Minerals and Mining Program - Mine Permits

 

 

Reclaimed area at LAC Mineral's Richmond Hill Mine

 

 

Who Needs to Obtain a Mine Permit

 

Mine permits are required for the extraction and processing of minerals such as gold, silver, uranium, precious metals, coal, bentonite, dimension stone, and decorative stone. Large scale mine permits are required for operations that affect more than 10 acres and/or mine more than 25,000 tons of material per year or for operations that use cyanide or other biological or chemical leaching agents.  Small scale mine permits are issued for operations that fall under those amounts. The mining of sand, gravel, rock to be crushed and used in construction, pegmatite minerals, limestone, iron ore, sand, gypsum, shale or limestone used to make cement, or dredging for commercial resale requires a mining license.

 

 

What Activities are Exempt

 

Recreational mining, such as gold panning and mineral collecting that make use of hand-held equipment such as picks, shovels, gold pans, sluice boxes, or metal detectors is exempt from permit requirements.  A mine permit is required for portable dredges or other mechanized equipment, even for use in recreational mining.

 

 

What is the Application Process for a Mine Permit

 

Small Scale Mine Permit (Operations that mine less than 10 acres disturbance and extract less than 25,000 tons annually)

 

1.     Submit a "Request for Determination of Special, Exceptional, Critical, or Unique Lands" at least 60 days prior to the submittal of the permit application;

2.     Submit a small scale mine permit application form;

3.     Submit a certification of applicant form;

4.     Submit an operating and reclamation plan that follows the small scale guidelines on the small scale mine permit application form

5.     Submit a $100 application fee;

6.     Submit a map showing the location of the mining operation, including proposed roads or access routes;

7.     Submit a wildlife survey.  For more information, e-mail Stan Michals of the Department of Game, Fish, and Parks or call (605) 394-2391; and

8.     Submit a reclamation bond in an amount to be determined by the department that cannot exceed $2,500.


It can take at least six months to obtain a small scale mine permit.

 

Large Scale Mine Permit (Operations that mine more than 10 acres disturbance and extract more than 25,000 tons annually and  any operation that use cyanide or other chemical or biological leaching agents)

 

1.     Submit a "Request for Determination of Special, Exceptional, Critical, or Unique Lands" at least 60 days prior to the submittal of the permit application;

2.     Submit a large scale mine permit application;

3.     Submit a certification of applicant form;

4.     Submit a $1,000 application fee.  (As of July 1, 2009, the application fee for new large scale precious metal, coal, or uranium mine permit applications is $50,000);

5.     Submit a map showing the location of the mining operation, including proposed roads or access routes;

6.     Submit wildlife, vegetation, soil, and archaeological surveys;

7.     Address applicable statutes (SDCL 45-6B) and regulations (ARSD 74:29); and

8.     Submit a reclamation bond in an amount to be determined by the department to cover actual reclamation costs that would be incurred by the state to hire a third party contractor to complete reclamation.


It can take anywhere from one to two years to obtain a large scale mine permit.  

 

 

Reclamation Bonding Requirements

 

Reclamation Bonding

 

For small scale mine permits, the Board of Minerals and Environment sets the reclamation bond to cover reclamation costs in an amount not to exceed $2,500.  For large scale mine permits, the board sets the reclamation bond to cover the entire cost of hiring a third party contractor to conduct reclamation activities.


Cyanide Bonding

 

Operations that employ cyanide leaching or other chemical or biological leaching agents are required to submit additional financial assurance or bonding with the department.   The amount of financial assurance must be at least $25,000 but not more than $1 million.


Post Closure Bonding

 

Prior to release of the reclamation bond, an operator must submit a bond to cover post closure costs after the reclamation bond is released.  A post closure plan must also be submitted at the same time. 

 

 

Annual Report Requirements

 

Small Scale Mine Permits

 

For small scale mine permits, the operator must file an annual report on the anniversary date of the permit (the date when the permit was originally issued).  The department mails the operator an annual report form to the operator about two months before the anniversary date.  The operator is required to complete the form and submit it to the department along with a $50 annual fee.  The completed annual report contains the following information:

 

1.     Total acres affected since the permit was issued;

2.     Acres affected since the last anniversary date;

3.     Surface mining land disturbed (mine pits, waste rock disposal areas) since the permit was issued;

4.     Surface mining land disturbed since the last anniversary date;

5.     Total acres reclaimed since the permit was issued;

6.     Acres reclaimed since the last anniversary date;

7.     Tons of ore mined since the last anniversary date;

8.     Tons of overburden/waste mined since the last anniversary date; and

9.     A map showing all reclamation completed and any changes to the approved operating and reclamation plan.

 

 

Large Scale Mine Permits

 

The annual report requirements for a large scale mine permit are similar to those for a small scale mine permit.  The only difference is that the annual fee is $100 for a large scale mine permit or $50,000 if the operation is a large scale precious metal, coal, or uranium mine that was permitted after January 1, 2009. 

 

Large Scale Gold Mines

 

Large scale gold mines have separate annual reporting requirements.  These mines are required to submit annual reports by January 1 of each year. Every November, the department mails each large scale gold mine an annual report form.  The completed annual report contains the following information:

 

1.     The total and previous year's amount of affected land;

2.     The total and previous year's amount of surface mining disturbed land (mine pits, waste rock disposal areas, leach pads, and process ponds);

3.     The total and previous year's amount of land that has undergone interim reclamation;

4.     The total and previous year's amount of land that has undergone final reclamation and meets the required postmining land use;

5.     The total and previous year's amount of land that has undergone final reclamation and does not meet the required postmining land use;

6.     The total amount of ground water withdrawn during the previous year;

7.     The total amount of surface water withdrawn during the previous year;

8.     The total amount of ore mined during the previous year;

9.     The total amount of ore processed during the previous year;

10.    The total amount of waste rock mined during the previous year;

11.    The total amount of gold and silver produced during the previous year;

12.    The total amount of cyanide used during the previous year;

13.    A brief discussion of the coming year's operational plans including any revisions that might require department or board approval; and

14.    A map showing all reclamation completed and any changes to the approved operating and reclamation plan.

 

 

What Statutes and Regulations Govern Mine Permits

 

Mine Permits

 

Mine permits are issued under the South Dakota Mined Land Reclamation Act (SDCL 45-6B) and the South Dakota Mined Land Reclamation Rules (ARSD 74:29).  In situ leach mines are also required to comply with ARSD 74:29:11.


Crusher permits

 

Crusher permits are issued under ARSD 74:36.


The Board of Minerals and Environment Procedural Rules

 

The procedural rules for contested case hearings can be found under ARSD 74:09.

 

 

Mine Permit Application and Other Forms

 

To download mine permit application and other forms, please go to the small scale mine permit forms web page or the large scale mine permit forms web page.  If you cannot download the forms, please e-mail your name and address to Eric Holm and the forms will be sent to you. 

 

 

Other Permits Required for Mining Operations

 

To learn more about other permits that may be required for mining operations, please go to the one stop permitting page.  Also, the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has additional requirements for mining operations in South Dakota. Please contact their district field office at (605) 348-2076 or check the MSHA web page at MSHA.GOV for more information. 

 

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