Casual Use Mining

Casual Use Mining

Posted by on Dec 7, 2012 in GRE Updates | 2 comments

Hi Everyone... Just thought  we could take a few minutes and go over some of the details of Casual Use Mining, (which requires no permits or bonds) and operating outside of casual use. Anything outside of casual use requires you to send a plan of operations to the BLM for their approval.

Casual use- in a broad sense(state by state) requires:

Disturbance of less than 5 acres- (this includes removal of tailings, or creation)
Removal of less than 100 tons of material off site (total, ore, junk, whatever)
No machinery over 5hp
No blasting
No explosives
No building

We usually suggest that you send a notice of operation to the BLM, informing them of your intent to use the site for “casual use”. Let them know you want to put gates on the mines and fence the area and they will love you forever. If you need help on this, let us know and we can send you a generic template.

Anything above the casual use the BLM will usually try to hit you for a reclamation bond, be aware that you only need to return the land to the state it was when you received it.

Occupancy of over 14 days also requires BLM approval.

In relation to defining ores to take out. Dark (browns/blacks) rock that resides with iron and quartz is a great place to start. Be very targeted with the ores that you sample. I would suggest grabbing 5-10 home depot buckets. Fill a bucket and note where you took the ore from, usually with a can of spray paint. Mark the area and bucket as 1, then mark the next area and bucket as 2, etc…

This way you can define where you are getting the best ores from and continue to work those sections.

Every deposit is different, so keep careful track. Also, if you are crushing, make sure that you are getting all of the material. The gold is heaviest, so if your crusher is not sealed, your heaviest gold may be escaping.

Also, in a sluice box or separator, watch the angle, too much angle and the gold will flow out with waste, too little angle and all of the waste will hang out with the gold. It’s a site by site science.

Let me know if this helps, if you need any other help, or anything else that might be of use to you.

Thanks again for your interest and we will look forward to working with you!



-The GRE Team


  1. What does it take to get approval for a stay over 14 days ? Is this 14 day rule just saying that you can’t stay more than 14 days in a row, or can it reset itself, if you stay off-site for a night ? What amount of time can one work a claim in a year and still stay casual use or does it not matter ?You state that it is good to define areas worked. Is this for ones own record or does it have anything to do with the BLM ?

    • Each BLM field office must approve any stay over the 14 day period, and they each have their own process for doing so. We always recommend contacting the local office (local to your claim) with any questions.

      Here is an excerpt from the BLM website about occupying a claim:
      4. Surface Use and Occupancy
      This program area concerns the proper occupation (residency or seasonal occupation of mining claims by mining claimants. It is administered pursuant to the Surface Resources Act of 1955 (30 USC 611-615; 43 CFR 3715). It provides that if you live on a mining claim or site, the occupation must be justified as reasonably incident to mining and exploration and that no other reasonable options for shelter are available while working the claims. The occupation must be authorized by the proper field office through a notice or plan of operations. There are severe penalties for unauthorized residences and occupancies (see the regulations at 43 CFR 3715).

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