor,   Pay maintenance fees or (if less than      Same as BLM land.
maintenance; or in                         pay annual rental fees: See      10 claims) submit Maintenance Fee
                                                                                                                                                                   This basic information will help you learn what is required to legally and responsibly explore, develop and conduct placer
the case of assess-                        AK DNR Fact Sheet: “Rental       Waiver Certification and perform and       Website for U.S. Forest Service             mining operations in Alaska. You will also find information sources and contact information for appropriate agencies who
ment work for small                        and Labor”                       file evidence of assessment work.          information:                                you can contact to get more details, as this guide is not comprehensive, simply an overview.
miners, casual use                                                             See BLM Fact Sheet- Maintenance
activities only.                           Website for DNR Fact Sheets: and Location Fee Requirements at:
                                                                                 General Alaska Mining Rights and Requirements:
Prospecting 1 and               NO         Allowed on State land open to     Allowed on BLM land open to mineral       Allowed on FS land open to mineral                   Under the General Mining Law of 1872, as amend-                 and federal agencies to facilitate those agency’s permitting
panning: via non-                          mineral entry.                    entry.                                    entry (restricted to active stream          ed, you have the right to prospect, explore, claim, access,              processes and reduce paper work for miners. Although the
motorized access.                                                                                                      channel or unvegetated gravel bars).
                                                                                                                                                                   develop and extract minerals from all federal lands unless               APMA may be accepted by the BLM and Forest Service as a
Prospecting 1 and              May be      ATV’s do not require APMA,        Restrictions exist, check with local      Restrictions exist. ATV’s not allowed
                              required     see DNR: Generally Allowed        Field Office for more information.        off road or on most roads/trails except
                                                                                                                                                                   they are otherwise appropriated. The State of Alaska’s laws              Notice or a Plan of Operation, additional information maybe
panning: via
motorized access.                          Uses Fact Sheet (See above                                                  under a Plan of Operations (POO),           are similar to federal laws, but it is important to understand           required before your plan can be processed (see Forest Ser-
                                           for website or DNR Section).                                                check with District Office for more         the differences. State and federal agencies have dual roles of           vice section).
                                                                                                                                                                   encouraging use and protecting public lands: a cooperative                    Owners and operators of developing and producing
Suction Dredging               May be      Generally allowed with up to      Generally allowed but contact local       Generally allowed under Notice of
(less than 4” nozzle          required     6” nozzle. Fish Habitat Permit    Field Office for more information. Fish   Intent. Fish Habitat Permit maybe
                                                                                                                                                                   relationship with land managers ensures the proper use of                mines, regardless of land status, are required to obtain an
within active stream             (2)       maybe required from AK Fish       Habitat Permit maybe required from        required from AK Fish and Game-             your mining claims, maintains the responsibility to protect              Alaska Department of Revenue (DOR) Mining License and
channel)                         (3)       and Game-Habitat Division         AK Fish and Game-Habitat Division         Habitat Division Office. 2 (Restricted to   the land, and upholds the right to mine in Alaska’s future.              file a state Mining License Tax Return (MLT). To get a min-
                                           Office. 2                         Office. 2                                 active stream channel or unvegetated            Mining is highly regulated by the federal and state                  ing license, you need to contact DOR’s Tax Division. Your
                                                                                                                       gravel bars.)
                                                                                                                                                                   government. Before engaging in any activity on your                      mining license can be renewed by checking the appropriate
High banking                   May be      Allowed on unencumbered           Generally allowed but contact Field       Notice of Intent or POO required.
(outside active stream        required     State land. 2                     Office for more information. 2            Contact District Office for more            mining claim, you are strongly encouraged to contact the                 box on the MLT form. In addition, claimants operating on
and banks)                       (2)                                                                                   information. 2                              appropriate agency(s). Be aware that failure to comply                   state owned lands must file a State Production Royalty Tax
Accessing Claims:               NO         Allowed                           Allowed                                   Allowed                                     with regulations may result in loss of your mining claims                return each year with the Department of Natural Resources.
via non- motorized                                                                                                                                                 or other significant penalties. The Annual Placer Mining                 To maintain good standing, these tax forms must be filed
                                                                                                                                                                   Application (APMA), filed with the Alaska Department of                  even if no taxes are owed. Failure to file the Production
Accessing Claims:              May be      Restrictions apply, contact       Restrictions could apply, contact local   Restricted on most roads and trails.
via motorized vehi-           required     local district office for more    Field Office for more information.        ATV’s not allowed off road or on most
                                                                                                                                                                   Natural Resources (DNR), is for a state land use permit.                 Royalty tax return will result in the loss of your state claim.
cles. (Some stream                         information.                                                                roads/trails except under a Plan of         DNR provides copies of the APMA to appropriate state
crossings may require                                                                                                  Operations (POO), Review roads/trails
Fish Habitat Permit.)                                                                                                  in Forest Plan; website:                                                        Alaska State and Federal Agency Contacts
                                                                                                                       forest_plan/plan_docs1.html                 Bureau of Land Management                              Alaska Department of Natural Resources USDA Forest Service Region 10
Larger Exploration              Yes        APMA required; required           Notice of Intent to Operate required.     File a POO. APMA encouraged                 Anchorage State Office, Public Information Center      Mine Permitting/ Mineral Property Mgmt           Regional Office
Operations (less than           (2)        permits are variable.2            APMA encouraged. Notice/APMA              (significant additional permits may be      222 West 7th Avenue                                    550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 900B                  709 W. 9th Street
1000 tons of material           (3)                                          reviewed by BLM Field Office              required2).                                 Anchorage, AK 99513-7504                               Anchorage, AK 99501                              Juneau, AK 99801-1807
processed and/or 5                                                           (significant additional permits may be                                                (907) 271-5960                                         (907) 269-8400                                   (907) 586-8806 (Regional Geologist)
acres disturbed).                                                            required2). Bond Required.                                                            Bureau of Land Management                              Alaska Department of Natural Resources Chugach National Forest Office
Production                      Yes        APMA required; required           Plan of Operations (POO) required.        Plan of Operations (POO) required.          Fairbanks District Office, Public Information Center   Fairbanks Office Mine Permitting                 Forest Geologist at Kenai Lake Office
Operations                      (2)        permits are variable.2            APMA encouraged (significant per-         APMA encouraged (significant permits        1150 University Avenue                                 3700 Airport Way                                 29847 Seward Highway
(or exploratory opera-          (3)        NEPA review required.3            mits required2). Bond required. Envi-     required2). Environmental Analysis          Fairbanks, AK 99709                                    Fairbanks, AK 99709                              Seward, AK 99664
tions exceeding 5                                                            ronmental Analysis is required under      is required under NEPA.3 USFS               (907) 474-2200                                         (907) 451-2793                                   (907) 288-7723
acres of disturbance                                                         NEPA,3 BLM generally conducts the         generally conducts the analysis and         Division of Ocean and Coastal Management               Alaska-Department of Revenue                     Tongass National Forest Office
and/or more than                                                             analysis and prepares the EA or EIS,      prepares the EA or EIS, and decision        550 W. 7th Ave, Suite 705                              550 West 7th Ave, Suite 500                      8501 Mendenhall Loop Road
1000 tons of material                                                        and decision document.                    document.
processed).                                                                                                                                                        Anchorage, AK 99501                                    Anchorage, Alaska 99501                          Juneau, AK 99801
                                                                                                                                                                   (907) 269-7470                                         (907) 269-6620                                   (907) 586-8800 (Minerals Group)
    Prospecting typically includes: panning, hand sluicing, activities with hand tools and use of metal detectors (local restrictions apply)                       Other Agency Contacts:
    Additional permits or reviews possibly required: APMA, Fish and Wildlife Fish Habitat 16 permit, EPA-NPDES permits AKG -37-1000 or                             Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Habitat: (907) 267-2342 or website:
    AKG-37-5000, Corp of Engineers Placer Mining General Permit (GP) 2006-1944, CWA 402 or CWA 404 permits, or Alaska Division of Coastal                          Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation: (907) 269-7644 or website:
    Management review, MSHA, OSHA, ATF, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, and possibly others.
                                                                                                                                                                   Army Corp of Engineers: (907) 753-2712 or (800) 478-2712 or website:
    National Environmental Policy Act requires federal agencies to consider environmental impacts in decision making.                                              Environmental Protection Agency: (907) 271-6561 or (800) 781-0983 or
The authors of this guide provide no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of this data. It is recommended              website: WATER.NSF/NPDES+Permits/ General+NPDES+Permits
that anyone interested in mining related activities in Alaska, contact the appropriate agency and/or a qualified attorney experienced with mining law              National Park Service: (907) 644-3571 (NPS Geologist) or
and regulations.
                                                                                                                                                                   This guide was coordinated by the Alaska Miners Association (AMA)– Small Scale Mining Committee and produced by the
                                                                                                                                                                   State of Alaska, BLM, and Forest Service. The AMA can provide additional contacts or information: (907) 563-9229 or
BLM/AK/GI-08/017+3800+930 Rev 2010                                                                                                                       
Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR)                                                                                        Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
    For a state mining claim, you should:                                                                                           Federal Mining Claims:
 1. Properly stake and record your claim’s location with the                                                                            The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administers
    DNR State Recording District where the claim is located                                                                         the claims on subsurface minerals on all federal public lands.
 2. Timely record annual labor with the Recorder’s Office                                                                           This includes adjudication of mining claims, collecting fees,
                                                                                                                                    and maintaining mining claim files and official land records.
 3. Pay annual claim rental.
 4. If you have a mining license or are in development or                                                                           Surface Operations on BLM Managed Lands:
    production, you must file the Mining License Tax and                                                                                 The BLM also manages the surface use and occupancy
    Production Royalty returns, even if you had no                                                                                  of 80.3 million acres of BLM public lands in Alaska. There
    production.                                                                                                                     are three generally recognized levels of mining operations
                                                                                                                                    on BLM public lands*
 5. For heavy equipment use to mine or evaluate your                                                                                  1. Casual Use: Activities ordinarily resulting in only
    claim, or to build any structures on your claim, you need                                                                            negligible disturbance
    to file the Annual Placer Mining Application (APMA) to                                                                            2. Notice-level: Exploratory operations, which result in
    obtain a Miscellaneous Land Use Permit.                                                                                              a cumulative surface disturbance of five acres of land       Panning along Valdez Creek.
    Check if you need a Title 16 Fish Habitat Permit.              Mining operation on Eldorado Creek near Talkeetna.                    or less and extracts less than 1,000 tons of material for
    (website:                                                                                               sampling purposes requires a Notice to be filed with the
                                                                   Allowed Uses on State Lands,” about mining activities                                                                                Questions about federal mining claims?
 6. Miners working in the coastal zone are required to fill        allowed on State lands without a Miscellaneous Land Use               BLM. Reclamation bond is required.
                                                                                                                                      3. Plan-level: Activities that involve greater than five acres    BLM– Alaska Mining Program webpage:
    out a Coastal Consistency Evaluation. The coastal zone         Permit. If any of your planned mining activities are beyond
                                                                                                                                         of disturbance, extract over 1,000 tons of material for
    may extend inland as far as 200 miles, and to an eleva-        the scope of these allowed activities, you must file the
                                                                                                                                         sampling or production phase operations regardless             Or visit the BLM Alaska Public Information Centers in
    tion of 1,000 feet or more. For help, contact the Divi-        APMA. You need to file the APMA for any structures, even
                                                                                                                                         of size require a Plan of Operation to be filed with the       Anchorage and Fairbanks (see cover for addresses)
    sion of Ocean and Coastal Management. (Address on              if you have a mining claim or lease. DNR forwards your
    first page)                                                    APMA to other appropriate government agencies, and gen-               BLM. Reclamation bond is required.
                                                                                                                                         After adjudication, claim files are assigned to field office   Do you have questions on federal regulations
     Failure to do these steps will result in the loss of your     erally will help you with the application process. You can                                                                           and BLM land use policies?
                                                                   get printed fact sheets and the APMA form at DNR Public          personnel for inspections as required. Management of sur-
claim. DNR strongly recommends that you visit www.dnr.                                                                                                                                                  Go to the BLM webpage:
                                                                   Information Centers and the APMA form in Anchorage or            face uses on BLM mining claims includes review of Notices Read the fact sheets appropri-                                                                                                                                      
                                                                   Fairbanks and online at          and Plans of operation, and inspection of operations for
ate to your situation. Also, read the fact sheet, “Generally
                                                                                                                                    compliance with federal regulations. Notices and Plans may
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Do you have a specific question about a
U.S. Forest Service (USFS)                                                                                                          be submitted to BLM-Alaska through the APMA process,
                                                                                                                                    and by federal regulation, must include a reclamation plan          proposed activity on a BLM mining claim in
Surface Operations on Forest                District Ranger will notify you wheth-        3. Plan of Operations: operations         for any surface disturbances. Posting a reclamation bond is         Alaska?
                                            er the Forest Service will allow the             that are or will likely cause a sig-                                                                       Contact Stephen Lundeen, Natural Resource
Service Managed lands:                                                                                                              required by the BLM prior to acknowledging Notices and
                                            activity under the NOI or if you will            nificant disturbance.                                                                                      Specialist, Fairbanks District Office. (907) 474-2347
    The Forest Service manages the                                                                                                  approving Plans of operation. Although various options for
                                            need to submit a POO. After an envi-                                                                                                                        E-mail:
surface use and occupancy of nearly                                                          The District Ranger will determine     bonding exist, most placer mines and exploration projects on
23 million acres of National Forest         ronmental review, you must provide a         whether your proposed operations may       BLM land participate in the state bonding pool through the
System lands in Alaska. The Forest          bond as determined by the projected          cause a significant disturbance. The       APMA (contact ADNR or Fairbanks District Office for more * 43 Code of Federal Regulation § 3809.10
Service administers mining opera-           level of disturbance, prior to receiv-       BLM’s “5-acre-rule” does not apply to      information on bonding).
tions by reviewing Notices of Intent        ing an approval. Following approval          operations on National Forest lands.
(NOI), approving mining Plans of            of the POO, the Forest Service will              You can find the Plan of               Department of Revenue (DOR)
Operations (POO), conducting inspec-        periodically monitor and inspect             Operations requirements in 36 Code              It is illegal to engage in any min-       The mining production tax is
tions, enforcing Federal Regulations        operations for compliance with the           of Federal Regulations 228 Subpart         ing activity in Alaska without a mining    based upon net taxable income from a
regarding surface use, environmental        approved POO and regulations.                A. Submission of a Plan of Operations      license. This includes all owners,         mining operation (or the consolidated
impacts, occupancy, bonding, and rec-            There are three levels of mining        on the available form or as a narrative    lessors and operators and all mining       net taxable income if there is more
lamation. Proposed mining activities,       activities on National Forest System         following the POO format is strongly       operations on state, federal, municipal,   than one mining operation). For more
including exploration, on land man-         lands which represent increasing envi-       encouraged.                                and private lands. DOR issues mining       information, check DOR’s website
aged by the Forest Service may require      ronmental impacts. Level of surface              Forest Service POO form, regula-       licenses and Certificates of Exemption     at
submission of an NOI or POO to the          disturbance may vary according to site       tions and other information can be         for the 3 1/2 year exemption period        index.aspx or contact DOR. Failure
appropriate District Ranger.                specific conditions:                         found at:           and processes the Mining License Tax       to have a mining license is a mis-
    When the Forest Service receives          1. Casual Use: activities that the         mgm_minerals.html and www.fs.fed.          Return. Mining licenses are issued         demeanor punishable by a fine of
your NOI or POO, they will conduct               general public may undertake.           us/geology/mgm_locatable.html.             annually for the period May 1 through      not more than $2,000 per day, or by      A day’s take for suction dredging on
a completeness review and establish                                                                                                 April 30. If all prior filing require-     imprisonment for not more than six       Mills Creek, Kenai Peninsula.
a case file. You may be required to           2. Notice of Intent: activities that do
                                                 not result in any significant surface                                              ments are not met, DOR will not            months, or both.
submit additional information. The                                                                                                  renew a license for a specific property.

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