Initiative To Revise and Update Regulations Governing Hardrock Mining Operations
(43 CFR 3809):

BLM has published a proposal to change its "3809" regulations. These are the regulations that govern mining for "locatable" minerals such as gold, silver, and copper on public lands.

Update on the 3809 Rulemaking Process

The First Comment Period

Our first 90-day comment period closed on May 10,1999. We received about 3,000 letters, about half of which were from individuals who did not specify an affiliation with any organization. The remaining letters came from those affiliated with mining interests, state and county land management agencies, and preservation/conservation organizations. We are now reviewing the comments.

The National Academy of Sciences Study

Last year, Congress included a provision in the law providing funds for the Department of the Interior requiring us to pay for a study by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) of existing regulations governing mining. The NAS has completed and released their study. Click here to see the report on the NAS website.

The Second Comment Period

On October 26, 1999, we reopened the comment period on our 3809 proposed rule for 120 days which ended on February 23, 2000.

Final Opinion of DOI Solicitor John Leshy:
Limitations on Patenting Millsites under the Mining Law of 1872

1999 Materials




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