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Regulatory Handbook -> Land Resource Permits -> Exploration Reclamation Permit

Exploration Reclamation Permit

What is the Purpose of this Permit?
To ensure environmental quality is not adversely affected during mineral exploration and that high quality reclamation after mineral exploration is achieved, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) requires the operators to obtain an exploration permit under the authority of RCW 78.44, when more than one acre of disturbed area within an eight acre area is created from mineral prospecting or exploration activities. A bond for reclamation is required before an exploration permit can be issued.
Who Issues this Permit?
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
What Activities Require this Permit?
Mineral exploration programs that disturb greater than 1 acre in 8 acres are required to obtain an exploration permit under the authority of RCW 78.44.
How Much Will this Permit Cost?
An exploration permit has a $2,500 application fee and a $1,250 annual fee.
Where Can I Get the Application for this Permit?
The application which is called 'Form SM-8a: Application for Reclamation Permit' is online and can be accessed at http://www.dnr.wa.gov/programs-and-services/geology/energy-mining-and-minerals/rules-regulations-and-forms.
Do I Need to Include Anything with my Application?
Complete exploration permit applications include:
  • Form SM-2E: Application for an Exploration Reclamation Permit.
  • Application fee.
  • Performance Security Forms.
  • State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Forms.
  • Maps of the proposed exploration area.
  • Other supporting data and documents regarding the exploration as reasonably required by the department.
How Long Will it Take to Review my Application?
The estimates of application completion and permit decision (processing) times shall be based upon actual data for calendar year 2015 and will be available by March 1, 2016.
Where do I Submit my Application?
Department of Natural Resources
Geology and Earth Resources Division
1111 Washington Street SE
PO Box 47007
Olympia, WA 98504-7007
How Long is my Permit Valid?
The exploration permit shall be granted for the period required to complete exploration activity on the land covered by the plan. The exploration permit shall be valid until the reclamation is complete unless the permit is canceled by DNR.
Permit Timeliness Results

Permit Timeliness data collection is in response to a State Auditor’s Performance Audit and RCW 43.42A. Each regulatory agency developed a plan to improve permit clarity, predictability, and timeliness. Each agency considers the customers experience to ensure permit assistance is simple to use, easy to access, and designed in a customer-friendly manner. Agencies report progress to the Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA). ORIA prepares and distributes reports, with participation from the State Auditor’s Office and Results Washington. See latest report here: https://www.oria.wa.gov/ORIA-2018-PermitTimelinessProgressReport.pdf.

All permits submitted for reporting were entered into this Regulatory Handbook. Here are the results of the performance data:

Estimated Time Required By the Agency to Process a Permit Application (Definition)
Average number of days from Receipt to Complete: 57
Maximum number of days from Receipt to Complete: 57

Estimated Time Required By the Agency to Issue a Permit Decision (Definition)
Average number of days from Complete Application to Decision: 236
Maximum number of days from Complete Application to Decision: 236

(Summary results based on 1 submittals in 2016)

Where can I get permitting assistance?
Helpdesk phone: (360) 902-1450
Subject matter expert phone: (360) 902-1465
Subject matter expert email: tara.salzer@dnr.wa.gov
Statewide Contact:
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
Geology and Earth Resources Division
Headquarters
1111 Washington Street SE
PO Box 47007
Olympia, WA 98504-7007
Telephone: (360) 902-1450
Fax: (360) 902-1785
Website:
* Permit information last updated 8/22/2016
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