Mining & Mineral Laws
Southern Utah Mining Attorney
Our attorneys provide legal services to companies that explore, mine, process and sell base and precious metals, coal, industrial minerals and aggregates and cement here in Southern Utah. Our experience extends to drafting and negotiating mining joint ventures, options and operating agreements, as well as land and mineral leases. We also provide due-diligence services for anyone desiring to purchase a mining claim, including researching chain of title to patent, etc.
Businesses and individuals involved in the mining industry regularly confront an array of legal and business issues that range from day-to-day personnel and operating concerns to complex regulation and litigation matters. Policies and procedures pertaining to hazardous materials, land preservation, air and water quality, the protection of endangered species, mine safety and health concerns require mining industry leaders to stay vigilant with regard to compliance and violation management.
We provide quality legal counsel to clients in the mining industry here in Southern Utah. Our mining industry attorneys provide comprehensive services relating to the financing and development of projects involving the exploration, extraction, processing, transportation and sale of non-ferrous and precious metals, coal and other minerals.
General Mining Information
BLM Utah is responsible for the adjudication, administration, and maintenance of coal and solid non-energy lease authorizations approved on Federally owned mineral estate. We also record and adjudicate mining claim instruments filed with the BLM under the 1872 Mining Law.
The BLM Utah administers approximately 22.8 million acres of public lands and another 9.7 million acres of subsurface minerals estate lands. Utah BLM has one of the most diverse mineral programs in the Bureau with leasing and production in more different commodities than most other BLM states. This diversity increases the complexity of managing the regulatory and adjudicative processes, which are based on many different laws, regulations, and policies.
When it comes to laws regarding Federal lands, locatable minerals come under the General Mining Law of 1872. United States citizens are allowed to discover, explore and purchase mineral deposits on Federal land that is open to mineral entry and claim location. Minerals covered under this law include most metallic deposits and some industrial and non-metallic minerals. This law allows states to enact laws that control the recording and location of claims as long as they are consistent with Federal laws. Federal regulations governing this are in Title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Groups 3700 and 3800.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the State of Utah handles the recording of claims. The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) required that any persons holding existing claims report those claims to the BLM. The reports were required by October of 1979. All new claims are now directly reported to the BLM. The report information includes mill sites, tunnel sites and unpatented mining claims.
In order to make a mining claim in Utah, a record must be filed with a County Recorder within 30 days. The record must contain the township location, range, section and quarter section as well as the type of location, date, name of the claim, claimant’s name and claimant’s address. A map of the boundary must be included. New location notices must be filed with the Utah BLM within 90 days.
A fee of $194 is due when the claim is filed. Annual maintenance fees are due on or before September 1 each year.
To learn more about the State of Utah’s Mining Rules and Regulations, click here.
To see maps of Surface and Mineral Ownerships, click here.