U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Aug 03, 2020


§ 3601.1 - Purpose.

The regulations in this part establish procedures for the exploration, development, and disposal of mineral material resources on the public lands, and for the protection of the resources and the environment. The regulations apply to permits for free use and contracts for sale of mineral materials.

§ 3601.3 - Authority.

(a) BLM's authority to dispose of sand, gravel, and other mineral and vegetative materials that are not subject to mineral leasing or location under the mining laws is the Act of July 31, 1947, as amended (30 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), commonly referred to as the Materials Act. This authority applies to sale and free use of these materials. BLM's authority to allow removal of limited quantities of petrified wood from public lands without charge is section 2 of the Act of September 28, 1962 (Pub. L. 87-713, 76 Stat. 652).

(b) Section 302 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) (43 U.S.C. 1732) provides the general authority for BLM to manage the use, occupancy, and development of the public lands under the principles of multiple use and sustained yield in accordance with the land use plans that BLM develops under FLPMA.

(c) Section 304 of FLPMA (43 U.S.C. 1734) and the Independent Offices Appropriation Act of 1952 (31 U.S.C. 9701) authorize the U.S. Government to collect fees and to require reimbursement of its costs.

§ 3601.5 - Definitions.

As used in this part the term:

Act means the Materials Act of July 31, 1947, as amended (30 U.S.C. 601, et seq.).

BLM means the Bureau of Land Management.

Common use area means a generally broad geographic area from which BLM can make disposals of mineral materials to many persons, with only negligible surface disturbance. The use is dispersed throughout the area.

Community pit means a relatively small, defined area from which BLM can make disposals of mineral materials to many persons. The surface disturbance is usually extensive in the confined area.

Mineral materials means, but is not limited to, petrified wood and common varieties of sand, stone, gravel, pumice, pumicite, cinders, and clay.

Performance bond means a bond to ensure compliance with the terms of the contract and reclamation of the site as BLM requires.

Permittee means any Federal, State, or territorial agency, unit, or subdivision, including municipalities, or any non-profit organization, to which BLM issued a free use permit for the removal of mineral materials from the public lands.

Public lands means any lands and interest in lands owned by the United States and administered by the Secretary of the Interior through BLM without regard to how the United States acquired ownership, except lands held for the benefit of Indians, Aleuts, and Eskimos.

Purchaser means any person, including a business or government entity, buying or holding a contract to purchase mineral materials on the public lands.

§ 3601.6 - Policy.

It is BLM's policy:

(a) To make mineral materials available unless it is detrimental to the public interest to do so;

(b) To sell mineral material resources at not less than fair market value;

(c) To permit Federal, State, Territorial, and local government entities and non-profit organizations free use of these materials for qualified purposes;

(d) To protect public land resources and the environment and minimize damage to public health and safety during the exploration for and the removal of such minerals;

(e) To prevent unauthorized removal of mineral materials; and

(f) To require purchasers and permittees to account for all removals of mineral materials.

§ 3601.8 - Public availability of information.

(a) All data and information concerning Federal and Indian minerals that you submit under this part are subject to part 2 of this title. Part 2 of this title includes the regulations of the Department of the Interior covering the public disclosure of data and information contained in Department of the Interior records. BLM may make available for inspection certain mineral information not protected from disclosure under part 2 of this title without a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552) request.

(b) When you submit data and information under this part that you believe to be exempt from public disclosure, and that you wish BLM to withhold from such disclosure, you must clearly mark each page that you believe includes confidential information. BLM will keep all data and information confidential to the extent allowed by § 2.13(c) of this title.

§ 3601.9 - Information collection.

The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in part 3600 under 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. and assigned clearance number 1004-0103. BLM is collecting the information to allow us to determine if you are qualified to purchase or have free use of mineral materials on the public lands. You must respond to obtain a benefit.


§ 3601.10 - Limitations on BLM's discretion to dispose of mineral materials.

§ 3601.11 - When will environmental considerations prevent BLM from disposing of mineral materials?

BLM will not dispose of mineral materials if we determine that the aggregate damage to public lands and resources would exceed the public benefits that BLM expects from the proposed disposition.

§ 3601.12 - What areas does BLM exclude from disposal of mineral materials?

(a) BLM will not dispose of mineral materials from wilderness areas or other areas where it is expressly prohibited by law. This includes national parks and monuments.

(b) BLM will not dispose of mineral materials from Indian lands and lands set aside or held for the use or benefit of Indians.

(c) BLM will not dispose of mineral materials from areas identified in land use plans as not appropriate for mineral materials disposal.

§ 3601.13 - How can I obtain mineral materials from Federal lands that have been withdrawn to aid a function of another Federal agency or of a State or local government agency?

If you wish to obtain mineral materials from lands withdrawn to aid a function of another Federal agency or of a State or local government agency, you may apply to BLM. BLM will dispose of the mineral materials only with the consent of that agency.

§ 3601.14 - When can BLM dispose of mineral materials from unpatented mining claims?

(a) BLM may dispose of mineral materials from unpatented mining claims if disposal does not endanger or materially interfere with prospecting, mining, or processing operations, or uses reasonably incident thereto.

(b) BLM will ask a mining claimant for a waiver before disposing of mineral materials from a claim. If the mining claimant refuses to sign a waiver, BLM will make sure that disposal of the mineral materials will not be detrimental to the public interest. We also will consult with the Solicitor's Office, if necessary, before proceeding with the disposal.


§ 3601.20 - Rights of parties.

§ 3601.21 - What rights does a person have under a materials sales contract or use permit?

(a) Unless otherwise provided, if you are a purchaser under a sales contract or a free use permittee, you have the right to:

(1) Extract, remove, process, and stockpile the material until the contract or permit terminates, regardless of any rights others acquire later under the provisions of the general land laws; and

(2) Use and occupy the described lands to the extent necessary for fulfillment of the contract or permit.

(b) Users of the lands covered by your materials sales contract or free use permit who acquire their rights later than the date BLM designated the tract for mineral materials disposal will be subject to your existing use authorization, as provided in § 3602.12. This applies to uses due to any later settlement, location, lease, sale, or other appropriation under the general land laws, including the mineral leasing and mining laws.

§ 3601.22 - What rights remain with the United States when BLM sells or issues a permit for mineral materials?

Your sale contract or use permit is subject to the continuing right of the United States to issue leases, permits, and licenses for the use and occupancy of the lands, if such use would not endanger or materially interfere with the production or removal of materials under contract or permit.


§ 3601.30 - Pre-application activities - how and when may I sample and test mineral materials?

(a) BLM may authorize you in writing to sample and test mineral materials. The authorization letter expires after 90 days, but BLM may extend it for an additional 90 days if you show us that an extension is necessary. BLM may authorize these activities before issuing a sales contract or free use permit.

(b) You must submit your sampling and testing findings to BLM. All information you submit under this section is subject to part 2 of this title. That part sets forth the rules of the Department of the Interior relating to public availability of information contained in Departmental records. (See § 3601.8.)

(c) A letter from BLM authorizing you to sample and test mineral materials does not give you a preference right to a sales contract or free use permit.

(d) BLM may impose bonding and reclamation requirements on sampling and testing that you conduct under an authorization letter.


§ 3601.40 - Mining and reclamation plans.

BLM may require you to submit mining and reclamation plans before we begin any environmental review or issue a contract or permit. You may combine these plans in one document.

§ 3601.41 - What information must I include in my mining plan?

If BLM requires you to submit a mining plan, it must include:

(a) A map, sketch, or aerial photograph identifying the area for which you are applying, the area and depth you plan to disturb, existing and proposed access, and the names and locations of major topographic and known cultural features;

(b) A description of your proposed methods of operation and the periods during which you will operate;

(c) A description of measures you will take to prevent hazards to public health and safety and to minimize and mitigate environmental damage; and

(d) Such other information as BLM may require.

§ 3601.42 - What information must I include in my reclamation plan?

If BLM requires you to submit a reclamation plan, it must include:

(a) A statement of the proposed manner and time in which you will complete reclamation of the areas disturbed by your operations;

(b) A map or sketch which delineates the area you will reclaim; and

(c) Such other information as BLM may require.

§ 3601.43 - What is the process for BLM to approve my mining and reclamation plans?

(a) After reviewing your mining and reclamation plans, BLM will notify you of any deficiencies in the plans and recommend the changes necessary. BLM will notify you in writing when we approve your plan. You must follow BLM-approved mining and reclamation plans, which become part of the contract or permit.

(b) Your operation must not deviate from the plan BLM approves, unless it is modified under § 3601.44.

§ 3601.44 - How and when may my mining or reclamation plan be modified?

(a) Either you or BLM may initiate a modification of an approved mining or reclamation plan to adjust for changed conditions or to correct any oversight. BLM will consult with you before requiring a modification.

(b) If BLM notifies you that you must modify your plan, you must prepare the modification, or explain why you need more time, within 30 days. If you fail to modify your plan to BLM's satisfaction, BLM may order you to stop operations under your contract or permit.

(c) When you ask to change an approved mining or reclamation plan for one of the reasons in paragraph (a) of this section, BLM will notify you in writing within 30 days whether we approve the modification, deny it, or require any changes in it.


§ 3601.50 - Administration of sales contracts and free use permits.

§ 3601.51 - How will BLM inspect my operation?

You must allow BLM access at any reasonable time:

(a) To inspect or investigate the mine condition;

(b) To conduct surveys;

(c) To estimate the volume, types, and composition of commodities that you mine or remove;

(d) To examine weight tickets, truck logs, and other records that BLM finds necessary to verify production; or

(e) To determine whether you comply with contract, permit, statutory, or regulatory requirements.

[66 FR 58901, Nov. 23, 2001; 67 FR 68778, Nov. 13, 2002]

§ 3601.52 - After I finish my operations, when must I remove improvements and equipment?

After your contract or permit period expires, or after cancellation of your permit or contract, BLM will allow you up to 90 days, excluding periods of inclement weather, to remove the equipment, personal property, and any other improvements that you placed on the public lands. You may leave in place improvements such as roads, culverts, and bridges if BLM consents. If you fail to remove equipment, personal property, or any other improvement, it becomes the property of the United States. However, you remain liable for the cost of its removal and for restoration of the site.


§ 3601.60 - Cancellation.

§ 3601.61 - When may BLM cancel my contract or permit?

BLM may cancel your contract or free use permit if you:

(a) Fail to comply with the provisions of the Materials Act of 1947, as amended (30 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);

(b) Fail to comply with any applicable regulations; or

(c) Default in the performance of any material term, covenant, or stipulation in the contract.

§ 3601.62 - Cancellation procedure.

(a) BLM will give you written notice of any defaults, breach, or cause of forfeiture, either in person or by certified mail. You have 30 days after receiving the notice:

(1) To correct all defaults;

(2) To request an extension of time in which to correct the defaults; or

(3) To submit evidence showing to BLM's satisfaction why we should not cancel your contract or free use permit.

(b) If you fail to respond to the notice under paragraph (a) of this section, or if delivery of the notice is refused, or not completed as described in § 1810.2 of this chapter, BLM may cancel the contract or permit.


§ 3601.70 - Unauthorized use.

§ 3601.71 - What constitutes unauthorized use?

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, you must not extract, sever, or remove mineral materials from public lands under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior, unless BLM or another Federal agency with jurisdiction authorizes the removal by sale or permit. Violation of this prohibition constitutes unauthorized use.

(b) If you own the surface estate of lands with reserved Federal minerals, you may use mineral materials within the boundaries of your surface estate without a sales contract or permit only in the following circumstances:

(1) You use a minimal amount of mineral materials for your own personal use;

(2) You have statutory authority to use the mineral materials; or

(3) You have other express authority to use the mineral materials.

§ 3601.72 - What are the consequences of unauthorized use?

Unauthorized users are liable for damages to the United States, and are subject to prosecution for such unlawful acts (see subpart 9239 of this chapter).


§ 3601.80 - How do I appeal a final decision by BLM?

If a BLM decision adversely affects you, you may appeal the decision in accordance with parts 4 and 1840 of this title.