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BLM New Mexico Mining and Minerals
Mineral development is an important land use within BLM's multiple-use mandate. Federally-owned minerals on public lands can be categorized into three major types: locatable minerals, leasable minerals, and saleable mineral materials.
Locatable Minerals - Mining Law
Locatable minerals are subject to the General Mining Law of 1872, as amended. Locatable minerals are solid minerals such as gold, silver, molybdenum, uranium, and uncommon varieties of some other minerals. The minerals are developed and managed as Federal unpatented mining claims and sites.
Leasable minerals are subject to the various Mineral Leasing Acts. Leases are issued for specific periods of time, and the lessee pays a rental fee and royalties on the minerals produced. One half of the revenues collected from Federal mineral leasing are distributed to the state where the minerals are produced.
Solid leasable mineral activity for BLM-New Mexico consists of leasing and production of potash and byproduct salt in southeastern New Mexico, and leasing and production of coal in northwestern New Mexico and eastern Oklahoma. Use the links to the right to find more information about these minerals.
BLM-New Mexico manages Federal coal leasing in New Mexico and Oklahoma, as well as having Trust responsibility for overseeing certain aspects of coal development on Navajo Nation lands in New Mexico.
Saleable minerals are subject to the Materials Act of 1947, as amended. Mineral materials are some of our most basic natural resources, such as sand, gravel, dirt, and rock used in every day building and other construction uses. These materials generally are bulky and have low unit price. Their sheer weight makes their transportation costs very high. Adequate local supplies of these basic resources are vital to the economy of any community.