The Permitting Process

THE KMC MINING OPERATION is located on federal land administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Mining operations conducted on federal lands are regulated under a myriad of laws and regulations, the most significant of which are the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the Mining Law of 1872, as amended. These statutes and related regulations outline the procedures that BLM must follow during its permit process and the requirements to be met before mining can occur. For more, see our Mining and Reclamation Plan of Operation.

ROLE of the BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENTTHE PERMITTING PROCESS for this project began when KMC submitted its proposed mining and reclamation plan to the BLM on April 18, 2017. BLM reviewed the proposal, required some minor changes, and ultimately accepted the modified plan as administratively complete on June 23, 2017. The completeness determination established that the proposal was ready for an environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The BLM initiated their environmental review on June 26, 2017 when it announced a public scoping period. Scoping is the first step in the process to help identify potential issues that will be considered and analyzed during the environmental review.

Information and public comments gathered in the scoping period, baseline studies conducted by KMC and others, and information from BLM resource files will be used to prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the project. The EA will analyze all impacts to the natural and human environment from the proposed action and be completed in accordance with the requirements under NEPA.

The process will identify any areas of concern for natural resources or the human environment that require special attention during operations. If necessary, the proposed mining and reclamation plan will be modified to address these concerns or afford special protection to unique resources.

When the draft EA is completed, BLM will make it available to the public for review and comment. After analysis of the public comments of the draft EA, the BLM will finalize the environmental review process and publish a decision on the proposed mining and reclamation plan. If the BLM approves the modified mining and reclamation plan, it will require a reclamation bond to cover the costs of full reclamation in the unlikely event that reclamation cannot be completed by KMC.

During or immediately following the BLM environmental review process, KMC will be required to pursue a myriad of operational permits from other state agencies. These permits generally include authorizations for environmental controls for air, water, stormwater and fuel storage and construction of ancillary support facilities.

MINING LAW of 1872THE GENERAL MINING LAW of 1872 is a federal law that authorizes and governs prospecting and mining for economic minerals on federal public lands. Approved on May 10, 1872, the law codified the previously informal system of acquiring and protecting mining claims on public land. All citizens of the United States of America 18 years or older have the right under this 1872 mining law to locate a lode (hard rock) or placer (gravel) mining claim on federal lands open to mineral entry.

Read more about mining and minerals on public lands on the BLM site.

See also the questions and answers about the Mining Law of 1872 on the FAQs page.