Hard Rock Mining Bureau

The Hard Rock Mining Bureau has separate programs for hard rock exploration and hard rock mining. Hard rock exploration requires a license to perform drilling and trenching and other activities to determine if an economical mineral resource is present. Hard rock mining can occur under a Small Miner Exclusion Statement (SMES) or under an Operating Permit.  Small Miner Exclusion mining has the limitation of not more than five acres of disturbance at any one time. Mining that cannot be limited to five acres of disturbance (SMES), can only be done under an Operating Permit.  In some circumstances, multiple sites may be permitted under a single operating permit. 

Operating Permit

Operating permits are required for hard rock mines that will disturb more than five acres at any one time. The Operating Permit Section of the Hard Rock Mining Bureau is responsible for the review of permit applications for operating permits and for the corresponding inspections of those mines. The Operating Permit Section is also responsible for implementing other portions of the program, such as the review/development of environmental reviews, the review of annual reports, the review of permit revision requests, and the review of amendment applications.



Amendment 010
Amendment Application (September 2017)

1st Round Deficiency Letter (January 3, 2018)

1st Round Deficiency Response (January 31, 2018)
Cover Letter
Amendment Application
Appendix A-1 - Hydrology
Appendix A-2 - Fish and Wildlife
Appendix A-3 - Vegetation
Appendix A-4 - Soils
Appendix A-5 - Socioeconomics
Appendix B - RDS Cross-Sections
Appendix C - Weed Plan
Exhibit 1
Exhibit 2
Exhibit 3

2nd Round Defciency Letter (March 2, 2018)

2nd Round Deficiency Response (June 4, 2018)
Cover Letter
Amendment Application
Appendix A-1 - Hydrology
Appendix A-2 - Fish and Wildlife
Appendix A-3 - Vegetation
Appendix A-4 - Soils
Appendix A-5 - Socioeconomics
Appendix A-6 - Visual Resources
Appendix B - Geochemical Data
Appendix C - Pool Water Quality
Appendix D - RDS Cross-Sections
Appendix E - Weed Plan
Appendix F - W Ridge Runnoff
Exhibit 1
Exhibit 2
Exhibit 3

Amendment 001
Original Application 

Response Letter (Revision July 2018)
Appendix 2 - GWIC Data
Appendix 3 - NRCS Soils Report
Appendix 4 - MNHP Report
Appendix 5 - SHPO Email
Appendix 6 - Weed Management Plan
Appendix 7 - Adjacent Property Owners
Appendix 9 - SPCC Plan
Exhibit C - Permit Map
Exhibit C - OP Map
Replacement Pages: 2, 5, and iv

Draft Environmental Assessment


Click here to go to Montana Limestone Resources main page

Click here to go to Black Butte Copper Project's main page

Plan of Operations
Appendix 1 - Soil Information
Appendix 2 - Site Photos
Appendix 3 - Species of Concernt
Appendix 4 - Redacted
Appendix 5 - Adjacent Property Information
Appendix 6 - County Weed Plan
Appendix 7 - Fire Protection Plan
Appendix 8 - SPCC Plan
Appendix 9 - Annual Report
Exhibit A - Quarry Distrubance Area
Exhibit B - Stormwater Drainage
Exhibit C - Adjacent Property Owners and Wells
Exhibit D - Post Mine Reclamation Acres

Exploration License

An Exploration License is required for all mineral exploration activities that may involve surface or subsurface disturbance. The Exploration License is not a mining permit, and cannot be used for mining. Likewise, the Operating Permit (OP) and Small Miner Exclusion Statement (SMES) are intended for “mining” and cannot be used for “exploration.”

Small Miner Exclusions

Small Miner Exclusion Statements are an exclusion from the requirements of an Operating Permit and are generally applicable to operations that disturb less than five acres of land. Bonding and site reclamation is not required, except for placer mining operations. An environmental review of potential impacts is also not required.

Public Notices

Bozeman Brick, Block, and Tile - Legal Notice
Apex Abrasives, Inc. - Legal Notice
Weyerhaeuser - Legal Notice
Huppert Brothers - Legal Notice
Buster Bullock - Legal Notice

Environmental Reviews

Click here to view Environmental Reviews.


A - Operating Permit
  1. New Application: Single/Multiple Quarry Mine Site Permit - PDF
  2. Example Application: Single/Muliple Quarry Mine Site (Coming Soon)
  3. New Application FAQ (Coming Soon)
  4. Annual Renewal Form - PDF
B - Exploration Licenses
  1. New Application or Amendment to License Packet - PDF
  2. New Application or Amendment Supplemental Information (Coming Soon)
  3. Example Application (Coming Soon)
  4. New Application FAQ (Coming Soon)
  5. Annual Renewal Form - PDF
C - Small Miner Exlusion Statement
  1. New Small Miner Exclusion Statement (SMES) Packet - PDF
  2. Example SMES (Coming Soon)
  3. New SMES FAQ (Coming Soon)
  4. Annual Renewal Form - PDF
D - Bond Forms

Please contact the Permit License Technician at 444-4953 for the bond instrument forms.

  1.  Reclamation Bond Requirements - PDF
E - Other Government Requirements/Guidelines

Addtitional guidelines or permit requirements associated with hard rock mining from other goverment entities

  1. Sage Grouse Advisory
  2. Exploration and Mining on State Lands/School Trust - Department of Natural Resources Trust Lands Management
  3. Mining Claims on Federal Land - Bureau of Land Management Montana/Dakotas
  4. DEQ Water Protection Bureau - MPDES/Storm Water Permits
  5. USDA Forest Service
  6. US Army Corps of Engineers


Montana Code Annotated

Metal Mine Reclamation Act, Title 82, Chapter 4 Reclamation, Part 3

Administrative Rules of Montana

ARM Title 17, Chapter 24, Reclamation, Subchapter 1


Contact Information
Physical Address: 1520 E 6th Avenue, Helena, MT 59601
Mailing Address: DEQ Hard Rock Mining Bureau, PO Box 200901, Helena, MT 59620-0901
Phone: (406) 444-4953
Fax: (406) 444-1488