36 CFR § 228.60 - Prospecting permits.

§ 228.60 Prospecting permits.

(a) Right conferred. On acquired National Forest lands, prospecting permits may be issued which grant the permittee the exclusive right to explore for and to demonstrate the existence of a suitable mineral material deposit when existing information is insufficient. After the demonstration of a suitable deposit and confirmation of this by the authorized officer, the permittee will have a preference right to apply for a negotiated sale.

(b) Limitations. Mineral material may be removed from lands under a prospecting permit only to the extent necessary for testing and analysis or for the demonstration of the existence of a suitable deposit.

(c) Environmental analysis. Prospecting permits will be issued only after submission by applicant and approval by the authorized officer of a detailed operating plan. The authorized officer may require a bond in accordance with § 228.51. The authorized officer must ensure compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

(d) Acreage and permit limitations. A prospecting permit may not cover more than 640 acres. No individual or group may have an interest at any one time in more than three prospecting permits on Forest Service lands administered by one Forest Supervisor.

(e) Duration and extension of permits. Prospecting permits may be issued for a period not to exceed 24 months, but they may be extended once for up to an additional 24 months if necessary to complete prospecting. Any application for extension must be submitted no later than 30 days before the expiration of the permit. The application for extension must provide evidence of diligence and state the reasons why additional time is considered necessary to complete prospecting work.

(f) Refusal to extend permits. The authorized officer may reject applications for extension of prospecting permits for the following reasons:

(1) Failure to perform. Failure of the permittee to perform prospecting or exploration work without adequate justification may result in the denial of an extension; or

(2) Failure to apply. If an application for extension is not submitted within the specified period, the permit may expire without notice to the permittee.

(3) Public interest. If the authorized officer determines that an extension may not be in the public interest, the application may be rejected.

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