NEVADA MINING AND MINERALS
Mining has been and continues to be vital to Nevada’s economy. The BLM Nevada solid minerals program consists of locatable minerals, such as gold and silver, and is the only state producing lithium, which is quickly becoming the “gold rush” of the 21st century due to its value for use in emerging technologies in stored energy.
Nevada has the largest mineral materials program in the Bureau for sand and gravel and crushed stone, used in construction supporting the fast-growing population centers of Las Vegas and Reno, which is a vital contributor to the economic well-being of the state, producing 5 million cubic yards of sand/gravel valued at $11.4 million in 2015.
BLM Nevada also has an active solid leasable minerals program for sodium, potassium, and other important leasable minerals.
Overall, Nevada leads the nation with the largest mining program in the BLM, with more than 180,000 active mining claims (49% of the BLM total), 198 authorized mining plans of operations, and 282 active exploration notices. With a strong ethic towards effective and successful reclamation, BLM Nevada holds and administers more than $2 billion in surface management reclamation bonds.
The BLM Nevada minerals program has responsibilities and adjudicative duties associated with federal mining claims, mineral surveys and patents, validation of title of evidence, review of mineral validity reports, service of federal minerals contest actions, guidance of surface use management (43 CFR 3809) and use and occupancy under the mining laws (43 CFR 3715). BLM Nevada also processes mineral material disposal applications, solid mineral prospecting permits, mineral lease applications and bonding documentation.
In Nevada, BLM also manages the minerals estate on approximately 300,000 acres of split-estate lands. The term split-estate (federal minerals) refers to federal mineral rights under private surface lands. These are patented lands with minerals reserved to the United States. These reservations and may be for single, multiple, or all minerals.