BLM Idaho Mining and Minerals

About Idaho Mining and Minerals

The BLM administers approximately 36.5 million subsurface acres in Idaho, along with mining claim records and mineral leases for lands managed by other Federal agencies.  


Mining Claim and Site Filing Requirements for 2024 Assessment Year

If you own unpatented mining claims or sites on Federal lands, your annual maintenance fee payments or maintenance fee waiver certification, Form 3830-2, (waiver) are due on or before September 1, 2023, in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Idaho State Office.  Failure to timely pay the fee or file the waiver in the proper BLM office, will subject your claims or sites to forfeiture by operation of law.

Maintenance Fees: The maintenance fees for a lode claim, mill site or tunnel site are $165 per claim or site. The fee for placer claims is $165 for each 20 acres of the claim or portion thereof.  For instance, if a placer claim contains 70 acres, you must pay $660 for the maintenance fee ($165 for each 20 acres + $165 for 10 acres).

Waiver Requirements:  You may file the waiver if you and all related parties own 10 or fewer claims or sites nationwide on September 1, 2023. Form 3830-2 must be used and must contain original signatures of each owner and include their current mailing address. If an agent signs the waiver on your behalf, you must have a current notarized designation that the agent is authorized to sign on your behalf. This designation should be submitted with your waiver if not already on file with the BLM, or if the one on file with the BLM is over 5 years old. There is no processing fee when filing the waiver.  Faxed or emailed waivers are not acceptable and will be returned unrecorded.

Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) Document Filings:  If you filed a waiver for the 2023 assessment year, you must also file the following on or before January 2, 2024 (due to Holiday and office closure), to complete that filing:

  • For placer or lode claims, an affidavit of assessment work (proof of labor) attesting that you performed at least $100 worth of labor to make improvements on each of your claims, during the 2023 assessment year, along with a $15 processing fee for each claim; or
  • For mill sites and tunnel sites, a notice of intent to hold, along with a $15 processing fee for each site.

Download mining forms from the BLM eForms Page  It is highly recommended that your proof of labor or notice of intent to hold, along with your processing fee, be submitted at the same time your waiver is filed.

Please make sure you submit the correct amount of processing fees with these documents.

Payment Options:

  1. Mail in all required paperwork and payments to the Idaho State Office, 1387 S. Vinnell Way, Boise ID 83709.  All mail must be postmarked by September 1, 2023.
  2. Visit the Idaho State Office Public Room to submit paperwork and/or payments on or before September 1, 2023 at Idaho State Office, 1387 S. Vinnell Way, Boise ID 83709.
  3. Pay online using the new Mineral and Land Records System (MLRS).  Visit for instructions on how to set up an account and how to make a payment.  Documents requiring original signatures can either be mailed in or dropped at the Idaho Public Room.

Phosphate Mining

Phosphorus is an important industrial commodity and an essential nutrient for all life, including agricultural crops. Phosphate mining and processing contribute $2 billion in value-added products to the U.S. economy and directly employ over 1200 people in high-paying jobs. Phosphates are used in an array of products, from baked goods and personal care products to fertilizers, textiles and electronics, among others.

Phosphate mining has been an important industry in southeast Idaho since the early 1900s. Today, southeast Idaho's open-pit phosphate mines supply about 22% of the nation's and 4% of the world's phosphate. The BLM Pocatello Field Office is situated at the heart of the Western Phosphate Field – the largest remaining phosphate deposit in the U.S. – and administers the Bureau's largest and most complex non-energy leasable minerals program. The BLM oversees 86 active phosphate leases in eastern Idaho on a total of 44,000 acres. In 2017, Idaho produced 6 million tons of ore. In 2018, direct contribution to labor income from non-metallic mining in Idaho totaled $282 million.

There are three active, large open-pit phosphate mines in the Pocatello Field Office that operate on BLM-administered federal mineral leases:

Mine Lessee/Operator Surface Ownership/Agency
Rasmussen Valley Itafos P, F, S, B
Blackfoot Bridge Bayer P, B
Smoky Canyon J.R. Simplot Co. F

*B=Bureau of Land Management, F=Forest Service, S=State of Idaho, P=Private

The ore produced from these mines feeds industrial plants in Pocatello and Soda Springs that produce phosphate fertilizer and elemental phosphorus.

The BLM's Pocatello Field Office is currently processing four new mine plan applications, including preparation of respective environmental impact statements for the Dairy SynclineHusky/North Dry RidgeEast Smoky Panel (expansion) and Caldwell Canyon mines. These proposed mines would replace the currently operating mines when ore is depleted.

Locatable Minerals

In Idaho, all mining claim location notices are submitted to the Idaho State Office.  Fees are accepted through the BLM's Payment Portal (preferred), mail or phone.

Saleable Minerals

In Idaho, BLM administers 115 community pits and provides 264 free use permits to county and state government for a wide variety of landscape rock, gravel and sand. For more information or to purchase a permit,  please contact your local BLM office. BLM staff can answer your questions and select rock that best meets your needs.