Placer Mining

Definition of Placer Mining

Placer mining is mineral extraction from unconsolidated sand and gravels using heavy equipment, a suction dredge, or a power sluice with a 6 inch intake or 18 horsepower motor or greater (See Small Scale Mining for operations below these limits.)

Do I need a permit?

You are required to submit an Annual Placer Mining Application to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining, Land and Water (DNR) to placer mine. Your application to DNR will also serve as an application for a Fish Habitat Permit if one is required.

Permit Information

Fish Habitat Permits are required to placer mine in all fish-bearing waters in Alaska regardless of land ownership. Fish Habitat Permits protect anadromous fish and their habitat and ensure fish passage in all fish-bearing waterbodies by conditioning intake structures, stream diversions, impoundments, and post-mining floodplain reclamation. You may need a Fish Habitat Permit to transport equipment across frozen and unfrozen streams to access the placer mine.

Other Permitting Agencies Related Documents and Pages
Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Fish Habitat Permit Application (PDF 69 kB)
Alaska Department of Natural Resources;
Division of Mining, Land and Water
Anadromous Waters Catalog
Catalog of Waters Important for the Spawning,
Rearing, or Migration of Anadromous Fish
U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Special Areas Permit Application (PDF 134 kB)
U.S. Forest Service Culvert Application (PDF 94 kB)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ADF&G Streambank Restoration Guide
Kenai Multi-Agency Permitting NOAA Habitat Restoration
Mining Fact Sheets (DNR DMLW)