Idaho Statutes

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TITLE 47
MINES AND MINING
CHAPTER 15
MINED LAND RECLAMATION
47-1503.  Definitions. Wherever used or referred to in this chapter, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
(1)  "Board" means the state board of land commissioners or such department, commission, or agency as may lawfully succeed to the powers and duties of such board.
(2)  "Cyanidation" means the method of extracting target precious metals from ores by treatment with cyanide solution, which is the primary leaching agent for the extraction.
(3)  "Cyanidation facility" means that portion of a new ore processing facility, or a material modification or a material expansion of that portion of an existing ore processing facility, that utilizes cyanidation and is intended to contain, treat, or dispose of cyanide-containing materials including spent ore, tailings, and process water.
(4)  "Director" means the head of the department of lands or such officer as may lawfully succeed to the powers and duties of said director.
(5)  "Affected land" means the land area included in overburden disposal areas, mined areas, mineral stockpiles, roads, tailings ponds and other areas disturbed on the surface of mining operations.
(6)  "Mineral" means coal, clay, stone, sand, gravel, metalliferous and nonmetalliferous type of ores, and any other similar solid material or substance of commercial value to be excavated from natural deposits on or in the earth.
(7)  "Mining operations" means the activities performed on the surface of a surface or underground mine in the extraction of minerals from the ground, including the excavating of pits, removal of minerals, disposal of overburden, and the construction of haulage roads, exclusive of exploration operations, except that any exploration operations which, exclusive of exploration roads, (a) result during a period of twelve (12) consecutive months in more than five (5) contiguous acres of newly affected land, or (b) which, exclusive of exploration roads, result during a period of twelve (12) consecutive months in newly affected land consisting of more than ten (10) noncontiguous acres, if such affected land constitutes more than fifteen percent (15%) of the total area of any circular tract that includes such affected land, shall be deemed to be a surface mining operation for the purposes of this chapter.
(8)  "Exploration operations" means activities performed on the surface of lands to locate mineral bodies and to determine the mineability and merchantability thereof.
(9)  "Surface mine" means an area where minerals are extracted by removing the overburden lying above and adjacent to natural deposits thereof and mining directly from the natural deposits thereby exposed.
(10) "Underground mine" means an area where minerals are extracted from beneath the surface of the ground by means of an adit, shaft, tunnel, decline, portal, bore hole, drill hole for solution mining, or such other means of access beneath the surface of the ground, other than a pit.
(11) "Mined area" means surface of land from which overburden, waste rock, or minerals have been removed other than by drilling of exploration drill holes.
(12) "Overburden" or "waste rock" means material extracted by an operator that is not a part of the material ultimately removed from a surface mine or underground mine and marketed by an operator, exclusive of mineral stockpiles.
(13) "Overburden disposal area" means land surface upon which overburden or waste rock is placed or planned to be placed.
(14) "Exploration drill holes" means holes drilled from the surface to locate mineral bodies and to determine the mineability and merchantability thereof.
(15) "Exploration roads" means roads constructed to locate mineral bodies and to determine the mineability and merchantability thereof.
(16) "Exploration trenches" means trenches constructed to locate mineral bodies and to determine the mineability and merchantability thereof.
(17) "Peak" means a projecting point of overburden.
(18) "Significant change" means, for an underground mine, a fifty percent (50%) increase in the areal extent of the disturbed affected land.
(19) "Mine panel" means that portion of a mine designated by an operator as a panel of a surface mine or the surface effects of an underground mine on the map submitted pursuant to section 47-1506, Idaho Code.
(20) "Mineral stockpile" means minerals extracted during surface mining operations and retained at the surface mine for future rather than immediate use.
(21) "Permanent closure plan" means a description of the procedures, methods, and schedule that will be implemented to meet the intent and purposes of this chapter in treating and disposing of cyanide-containing materials including spent ore, tailings, and process water and in controlling and monitoring discharges and potential discharges for a reasonable period of time based on site-specific conditions.
(22) "Pit" means an excavation created by the extraction of minerals or overburden at a surface mine.
(23) "Ridge" means a lengthened elevation of overburden.
(24) "Road" means a way constructed on a surface mine for the passage of vehicles, including the bed, slopes and shoulders thereof.
(25) "Operator" means any person or persons, any partnership, limited partnership, corporation, or limited liability company, or any association of persons, either natural or artificial, including, but not limited to, every public or governmental agency engaged in mining operations or exploration operations or in operating a cyanidation facility, whether individually, jointly, or through subsidiaries, agents, employees, or contractors, and shall mean every governmental agency owning or controlling the use of any surface mine when the mineral extracted is to be used by or for the benefit of such agency. It shall not include any such governmental agency with respect to those mining or exploration operations as to which it grants mineral leases or prospecting permits or similar contracts, but nothing herein shall relieve the operator acting pursuant to a mineral lease, prospecting permit or similar contract from the terms of this chapter.
(26) "Hearing officer" means that person selected by the board to hear proceedings under section 47-1513, Idaho Code.
(27) "Final order of the board" means a written notice of rejection, the order of a hearing officer at the conclusion of a hearing, or any other order of the board where additional administrative remedies are not available.
(28) "Tailings pond" means an area on the surface of a mining operation enclosed by a man-made or natural dam onto which has been discharged the waste material resulting from the primary concentration of minerals in ore excavated from a surface or underground mine.
(29) "Financial assurance" means monetary assurances in such form and amount as are necessary for the board or a third party to perform the reclamation activities required in this chapter.
(30) "Post-closure" means a description of the procedures, methods, and schedule for monitoring, care and maintenance, and water management that will be implemented on a mine panel after cessation of mining operations for a period not to exceed thirty (30) years unless the board determines a longer period is necessary.

History:
[47-1503, added 1971, ch. 206, sec. 3, p. 898; am. 1973, ch. 180, sec. 2, p. 415; am. 1974, ch. 17, sec. 35, p. 308; am. 2005, ch. 167, sec. 5, p. 512; am. 2019, ch. 226, sec. 4, p. 694.]


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