U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: May 28, 2020
(a) Mineral examination report. On mining claims located on or after July 23, 1955, you must not initiate operations for minerals that may be “common variety” minerals, as defined in § 3711.1(b) of this title, until BLM has prepared a mineral examination report, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section.
(b) Interim authorization. Until the mineral examination report described in paragraph (a) of this section is prepared, BLM will allow notice-level operations or approve a plan of operations for the disputed mining claim for -
(1) Operations limited to taking samples to confirm or corroborate mineral exposures that are physically disclosed and existing on the mining claim;
(2) Performance of the minimum necessary annual assessment work under § 3851.1 of this title; or
(3) Operations to remove possible common variety minerals if you establish an escrow account in a form acceptable to BLM. You must make regular payments to the escrow account for the appraised value of possible common variety minerals removed under a payment schedule approved by BLM. The funds in the escrow account must not be disbursed to the operator or to the U.S. Treasury until a final determination of whether the mineral is a common variety and therefore salable under part 3600 of this title.
(c) Determination of common variety. If the mineral examination report under paragraph (a) of this section concludes that the minerals are common variety minerals, you may either relinquish your mining claim(s) or BLM will initiate contest proceedings. Upon relinquishment or final departmental determination that the mining claim(s) is null and void, you must promptly close and reclaim your operations unless you are authorized to proceed under parts 3600 and 3610 of this title.
(d) Disposal. BLM may dispose of common variety minerals from unpatented mining claims in accordance with the provisions of § 3601.14 of this chapter.