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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.

Read more about IDL responsibilities in regulating the Dredge and Placer Mining Act in Idaho, and see FAQs Dredge and Placer Mining in Idaho.

Read more about IDL procedures on the Agency Guidance Documents page. 


Statutes and Rules



IDAPA 20.03.01 Rules Governing Dredge and Placer Mining Operations in Idaho and IDAPA 20.03.03 Rules Governing Administration of the Reclamation Fund, are currently going through the rulemaking process. For more information, please visit the IDL Rulemaking Page


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

Additional Resources

About Mining

Abandoned Mine Lands

Mined Lands Reclamation

Minerals Leasing


Make Payment Change of Address Notification

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.

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