Leasing for Mining, Mineral Prospecting and Coal
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Leasing for Mining, Mineral Prospecting and Coal 
Leasing State-owned Lands For Mining, Mineral and Coal 

Leasing Washington State-owned Lands
FOR MINING, MINERAL PROSPECTING AND COAL

Mineral Prospecting Lease
Mineral Prospecting Leases are issued with the anticipation that if exploration conducted on the lease area is successful, substantial royalty income from mining may be returned to the beneficiaries of the specific trust parcels.  The greatest financial benefits from mineral prospecting leasing comes from royalties paid when the minerals are mined.  The highest financial return to the trust beneficiaries results from leases issued to applicants who have the experience and the financial capability to fully explore and develop the property to production, if the site warrants such action.

Criteria for issuing a new mineral prospecting lease

Lease Application
All applications for mineral prospecting leases will consider the ability of the applicant to meet the following criteria.

  • All supporting documentation must be provided with the application to lease or the application will be rejected and returned without further consideration.
  • All successful applicants will be required to provide proof of the required liability insurance, and a performance security upon the signing of the lease.

Experience
Applicant must demonstrate at least one of the following:

  • Education
  • Documentation of the equivalent of two years of post high-school education in earth science, geology, mining, or other related field from an accredited institution of higher learning.

Mineral Exploration Experience

  • Documentation of the equivalent of two years experience in the exploration for potential, commercially viable metallic mineral, industrial mineral, or aggregate properties.

Mining Experience

  • Documentation of the equivalent of two years experience in mining engineering, mining, or mine/property development of a commercially viable mining property.

Financial Capability
Applicant must demonstrate at least one of the following:

  • Documentation of the ability to conduct and fund initial exploration to determine the potential of a mineral prospect.
  • Documentation of the ability to obtain capital for mineral exploration and/or development of a commercially viable mineral prospect.
  • Documentation of ability to joint venture or contract with others who have the ability to obtain or provide capital for mineral exploration and/or development of a property leading to production of a commercially viable mining property.

Authorization to do Business in the State of Washington
All applicants, except those applying as an individual(s), must be authorized to do business in the state of Washington.  A valid UBI number from the Washington State Department of Revenue is required on the application from all businesses.  This includes corporations or other businesses that are licensed to do business in other states or counties.

Mineral Prospecting Lease Not Converted to a Mining Contract for Application Area
Any lessee, their agents, or associates, not converting a Mineral Prospecting Lease to a mining contract cannot apply for nor receive a new Mineral Prospecting Lease that includes the same lease area for one year from the expiration date of the prior lease.

Mining Contract
If a site proves fruitful, a mining contract is required before minerals can be mined.  Applications to convert a Mineral Prospecting Lease to a Mining Contract can be submitted anytime, up to 180 days before the end of the seven (7) year lease period.  The lease will be converted to a Mining Contract if the lessee can satisfy the conversion requirements of the Department.

Coal option Contract
Coal Option Contracts are issued if it is deemed by the Commissioner of Public Lands to be in the best interest of the State (RCW 79.14.490).  Coal Option Contracts are issued for a period of one year, in which time the holder of the option may carry out exploration and prospecting activities for coal resources.  Mining is not allowed under this option contract.  Coal may only be removed for sampling and testing.  A maximum of 250 tons of coal can be removed from each application.

The applicant for a Coal Option Contract shall provide a plan of activities, which will include but not limited to:

  1. The type, location, schedule and depth of drilling;
  2. Location and extent of other activities such as trenching, and adit construction;
  3. Proposed roads;
  4. Proposed reclamation including the methods to plug and seal drill holes, and adits;
  5. Proposed erosion control for roads, landings, drill locations and trenches; and
  6. Proximity to surface waters.

Coal Option Contract Application
All applications for Coal Option Contracts will consider the ability of the applicant to meet the following criteria.

  • All supporting documentation must be provided with the application to lease or the application will be rejected and returned without further consideration.
  • Successful applicants will be required to provide proof of the required liability insurance, and a performance security upon the signing of the contract. 

Experience
Applicant must demonstrate at least one of the following:

  • Coal Exploration Experience
  • Documentation of the equivalent of two years experience in the exploration for potential, commercially viable coal properties.

Mining Experience
Documentation of the equivalent of two years experience in mining engineering, mining, or mine/property development of a commercially viable mining property.

Financial Capability
Applicant must demonstrate at least one of the following:

  • Documentation of the ability to conduct and fund initial exploration to determine the potential of a coal prospect.
  • Documentation of the ability to obtain capital for coal exploration and/or development of a commercially viable coal prospect.
  • Authorization to do Business in the State of Washington.
  • All applicants, except those applying as an individual(s), must be authorized to do business in the state of Washington.  A valid UBI number from the Washington State Department of Revenue is required on the application from all business.  This includes corporations or other business that are licensed to do business in other states or counties.

Coal Mining Contract
A Coal Mining Contract is required before coal can be mined.  Applications to convert a Coal Option Contract on state uplands to a Coal Mining Contract can be submitted anytime before the end of the one-year contract period.  The contract will be converted to a Coal Mining Contract if the lessee can satisfy the conversion requirements of Department of Natural Resources.

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 Contacts

Venice Goetz
Forest Resources & Conservation, Geologist
360-902-1056
Fax 360-902-1789
oil&gas@dnr.wa.gov

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