APMA / AHEA Permitting
Placer Mining (APMA)/ Hardrock Exploration (AHEA) Permitting
Mining or Exploration operations that exceeding Generally Allowed Uses (GAU) guidelines require permits.
Permits and licenses are required by as many as 12 State and Federal agencies to conduct exploration or mining activities in the State of Alaska. To assist the mining industry navigate this complex permitting process, the State designed the Annual Placer Mining Application (APMA) and the Annual Hard Rock Exploration Application (AHEA)
The APMA and AHEA are application forms for the permits required to explore for and mine locatable minerals and to conduct reclamation. Each year a claim owner intends to conduct mining activity, including exploration, mining, or transportation of equipment and maintaining a camp, an APMA or AHEA should be completed and submitted to a State Division of Mining, Land & Water Office nearest to where the activity will take place.
The Mining Section reviews and accepts completed applications, distributes them to the State and Federal agencies involved in the permitting process, thus expediting the paperwork for the benefit of the applicant.
There are fees associated with the APMA and AHEA. Approvals are issued for a term of 1-5 years. An application for a "single year" operation costs $150. A "Multi-Year" application costs $150 for the first year and $50 for each additional year (up to 5 years) costing $350 maximum.
Multi-year applications save the applicant money and reduces the amount of paperwork submitted each year. We encourage miners to submit a multi-year APMA or AHEA.
A reclamation bond is required for disturbance over 5 acres in size. This requirement may be satisfied if mining operator participates in DNR's Bond Pool program which requires a deposit of $150/acre. A portion of the reclamation bond may be refunded upon approved reclamation (see bond instructions in the APMA or AHEA).
If your operation involves federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and you want to use the APMA as a Notice of Plan of Operations, please obtain BLM approval of any bonding requirements prior to the submission of the APMA to the State Division of Mining, Land & Water. Bonding forms are available at BLM and DNR.
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Permitting:
DEC issues miners the Alaska Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (APDES) General Permit. If the operation qualifies for a General Permit, the APMA act as a Notice of Intent (NOI) for issuance of an APDES permit. If your operation does not qualify for a General Permit, a separate application may be necessary. Contact Nicholas Dallman.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Permitting:
The Department of the Army Regulatory Division (RD) has three Primary objectives:
- Protect and maintain the navigable capacity of the nation’s waters, under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act.
- Regulate the discharge of dredged and/or fill material in waters of the United States under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act of 1972.
- In 1977, the Corps of Engineers’ jurisdiction was increased to include wetlands as part of the waters of the U.S.
Most mining operations qualify for either a Regional or Nationwide Permit. If the mining operation does not qualify for a Regional or Nationwide permit you may need to apply for an individual Permit directly with the USACE. Additional information can be found at USACE Regulatory Division website.
Alaska Mining License:
A mining License is issued the Alaska Department of Revenue. It’s the State’s way of tracking your income tax obligation to the State. Mining licenses are not issued for exploration activities
All mining of locatable minerals on State land is subject to the Production Royalty under AS 38.05.212, administered by the DNR. Please see the Production Royalty Fact Sheet and Production Royalty Form.
Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) Division of Habitat Permitting:
ADF&G has the statutory responsibility for protecting freshwater anadromous fish habitat and providing free passage for anadromous and resident fish in fresh water bodies. Any activity or project that is conducted below the ordinary high water mark of an anadromous stream requires a Fish Habitat Permit.
A Fish Habitat Permit is required before any action is taken to:
- construct a hydraulic project, or
- use, divert, obstruct, pollute, or change the natural flow or bed of a specified river, lake, or stream, or use wheeled, tracked, or excavating equipment or log-dragging equipment in the bed of a specified river, lake, or stream.
All mining operations including recreational mining as described in Generally Allowed Uses must register at their regional ADF&G Habitat. ADF&G Habitat will accept completed APMA as their application for mining operations that do not fit the Generally Allowed Use and require a permit from DNR. See Fish and Game's (ADF&G) website on Placer Mining.
For More Information Contact
Alaska Department of Natural Resources
State Division of Mining, Land & Water