Wallace Environmental Consulting specializes in mineral exploration permitting throughout the Intermountain West for domestic and international mining companies. Our experience on unpatented and patented mining claims on lands administered by the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Reclamation makes us the right choice to guide our clients through increasingly complex permitting processes.


Mineral exploration permits are required on all federally administered lands in the U.S. and, depending on the state and extent of the surface disturbance, can be required on patented claims and privately owned land. However, the permitting process for exploration drilling, surface geophysical exploration, or trenching on unpatented claims varies depending on which federal agency manages the land surface. Regardless, exploration companies need to allow time to acquire the permits. Exploration activities on land administered by the BLM can generally be secured in less time than permits on land administered by the Forest Service. But the key to all exploration permits is a detailed plan of operations around which all permit requirements are crafted.

Wallace Environmental Consulting prepares permit documents and manages submission of mineral exploration permits on behalf of our clients for the U.S. Forest Service in accordance with mineral exploration permit guidelines codified in 36 CFR 228. Mineral exploration permits on land administered by the BLM are prepared in accordance with 43 CFR 3809. The permit documents, usually a plan of operations or notice of intent, include analysis of the effects of exploration activities on a variety of environmental resources. To prepare the exploration permit documents Wallace Environmental Consulting staff works closely with the appropriate federal agency to assess the effects of proposed actions on:

  • Air Quality
  • Water Quality
  • Fish and Wildlife Resources
  • Botanical Resources
  • Cultural and Historic Resources
  • Wetlands and Riparian Habitat
  • Hazardous Substances
  • Soil Conservation
  • Solid Waste
  • Scenic Values

The "heart" of a mineral exploration permit is the Plan of Operations and the Reclamation Bond. Wallace Environmental Consulting assists in the preparation of the Plan of Operations that ensure compliance that restores surface disturbance caused by the construction of new roads, drill pads, sumps, lay-down areas, heli-pads and temporary camps. The bond also covers proper boring abandonment, usually in conformance with state regulations. Our experience with over 2,500 borings assures that reclamation planning, boring abandonment and the estimated bond amount meet federal requirements but do not create excessive financial burden on our mineral exploration clients.