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

Greater sage grouse populations are declining across the western United States. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will make a decision in 2015 about whether to list the species under the Endangered Species Act. The Governors Conservation Plan for Greater Sage-grouse in Utah was written to prevent such a listing, and on February 10,2015, Governor Herbert issued an Executive Order requiring state agencies to coordinate implementation of the Conservation Plan to maintain, improve and enhance greater sage-grouse habitat. This plan is designed to eliminate the threats facing the sage-grouse populations while balancing the economic and social needs of the residents of Utah. Implementation of the Plan requires a cooperative effort among local, state, and Federal agencies, working in concert with private interests. The following map indicates the designated sage-grouse management areas. Please contact the Division if you are proposing a mining or exploration project within Sage-grouse habitat as shown on the map.

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