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Mining FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a mine?

What is reclamation?

I want to open a new mine; do I need a permit?

I want to open a new mine; what are my reclamation responsibilities?

How do I get a permit to mine?

How much does it cost to get an Environmental Resource Permit?

Whom do I contact to get more information on how to open a new mine?

Can I submit my Environmental Resource Permit or Reclamation Plan application electronically?

Can I pay my permit fee electronically?

My permit is about to expire; how do I request a time extension?

Where can I get a copy of forms related to mine reclamation and/or mine permitting?

I am shutting my mine down; do I need to notify the department?

Whom can I contact to schedule MSHA (mine safety) training for my staff?

How do I get information about new mines that may be opening near me or existing mines already operating?

How can I get a copy of a permit for an existing mine?

Whom can I contact about blasting in my area?

How do I make a complaint about a mine?


What is a mine? 

Chapter 378.403(10), Florida Statutes (F.S.), defines a mine as “an area of land upon which mining operations have been conducted, are being conducted, or are planned to be conducted, as the term is commonly used in the trade.” Pursuant to Chapter 378.403(12), F.S., mining operations include “any activity, other than prospecting, necessary for site preparation, extraction, waste disposal, storage or reclamation.”  Chapter 378.403(5), F.S., defines resource extraction as “the removal of resources from their location so as to make them suitable for commercial, industrial, or construction use; but does not include excavation solely in aid of onsite farming or onsite construction, nor the process of searching, prospecting, exploring or investigating for resources by drilling.”    


What is reclamation?

Chapter 378.403(16), F.S., defines reclamation as “the reasonable rehabilitation of land where resource extraction has occurred.” Land reclamation after mining typically involves removing debris, recontouring the land to reduce steep slopes and restore or maintain drainage basin boundaries and revegetating the site. In some cases, mine tailings are pumped back into mine pits prior to recontouring. 

Revegetation may be accomplished through natural recruitment, seeding, or planting vegetation. Standards for reclamation vary depending on the type of mineral that was mined and are outlined in the reclamation rules for phosphate, limestone, dolomite, shell, heavy minerals, fuller’s earth, peat and clay, gravel and sand.


I want to open a new mine; do I need a permit? 

There is no permit issued specifically for mining in Florida; however, mines are considered stormwater management systems regulated under the Environmental Resource Permitting (ERP) Program. As of Dec. 22, 2020, the Mining and Mitigation Program also began processing state of Florida 404 (dredge and fill) permit applications for mining projects in state-assumed waters. 

The state of Florida 404 program is a federally-delegated program under the Clean Water Act. Florida utilizes a joint application for ERP and 404; for more information regarding the 404 permitting program, please see the State 404 Program page.

Forms used for ERP/404 projects are found on the Mining and Mitigation Program's ERP Forms page. Permits also may be required from other agencies, such as local county government, the local water management district, etc. 

To start construction, you must have all necessary federal, state and local approvals. You also may need to file a Conceptual Reclamation Plan or a Notice of Intent to Mine for your project. 


I want to open a new mine; what are my reclamation responsibilities? 

If you are mining, you are required to reclaim the land disturbed by mining or mining operations. You may need to submit a Conceptual Reclamation Plan or a Notice of Intent to Mine. There is no fee to file a Conceptual Reclamation Plan or a Notice of Intent to Mine. Other resources mines that are less than 20 acres in size, and peat extracted for agricultural purposes, are exempt from the requirement to file a Notice of Intent to Mine, but the operator is still required to reclaim the land after mining. You should begin reclamation at the earliest practical time; reclamation timetable requirements are included in the reclamation rule for each mineral resource

  • You can download PDF versions of reclamation forms and review filing instructions at the reclamation forms page.

How do I get a permit to mine? 

ERPs and the state of Florida's 404 permits are obtained by filling out Section A (all mines), Section C (if the project includes work in, on, over, or within 25 feet of wetlands or other surface waters), Section H (all mines), and Section I (for projects requiring a State 404 permit) of the ERP/404 application and submitting the required permit fee. 

Consult Chapter 62-330, F.A.C., the ERP Applicant’s Handbook, Volume I and Applicant's Handbook Volume II for additional information about the criteria for ERP issuance. For information about 404 permitting, consult the state of Florida 404 program pageChapter 62-331, F.A.C. and the 404 Applicant's Handbook.

Permits also may be required from other agencies, such as local county government, the local water management district, etc. To start construction, you must have all necessary federal, state and local approvals. The Mining and Mitigation program encourages new applicants to set up a pre-application meeting to discuss their proposed project and the permitting process.


How much does it cost to get an Environmental Resource Permit or a state of Florida 404 Permit?

Fees for Environmental Resource Permits are based on both the size of the project and the number of acres of wetlands or other surface waters proposed for impact. A complete fee schedule is found in Chapter 62-4, F.A.C. There is no fee for a state of Florida 404 permit.


Whom do I contact to get more information on how to open a new mine? 

Send an email to MiningAndMitigation@FloridaDEP.gov or call 850-245-8336. The Mining and Mitigation program encourages new applicants to set up a pre-application meeting to discuss their proposed project and the permitting process.


Can I submit my Environmental Resource Permit or Reclamation Plan application electronically?  

Yes, permit applications are accepted electronically via email to MiningAndMitigation@FloridaDEP.gov or via mail addressed to:

Florida Department of Environmental Protection |
Mining and Mitigation Program
2600 Blair Stone Road, MS 3577
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2400

Can I pay my permit fee electronically?

Yes, permit fees can be paid electronically via the DEP Business Portal

You will need the permit application number to pay electronically. The permit application number is assigned when the application is entered into our permit tracking computer system. You should receive an email with your permit number when it is entered into the permit tracking system (typically within one to three days of application receipt). 

If you do not, you can obtain your permit application number by contacting the Mining and Mitigation Program at MiningAndMitigation@FloridaDEP.gov or 850-245-8336.


My permit is about to expire; how do I request a time extension? 

Permit extensions can be requested by letter. Please send your request to MiningAndMitigation@FloridaDEP.gov or to:

Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Mining and Mitigation Program
2600 Blair Stone Road, MS 3577
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2400

Please include the name of your mine, the permit number and the duration of the time extension in your request.


Where can I get a copy of forms related to mine reclamation and/or mine permitting?

ERP/404 forms and mine reclamation forms are available online.


I am shutting my mine down; do I need to notify the department? 

Yes, if you are shutting your mine down temporarily or permanently, please notify the Mining and Mitigation Program via email at MiningAndMitigation@FloridaDEP.gov.


Whom can I contact to schedule MSHA (mine safety) training for my staff? 

The mine safety training program is conducted through the Florida Public Safety Institute (FPSI) at Tallahassee Community College. To schedule training or learn more about MSHA training, contact Karen Miller at 850-201-7689.


How do I get information about new mines that may be opening near me or existing mines already operating? 

Send an email to MiningAndMitigation@FloridaDEP.gov or call 850-245-8336. You also can obtain a list of applications for permits and conceptual reclamation plans that are currently under review by the department.


How can I get a copy of a permit for an existing mine?

Copies of permits are available online and can be obtained through the DEP Information Portal or through Oculus. You also can contact the Mining and Mitigation Program at MiningAndMitigation@FloridaDEP.gov or 850-245-8336. 


Whom can I contact about blasting in my area? 

Blasting is regulated by the Fire Marshal, who can be contacted at 800-861-4164 or fireprevention@fldfs.com.


How do I make a complaint about a mine? 

Send an email to MiningAndMitigation@FloridaDEP.gov or call 850-245-8336.

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Last Modified:
June 7, 2021 - 3:38pm

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