In 1947, Congress passed an act allowing the disposal of sand, stone, gravel, and common clay through a contract of sale. In 1955, another act of congress removed common varieties of sand, gravel, stone, pumice, pumicite, and cinders from the 1872 mining law and placed them under the 1947 act. Since these mineral materials are available only by sales contract, they are termed "salable" minerals. Over the years, what is considered common and uncommon has been further clarified through various court decisions.
Salable minerals are available through a series of competitive and non competitive sales and by free use permit to governmental agencies and non profit organizations.
Small sales for individual use are generally from community pits/common use areas established and reclaimed by BLM using fees charged on a per ton basis in addition to the fair market royalty value. Currently the only free use permit in the Royal Gorge Field Office is the Penrose Common Use area
Larger sales to individuals or companies are generally from exclusive use areas and are done by competitive or non competitive means dictated by demand and market. The sales contract is to remove a set amount of a material at fair market value over a specific time period and then reclaim. Payments are up front or installment depending on the size of the contract and the desire of the contractor.
Mineral materials can be made available free of charge to governments or non profit organizations. The only expense to these entities is the mining and reclamation costs. In our field office area we have issued free use permits to counties, non profit organizations, and local subdivisions. The environmental analysis would be the same, the difference would be in the cost of the material.
If you are interested in development of saleable minerals from federal land in the Royal Gorge Field Office that is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, simply contact the Royal Gorge Field Office geologist and discuss your proposal. A proposal that moves beyond a discussion point would be carried forward for NEPA analysis (national environmental policy act) and would have environmental analysis including cultural (archeology, paleontology, historical) and T&E (Threatened and Endangered Species) inventories.