Opencut Mining Permit Forms and Guidelines

Request for Pre-Application Meeting

DEQ strongly recommends Operators request a meeting before submitting an application. In response, an Opencut scientist will contact the Operator and schedule a visit to provide guidance on the application process and recommendations on the proposed Opencut operation. Activities within or adjacent to designated sage grouse habitats require consultation with the Montana Sage Grouse Habitat Conservation Program. The DEQ Sage Grouse Advisory is also a source of information.  

  1. Request For Pre-Application Meeting - Word

A - Master Guidance Documents

This guidance document is a MUST-READ for all permitting activities:

  1. How To Obtain And Comply With An Opencut Mining Permit -PDF
  2. Electronic Submittal of Opencut Documents - PDF

B - Permit and Amendment Applications

Use the following documents to apply for an Opencut Mining Permit or Amendment:

  1. Opencut Mining Plan Of Operation And Application - Word
  2. Landowner Consultation - Word
  3. Zoning Compliance - Word
  4. Surface Landowners List- Excel
  5. Boundary Coordinate Table - Excel
  6. UPDATED Reclamation Bond Spreadsheet- Excel
  7. Weed Board Notification of Opencut Operation-Word

C - Bond Forms

One of the following bonding instruments is also required:

  1. Cash Bond - Word
  2. Irrevocable Letter Of Credit - Word
  3. Property Bond - Word
  4. Certificate of Deposit Assignment - Word
  5. Surety Bond - Word

D - Release Request Form

Upon Completion of Reclamation, use the following form to request Liability or Bond Release:

  1. Phase I Release Request - Word
  2. Phase II Release Request - Word

E -Other Applications

Use the following documents for various permitting functions as appropriate:

  1. Assignment Application-Word
  2. Request for Extension of Reclamation Date-Word
  3. Limited Opencut Operation- Word
  4. Request To Commence Operations In Non-Bonded Area- Word

F-Other Forms

  1. Additional Well Data - Excel
  2. Decline Public Meeting - Word

G- Guidelines

The following documents provide technical guidance for Opencut Mining Permitting:

  1. Map Guideline - PDF
  2. Pond Guideline - PDF
  3. Seed Mix Guideline - PDF
  4. Soil Photo Guideline - PDF
  5. Stream/Waterway Guideline - PDF
  6. Wash Plant Settling Pond Guideline - PDF
  7. Archaeology Guideline - PDF
  8. NEW Groundwater Guideline- PDF


  1. NEW Determining Depth to Groundwater Worksheet- Word

I-Other Government Guidelines

  1. DNRC-Opencut Mining: Do You Need a Water Right? - PDF
  2. FAA Airport Regulations for Opencut Mining Sites - PDF
  3. DEQ Water Protection Bureau Permitting Guide: Sand and Gravel Operations - PDF

J-Archaeology Information and Forms

  1. Cultural Resource Submittal Procedure:
    Submit two copies and one digital copy (CD/DVD/Thumb Drive or File Transfer Service) of the following to:

          James Strait
          Montana DEQ
          Dir. Office
          1520 E 6th Ave
          Helena, MT 59601

          Do not submit copies of the Archaeological Reports to Opencut as this is confidential data.  Opencut only requires the “Concurrence” letter from SHPO to be submitted with the application.
          Please ensure there is an un-attached and completed CRABS form accompanying the report:
          Montana File Transfer Service instructions:  (DO NOT send via email.)
  2. SHPO Forms Website:
  3. SHPO Consultant List:
  4.  Request a SHPO report: (Ensure you put “Opencut Operation” in the “Project Description” location)
  5. Click here for the process of completing and submitting a Class III Archaeological Report (i.e.,-obtaining SHPO 'Concurrence'). 
  6. Small Scale Inventory Report Form