U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Oct 23, 2019
(a) Mineral examination report. After the date on which the lands are withdrawn from appropriation under the mining laws, BLM will not approve a plan of operations or allow notice-level operations to proceed until BLM has prepared a mineral examination report to determine whether the mining claim was valid before the withdrawal, and whether it remains valid. BLM may require preparation of a mineral examination report before approving a plan of operations or allowing notice-level operations to proceed on segregated lands. If the report concludes that the mining claim is invalid, BLM will not approve operations or allow notice-level operations on the mining claim. BLM will also promptly initiate contest proceedings.
(b) Allowable operations. If BLM has not completed the mineral examination report under paragraph (a) of this section, if the mineral examination report for proposed operations concludes that a mining claim is invalid, or if there is a pending contest proceeding for the mining claim,
(1) BLM may -
(i) Approve a plan of operations for the disputed mining claim proposing operations that are limited to taking samples to confirm or corroborate mineral exposures that are physically disclosed and existing on the mining claim before the segregation or withdrawal date, whichever is earlier; and
(ii) Approve a plan of operations for the operator to perform the minimum necessary annual assessment work under § 3851.1 of this title; or
(2) A person may only conduct exploration under a notice that is limited to taking samples to confirm or corroborate mineral exposures that are physically disclosed and existing on the mining claim before the segregation or withdrawal date, whichever is earlier.
(c) Time limits. While BLM prepares a mineral examination report under paragraph (a) of this section, it may suspend the time limit for responding to a notice or acting on a plan of operations. See §§ 3809.311 and 3809.411, respectively.
(d) Final decision. If a final departmental decision declares a mining claim to be null and void, the operator must cease all operations, except required reclamation.