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Production of steam and hot water from 22 producing geothermal leases on public lands generated over 4.1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2005; enough for over 500,000 people. Royalties associated with this level of production totaled over $12 million dollars. more>>
The Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, as amended, and the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands of 1947, as amended, give the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) responsibility for oil and gas leasing on BLM, National Forest, and other Federal lands, as well as private lands where mineral rights have been retained by the Federal Government. more>>
BLM's regulations for leasing federal coal are located in Title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations, groups 3000 and 3400. more>>
Solid Leasables (Other than Coal and Oil Shale)
The Bureau of Land Management leases certain solid minerals, like phosphate, sodium, and potassium, on public and other Federal lands. These lands include areas managed by the BLM and the Forest Service. BLM can also lease these minerals on certain private lands, provided that the mineral rights are owned by the Federal government.
Most of the minerals leased under this program are used to make fertilizer and as feed stock for other industrial processes. Where the Federal government has acquired the land, BLM leases base and precious metals under this program.
BLM issues leases in two different ways for solid leasable minerals other than coal and oil shale:
- competitive issues in areas where we know there is a mineral deposit; and
- competitive leases through a bidding process
BLM will issue prospecting permits in areas where we do not know a mineral deposit exists. If prospecting results in discovery of an economically viable deposit, BLM may issue a lease to that permittee without competition. BLM considers the comprehensive land use plan for the area, surface owner/manager input, and environmental concerns before issuing any lease.
BLM also has Trust responsibility for overseeing solid and fluid mineral development on Indian lands. After a BIA lease is issued, BLM responsibilities include review and approval of exploration, operating and reclamation plans; bonding estimates; lease compliance, inspection and enforcement; and production verification.
You can find the regulations that govern the leasing of solid minerals other than coal or oil shale in Title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 3500.