Bull elk on Elk Mountain near Newcastle, Wyoming. Photo by Nate West. Oil rig in Wyoming. Wild horse near Rock Springs, Wyoming. Coal mining operations in the Powder River Basin of northeastern Wyoming. Pronghorn in Wyoming.
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Mineral Materials; sand, gravel, stone, etc.

Sampling and testing, contract sales of and free use permits for mineral materials on BLM administered land are administered pursuant to the regulations at 43 CFR Part 3600. Mineral materials include common varieties of sand, gravel, stone, pumice, pumicite, cinders and clay. Individuals, companies, nonprofit organizations or governmental entities may not remove mineral materials from BLM administered lands or from split estate lands where the U.S. Government reserved all minerals without first having obtained a sale or permit authorized by the appropriate Field Office. The removal of mineral materials under sale or permit is commonly referred to as a “disposal”.

Anyone interested in mineral materials from a particular area of public lands should review the appropriate land use plan to be sure the area is open to mineral material disposal. Even if an area is open to mineral material disposal by the land use plan, there may be other limitations such as the presence of mining claims. If the land of interest is unencumbered, consider pre-application testing and sampling to be sure the material is of a quality and quantity to meet an applicant’s needs.

Applications for an authorization to sample and test, for a sale or for a free use permit are usually handled on a first come, first served basis. Mineral material disposals are discretionary and the Field Office may not be able to process your application in a timely fashion due to budgetary constraints or other workload, so you may wish to contact the appropriate Field Office well in advance of submitting a formal a filing.

Applicants for a noncompetitive or competitive contract sales/renewals must pay processing fees; see 43 CFR 3602.11(c), 3602.31(b), 3602.43(a), 3602.44(f) and 3602.47(e). Purchasers are required to track production as per the verification information procedures that are made part of the sale. These include, but are not limited to those cited in Chapter 8 of the BLM’s Mineral Material Disposal Handbook, H-3600-1. Purchasers must also obtain the necessary permit from the State of Wyoming under the Land Quality Division’s non-coal rules and regulations. The BLM and LQD operate under a memorandum of understanding which requires purchasers to file their reclamation bond with the LQD. The bond amount and type of bond must be acceptable to the BLM Field Office (see Instruction Memorandum WY-2010-001.

BLM Field Offices may designate common use areas or community pits from which they may sell limited quantities of sand and gravel or stone on an over-the-counter non-exclusive basis.

Unauthorized use or mineral material trespass includes exceeding the volume or weight of material under sale or permit, extracting material outside of the boundary of the sale or permit, removing material in the absence of a sale or permit, and removal of material after a sale or permit has expired. Procedures the BLM follows when investigating and abating unauthorized use are outlined in the BLM’s Mineral Material Trespass Prevention and Abatement handbook H-9235-1.

Mineral material operations are subject to inspection at any time. Purchasers and free use permittees who fail to comply with the provisions of their sale or permit are subject to having production suspended while corrective action is taken or having the sale or permit cancelled. Parties adversely affected by BLM decisions have rights of appeal to the Office of Hearings and Appeals.

Operators are encouraged to make early contact with the appropriate Field Office regarding their future mineral material needs. If the area of interest to you is on a National Forest, please contact the administering U.S. Forest Service Ranger District; a listing of such offices appear on page 19 of the Wyoming Public Lands Access Guide.