Non-Energy Leasable Materials
The BLM leases certain solid minerals such as phosphate, sodium, potassium, sulphur, and gilsonite on public and other Federal lands. In addition, some hardrock minerals, depending on their location, may be considered leasable. The BLM may also lease these minerals on certain private lands, provided the mineral rights are owned by the Federal government.
The BLM will issue prospecting permits, under 43 CFR 3505, in areas where we do not know a mineral deposit exists. A prospecting permit gives you the exclusive right to prospect and explore for leasable mineral deposits. You may remove only material needed to demonstrate the existence of a valuable mineral.
If during the term of the prospecting permit, the permittee demonstrates the existence of a valuable deposit of the leasable mineral for which BLM issued the permit, the BLM may issue a preference right lease to the permittee without competition. In addition, preference right leases have other requirements as outlined under the regulations at 43 CFR 3500.
Most of the minerals leased under this program are used to make fertilizer or feed stock (mineral supplement for livestock) or have other industrial processes.
In areas where the Federal government acquired the land, the BLM may lease base and precious metals, such as uranium under this program.