Trusted stewards of Idaho's resources, from main street to mountain top

Mining Regulation

Surface Mining

The IDL regulates surface mining in the State of Idaho. Surface mining is the extraction of minerals from the ground by removing the soil and rock over the mineral deposits.

The Idaho Surface Mining Act, passed in 1971, requires reclamation of affected lands to return them to a productive condition.

Read more about surface mining regulation here.


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top left photoDredge & Placer Mining

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 dredge and placer mining in Idaho.



  • For questions specific to a location
    10 Supervisory Areas
  • For statewide programmatic questions
    Minerals Regulatory Program
    Boise Staff Office

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.