Title 43

SECTION 6304.11

6304.11 What special provisions apply to operations under the mining laws

§ 6304.11 What special provisions apply to operations under the mining laws?

The general mining laws apply to valid existing mining claims and mill sites within BLM wilderness, except as provided in this section.

(a) After the date on which the general mining laws cease to apply to a specific wilderness area -

(1) You cannot locate a mining claim or establish any right to or interest in any mineral deposits discovered in that wilderness area; and

(2) You cannot locate a mill site in that wilderness area.

(b) If you hold a valid existing mining claim or mill site within a wilderness area -

(1) You must conduct any mining operations following the applicable standards provided in -

(i) The Wilderness Act;

(ii) The legislation designating the wilderness;

(iii) Your approved plan of operations;

(iv) Subpart 3809 of this chapter; and

(v) Subpart 3715 of this chapter;

(2) You must minimize impairment of wilderness characteristics to the extent BLM determines practicable, consistent with the use of a valid claim or site for mineral activities; and

(3) Your temporary structures used in mining operations are subject to the use and occupancy regulations in subpart 3715 of this chapter.

(4) You must post a financial guarantee under subpart 3809 of this chapter in order to ensure completion of reclamation.

(c) If you hold a valid mining claim, mill site, or tunnel site located in any BLM wilderness area before the general mining laws ceased to apply to that area, you may maintain your mining claim or site, so long as you comply with the general mining laws, the regulations in part 3830 of this chapter, and the Act of Congress designating the wilderness.

(d) As required in your approved plan of operations, when you complete mining operations in a wilderness area -

(1) You must remove all structures, equipment, and other facilities and begin reclamation as soon as feasible after mining operations end. However, you must start reclamation no later than 18 months after mining operations end.

(2) You must restore the surface as near as practicable to the appearance and contour of the surface before mining operations began, following the regulations in subpart 3809 of this chapter.

(e)-(f) [Reserved]