The IDL administers the Idaho Dredge and Placer Mining Protection Act, passed in 1954. Dredge and placer mining is the extraction of minerals containing particles of gold or other valuable minerals, using suction dredges with a nozzle eight inches in diameter or more. A placer deposit can be in a natural watercourse or an ancient river channel high above a stream.
Statutes and Rules
- Idaho Code – Title 47, Chapter 13, Idaho Placer and Dredge Mining Protection Act
- Idaho Code – Title 47, Chapter 18, Section 1803 – Reclamation Fund Created – Financial Assurance
- IDAPA 20.03.01 – Rules Governing Dredge and Placer Mining Operations in Idaho
- IDAPA 20.03.03 – Rules Governing Administration of the Reclamation Fund
Notice: IDAPA 20.03.01 is currently undergoing omnibus rulemaking. More information can be found on the Rulemaking page.
Department Contact – Boise Staff Office
Eric Wilson, Bureau Chief
Resource Protection and Assistance Bureau
Regulatory Minerals Program
For questions specific to a location, please contact the nearest Supervisory Area
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Recreational Gold Mining
The IDL does not regulate recreational suction dredge mining. Recreational dredge mining applies when miners use power sluices, small recreational suction dredges with a nozzle five (5) inches in diameter or less, and equipment rated at a maximum of fifteen (15) horsepower or less. Recreational dredge mining is regulated by the Stream Channel Protection Act administered by the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR). If a miner has a recreational dredging permit issued by IDWR they do not need any additional permits from the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) to mine in a navigable stream.
A summary of the requirements for recreational mining are highlighted in this Recreational Mining Pamphlet.