Surface Mining Permitting Process

(last updated 08/24/2017)

Operating Permit

BEFORE Applying for an Aggregate Mining Permit in Oregon

Summary of Issues Regularly Encountered at Aggregate Mining Sites in Oregon

To avoid delays in the DOGAMI-MLRR permitting process, DOGAMI urges applicants to review this summary of issues regularly encountered at aggregate mining sites in Oregon.

An Operating Permit is required for material extraction activity that exceeds one acre of disturbance in any 12-month period and/or 5,000 cubic yards of excavation in any 12-month period. When total disturbance exceeds five acres, an Operating Permit is required unless the activity is exempt.

  • Quantity restrictions – no more than 5,000 cy or 1 acre disturbed in a 12-month period, unless material is for on-site road maintenance.
  • Reclamation is required.
  • Annual Operating Permit renewal and reporting are required until mining and reclamation are complete.
  • The renewal fee is calculated based on production, plus a base fee.

Operating Permit Application Requirements


Additional information may be required for sites on floodplains, in hydrologically sensitive areas, or on steep slopes.  NOTE: Before providing additional information or hiring a consultant, we suggest that you contact us to ensure that the data collection and submittal of the additional information will meet application requirements.

The application is reviewed for completeness and we will contact you to schedule a site visit. If the application is complete, it is reviewed for adequacy to determine if there are technical deficiencies. Technical deficiencies may be addressed as permit conditions.

Your application materials - along with our review report, reclamation security calculation, and draft permit conditions - will be sent to the other natural resource agencies for their review. They have 35 days to respond to us; comments received from the other agencies may be addressed as additional permit conditions.

After the 35-day comment period…
Reclamation security must be submitted before the permit can be issued. The purpose of the reclamation security is to insure that reclamation is completed. The amount you will be required to provide depends on the size of the operation and the operating plans. Reclamation security is typically a Performance Bond obtained through an insurance company or a Letter of Credit through a financial institution. If your security amount is less than $50,000, you may use an Assignment of Deposit.

The permit must be renewed every year
Operating permits must be renewed annually until mining and reclamation are complete. The permit renewal amount consists of a base fee plus a calculation of the number of tons mined (production) during the 12 months previous to your renewal due date. We will send you a permit renewal notice about 60 days before your renewal is due.

Exploration Permit

An Exploration Permit is required for operations that disturb more than one surface acre or involves drilling to greater than 50 feet.

  • Reclamation is required.
  • The permit is renewed annually until exploration activity and reclamation are complete.

Exploration Permit Application Requirements

Upon receipt of a complete exploration application, a permit will be issued, generally within 30 days.

Exclusion Certificate

Exclusion certificates are required for mining activity that removes less than 5,000 cubic yards and affects less than one acre of land within a 12-month period. Operating Permits are required for mining activities above these thresholds.

The Exclusion Certificate program was established by the Oregon Legislature in 2015, and is in statute as ORS 517.753. The program is being implemented in phases, with application deadlines of:

  • For mining operations involving sand, gravel, aggregate or crushed stone, applications must be received by DOGAMI no later than September 30, 2016 or 90 days after the start of excavation, whichever occurs later.
  • For placer mining and other non-aggregate mineral surface mining operations, applications must be received by DOGAMI no later than July 31, 2017 or 90 days after the start of excavation, whichever occurs later.

Read the Exclusion Certificate FAQ.

Exclusion Certificate Application Requirements

  • Completed Application
  • Proof of Land Ownership
  • $80 application fee
  • The Exclusion Certificate must be renewed every year, as long as activity continues.
Contact MLRR
Follow Us
Facebook   Twitter   Flickr   YouTube