Minerals Program:

The minerals program regulates all non-coal mining operations in the state with a few exceptions. From Kennecott Copper, the largest open-mined pit in the state to small operations mining for trilobite fossils, staff works to ensure mining operation procedures are followed. This includes verifying operators work within permit boundaries, mining operations pose no threat to public safety or the environment and assuring appropriate fees/bonds are collected for reclamation.

According to preliminary 2014 data from the U.S. Geological Survey, Utah ranks 5th in the value of non-fuel mineral production, accounting for approximately 5.4 percent of the United States total. In 2014, copper was the largest contributor to the value of non-fuel minerals in Utah, having an estimated value of $1.5-billion and mostly produced from Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation’s Bingham Canyon Mine.

There are approximately 200 different minerals mined in Utah including copper, gold, silver and beryllium. Currently there are more than 600 permitted mineral operations statewide.

Mission Statement: The mission of the Minerals Regulatory Program is to regulate exploration for, and development and reclamation of,non-coal mineral resources of the state in conformance with the Utah Mined Land Reclamation Act,UCA 40-8 in a manner which:

  • supports the existence of a viable minerals mining industry to preserve the economic and physical well-being of the state and the nation
  • safeguards the environment while protecting public health and safety, and
  • achieves the successful reclamation of lands affected by mineral mining activities

Utah Updated Greater Sage Grouse Conservation Plan

You can review the updated Conservation Plan for Greater Sage-Grouse in Utah here:

The plan will guide the management of greater sage grouse in Utah for the next five years. Governor Herbert authorized the first version of the plan in 2013. Since then, the plan has led countless state, federal and private partners in conserving greater sage grouse in Utah. Statewide populations have thrived as a result.

In 2017 and 2018, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, in coordination with the governor’s Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office, worked with a broad group of stakeholders to review the plan and recommend further improvements. Governor Herbert says the updated plan incorporates new science, knowledge and key lessons learned, while building on the progress made under the past plan. With the ongoing commitment and collaboration of the state of Utah and its many conservation partners, including private landowners, the plan gives Utah a new chapter in sage grouse conservation.

The Division of Oil, Gas and Mining, as a branch of the Department of Natural Resources is required to coordinate the implementation of this plan when permitting activities that affect sage-grouse populations within the sage-grouse management areas. The Utah Minerals Regulatory program has been consistent in applying rule R647-4-109.5 which requires mitigation for effects to threatened and endangered species.