U.S. Government Gold-Mining Resources

United States Geological Survey (USGS)

The USGS publishes many topographic maps, geologic maps, and reports. The central source of information for these maps and related materials is the Earth Science Information Center, USGS National Center, Reston, Virginia 22092. Maps and reports are available for purchase from the Branch of Distribution, Box 25286, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado, 80225. 



The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

The BLM has been delegated by the Secretary of the Interior with the primary responsibility for administering the laws and regulations regarding the disposal of all minerals from all federally-owned lands.

The BLM’s statutory authority here is derived from the General Mining Law of 1872, as amended (30 U.S.C. §§ 22 et seq.), the original public land authority in 43 U.S.C. §§ 2, 15, 1201 and 1457, and FLPMA (43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.). These statutes, together with the implementing regulations (43 CFR Groups 3700 and 3800) and numerous judicial and administrative decisions that have interpreted them, make up the body of the mining law system. These laws may be examined in most BLM State Offices or in most public libraries.



For information concerning BLM regulations and public lands open to mining in specific areas, contact the proper BLM state or local office. BLM state office locations are listed below.  To visit their section on the BLM website, go to http://www.blm.gov, type in the state name, and click “Go.”

BLM Alaska; 222 West 7th Avenue, #13; Anchorage, AK 99513-7599; 907-271-5960

BLM Arizona; 222 N. Central Avenue; Phoenix, AZ 85004-2203; 602-417-9200

BLM California; 2800 Cottage Way, W-1834; Sacramento, CA 95825-1886; 916-978-4400

BLM Colorado; 2850 Youngfield Street; Lakewood, CO 80215-7093; 303-239-3600

BLM Eastern States; 7450 Boston Boulevard; Springfield, VA 22153-3121; 703-440-1600

BLM Idaho; 1387 S. Vinnell Way; Boise, ID 83709-1657; 208-373-4000

BLM Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota; P.O. Box 36800 (59107-6800); 5001 Southgate Drive; Billings, MT 59101; 406-896-5000

BLM Nevada; P.O. Box 12000 (89520-0006); 1340 Financial Blvd.; Reno, NV 89502-7147; 775-861-6400

BLM New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas; P.O. Box 27115 (87502-0115); 1474 Rodeo Road; Santa Fe, NM 87505; 505-438-7400

BLM Oregon and Washington; P.O. Box 2965 (92708-3420); 333 SW 1st Avenue; Portland, OR 97204; 503-808-6001

BLM Utah; P.O. Box 45115; Salt Lake City, UT 84145-0155; 801-539-4001

BLM Wyoming; P.O. Box 1828; 5353 Yellowstone Road; Cheyenne, WY 82003; 307-775-6256

BLM Washington, DC Office; 1849 C St., NW, LS-501; Washington, DC 20240-0001; 202-452-0350


U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (FS)

Exploration and mining activities are administered by the Forest Service by regulations of the Secretary of Agriculture contained in 36 CFR 228 Part A. These regulations require that if your proposed operation could likely cause “significant disturbance of surface resources” you must submit an operating plan. If you want to prospect, explore, and develop claims or sites in National Forests, contact the local District Ranger about operating plans.


For information regarding Federal land within the National Forest System and Forest Service surface management regulations (36 CFR 228, Part A), contact the appropriate Forest Service Regional or local Ranger District Office. Forest Service regional office locations are listed below.

FS Northern Region (R-1); Federal Building; P.O. Box 7669; Missoula, MT 59807-7669; 406-329-3511

FS Pacific Region (R-6); 333 S.W. 1st Avenue; P.O. Box 3623; Portland, OR 97208-3623; 503-808-2468

FS Rocky Mountain Region (R-2); 740 Simms Street; P.O. Box 25127; Golden, CO 80401; 303-275-5350

FS Southern Region (R-8); 1720 Peachtree Road, NW; Atlanta, GA 30309; 404-347-4177

FS Southwestern Region (R-3); 333 Broadway SE; Albuquerque, NM 87102; 505-842-3292

FS Eastern Region (R-9); 626 East Wisconsin Avenue; Milwaukee, WI 53202; 414-297-3600

FS Intermountain Region (R-4); Federal Building; 324 25th Street; Ogden, UT 84401-2310; 801-625-5306

FS Alaska (R-10); P.O. Box 21628; Juneau, AK 99802-1628; 907-586-8806

FS Pacific Southwest Region (R-5); 1323 Club Drive; Vallejo, CA 94592; 707-562-8737

FS Washington, DC Office; 1400 Independence Avenue SW; Washington, DC 20090-6090; 202-205-8333


State Information

Information concerning state mining laws and regulations that supplement the General Mining Law of 1872, as amended, plus information concerning the geology and minerals of specific areas in a state, can be obtained from state geologists, geological surveys, or mining departments.

Information on state and local requirements and cooperative agreements between the state, the BLM, and the Forest Service may be obtained at local BLM and Forest Service offices.


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