Official Government Website

About Mining


Mining has played an important role in Idaho’s history. The discovery of gold resulted in the establishment of the Idaho territory in 1863. Mining in Idaho provides jobs and materials that are important to the economy. An important part of the modern mining industry is to demonstrate that successful reclamation to a productive post-mining land use will occur after the completion of mining.

Regulatory Oversight

To ensure responsible mining in Idaho, the citizens of Idaho passed the Idaho Dredge and Placer Mining Protection Act by voter initiative in 1953, and the Idaho Legislature passed the Mined Land Reclamation Act in 1971. The IDL is responsible for administering both laws. Regulatory oversight serves as the catalyst to promote effective, environmentally responsible mining. The IDL is responsible for overseeing 1,567 active mines and 28 active dredge and placer operations. To regulate all 1,595 mining permits, IDL divides Idaho into five mineral zones based on staffing availability.

Best Mining Practices in Sage-Grouse Habitat

Best Management Practices, commonly referred to as BMPs, are a suite of techniques that guide or may be applied to management actions to aid in achieving desired outcomes for protecting sage-grouse habitat. For more information on sage-grouse BMPs, please view the Mining Operations and Greater Sage-Grouse FAQ and BMPs.

Best Management Practices for Mining in Idaho

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Department Contact – Boise Staff Office

Eric Wilson, Bureau Chief
Resource Protection and Assistance Bureau
Regulatory Minerals Program
(208) 334-0261

For questions specific to a location, please contact the nearest Supervisory Area

Latest Mining News

January 21, 2021
Idaho Department of Lands Achievements for FY20
December 21, 2020
$52.5 million endowment lands and fund distribution to Idaho Schools
November 18, 2020
IDL GIS and Remote Sensing staff selected for the 2020 ESRI Special Achievement in GIS award
July 23, 2020
Director Miller Addresses McCall Endowment Land
May 27, 2020
Lobbies reopen across the state; support of natural resource-based businesses successfully maintained
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REVISED Schedule A 21-225-8017222018

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