Home / Small Mining Regulations in Colorado
What are the regulations concerning
small mining in
|Small mining regulations in Colorado are basically what you will find anywhere else. There are, however, a few regulations for various parts of the state that are specific to that part of the state. In general, you will not need a permit for a dredge that has a 4 inch nozzle or smaller. Highbanking MUST discharge water into a holding pond before being released back into the waterway. Panning, sluicing, and dry washing are allowed in all parts of the state that are not prohibited by Federal, State or County law. That being said, I suppose you might like to know what restrictions are out there that are not covered by "general regulations". Here are the ones I know about.|
County - DO NOT PROSPECT IN unless you are VERY SURE you are on
public FEDERAL land. BOULDER COUNTY has a complete ban on any type of
prospecting, including panning.
Don't even think about it. They are
aggressively enforcing the ban put into effect in 2006. Boulder County
Arkansas River -
The Arkansas River and its drainage has a limited open
season between April 1st to October
1st for most motorized equipment.
All motorized equipment that pumps
water from the
Arkansas must have a BLM bond to work the and its
tributaries. This bond is $25.00,
good for two years, and is non
refundable. Dredging is allowed
without further permitting up to 4
inch nozzle. Highbankers must
discharge into a holding pond before
water is returned to the river.
Dredging is confined to the high
water mark of the river bottom.
(That means the sand or gravel bars
that are covered at high water and
dry in summer, NOT where water
touches on the BANK) Dry
washing, panning and sluicing can be
done year round. Your bond can be
obtained from the BLM at the Arkansas
. 2012: NO DREDGING OR
HIGHBANKING IS ALLOWED AT CACHE
CREEk. Check the
Arkansas River Drainage page
under Cache Creek for a link to the
forms. Highbanking and
dredging along the
Arkansas must have a bonding permit
for EACH area you plan to use.
Be aware that the BLM will aggressively ticket anyone undercutting the banks in any manner. The undercutting of trees has become a serious problem along the Arkansas and in the Cache Creek area. Prospect responsibly, and respect the land so that we do not lose further rights as prospectors. NEVER undercut trees or banks in the pursuit of $25.00, less OR more, worth of gold. Areas are closed every year to overzealous prospectors destroying land, river banks, and forests. I live in Colorado. Please, do not destroy my home.
In addition, you MUST be aware of where you are. Respect private property and active or inactive current claims. The local clubs can help you greatly with this, or you can contact us here at
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