MINES AND MINING
47-1317. Application, permit and bond required. (a) Before any person may conduct a placer or dredge mining operation on lands or natural watercourses in the state of Idaho, such person shall file with the director an application for a permit upon a form provided by the director, and shall pay an application fee of fifty dollars ($50.00), for each ten (10) acres or fraction thereof above involved in such application, provided that no application fee shall exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000). Application fees shall be deposited in the dredge and placer mining account.
(b) The permit to issue in any such case shall be in a form provided and approved by the board. No such permit shall be issued to any applicant until the applicant files with the director an initial bond in an amount necessary to pay the estimated reasonable costs of reclamation required under the permit for each acre of land to be disturbed during the first season of operation plus ten percent (10%). The amount of the bond shall not exceed one thousand eight hundred dollars ($1,800) per acre of disturbed land. At the beginning of each calendar year or before operations begin, the operator shall notify the director of any increase or decrease in the acreage of disturbed lands which will result from planned placer mining activity within the next operating season. A correlated increase or decrease in the bond shall be required by the director for a change in disturbed acreage. In the event of failure by the permittee to reclaim disturbed lands in the permit area, the cost charged to the permittee shall be reasonable costs of reclamation plus ten percent (10%); provided that in no event shall any bond submitted pursuant to this section exceed one thousand eight hundred dollars ($1,800) for any given acre of disturbed land. The determination by the board of reclamation costs shall constitute a final decision subject to judicial review as set forth in subsection (d)[(c)] of section 47-1320, Idaho Code. The bond may be submitted in the form of a surety, cash, certificate of deposit, or other bond acceptable to the director, provided that any bond shall be in the applicable amount set forth above.
(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to conduct placer or dredge mining operations in this state without first having obtained a permit and bond as herein provided. The board shall determine whether a permit application and bond submitted by an applicant satisfies the requirements of this act and regulations promulgated thereto. Upon such determination, the board shall notify the applicant in writing of approval or denial of the permit application and bond. Any notice of rejection shall state the reasons for such rejection. An applicant may submit an amended permit application and bond.
(d) It shall be the duty of the board in its administration of this act to cause periodic inspections to be made of the operations under such permits to determine compliance with this law and to make rules and regulations with respect thereto and the cost and expense of making such inspections shall be borne by the permittee, which such costs and expenses shall constitute a lien upon equipment, personal property, or real property of the permittee and upon minerals produced from the permit area, and the failure to pay the amount thereof on demand by the board shall be cause for termination of the permit. All inspection fees shall be deposited in the dredge and placer mining account.
(e) The board may release an applicant from the requirement that the applicant submit a bond if the director determines that the applicant has insured faithful performance of the requirements of this act and regulations promulgated thereto pertinent to land and watercourse restoration by submitting and having on file a current and valid bond with the United States government, which bond equals or exceeds the amount set forth above, provided that such release by the director shall not release an applicant from bonding under this act, should the permittee fail to continuously maintain a valid bond with the United States government or from compliance with any other requirement of this act or regulations promulgated thereto.
(f) Upon determination by the director that restoration has been satisfactorily completed on a portion of a permit area in accordance with the applicable approved permit and with subsection (a) of section 47-1314, Idaho Code, the board may reduce the bond amount to reflect the completed restoration.
(g) That if any applicant for such dredge or other placer mining operations as contemplated by this act be not the owner of the lands described in the application or any part thereof, the owner of such lands shall indorse his approval of the application, and no permit shall be issued in the absence of such approval by the owner of lands described in the application not owned by the applicant.
(h) No permit shall be issued proposing to alter or occupy the bed of a navigable stream or to dredge any stream or watercourse without notification to the department of water resources of the pending application. The department of water resources shall respond to said notification within twenty (20) days, and the response shall be included in any permit granted hereunder by a showing whether the permit constitutes a permit from the department of water resources or whether an additional permit from the department of water resources shall be required.
(i) No permit shall issue hereunder to dredge nor otherwise placer mine any lands owned by the state of Idaho, including the beds of navigable streams, and including the mineral reservations in lands sold by the state, unless a mineral lease shall be made of such terms and at such royalty to the state as its board of state land commissioners shall prescribe and determine.
(j) The Idaho state board of land commissioners shall have the power to deny any application for a permit on state land, stream or river beds, or on any unpatented mining claims, upon its determination that a dredge mining operation on the land proposed would not be in the public interest, giving consideration to economic factors, recreational use for such lands, fish and wildlife habitat and other factors which in the judgment of the state land board may be pertinent, and may deny an application upon notification by the department of water resources that the grant of such permit would result in permanent damage to a stream channel.
(k) Upon default, in the event that the amount of the bond is insufficient to reclaim the land in compliance with the act and the approved plan, the attorney general is empowered to commence legal action against the operator in the name of the board to recover the amount in excess of the bond necessary to reclaim the land in compliance with the act and the approved plan.
[47-1317, added 1955, Init. Meas., sec. 6; am. 1957, ch. 325, sec. 1, p. 685; am. 1969, ch. 281, sec. 6, p. 845; am. 1974, ch. 17, sec. 34, p. 308; am. 1976, ch. 150, sec. 4, p. 542; am. 1980, ch. 278, sec. 1, p. 722; am. 1984, ch. 102, sec. 5, p. 234; am. 1993, ch. 308, sec. 1, p. 1138.]