BLM California Mining and Minerals

A small rail car sits on the rails leading into a mine.Public lands in California provides opportunities for the exploration, development, and production of mineral resources, one of our most basic natural resources. With California's high population and large urban interface, mineral materials such as sand, gravel, and crushed stone are extracted from BLM administered public lands are used for ready-mixed concrete, asphalt, and many other building materials. Making locally available aggregate supplies available on public lands helps reduce consumer costs and environmental impacts. 

The California gold rush of the 1800s continues today with small miners mining for gold and silver in more than 5,000 mining claims and where rockhounders search for rocks, minerals, and gemstones on public lands. 

BLM collaborates with members of the public, representatives of private industry, local and state government agencies, and Native American tribes to carry out the mineral materials program on BLM administered lands in California.