C.R.S. Section 34-32.5-103

As used in this article, unless the context otherwise requires:


“Affected land” means the surface of an area within the state where a mining operation is being or will be conducted, which surface is disturbed as a result of an operation. Affected lands include, but shall not be limited to, private ways, roads (except those roads excluded by this subsection (1)); land excavations; exploration sites; drill sites or workings; refuse banks or spoil piles; evaporation or settling ponds; work, parking, storage, or waste discharge areas; and areas in which structures, facilities, equipment, machines, tools, or other materials or property that result from or are used in such operations are situated. “Affected land” does not include land that has been reclaimed pursuant to an approved plan or otherwise, as may be approved by the board, or off-site roads that were constructed for purposes unrelated to the proposed operation, were in existence before a permit application was filed with the office, and will not be substantially upgraded to support the operation or off-site groundwater monitoring wells.


“Aggrieved” means suffering actual loss or injury, or being exposed to potential loss or injury, to legitimate interests. Such interests include, but are not limited to, business, economic, aesthetic, governmental, recreational, or conservational interests.


“Board” means the mined land reclamation board established by section 34-32-105.


“Construction material” means rock, clay, silt, sand, gravel, limestone, dimension stone, marble, or shale extracted for use in the production of nonmetallic construction products.


“Department” means the department of natural resources.


“Development” means work performed with respect to a construction materials deposit following the exploration required to prove construction materials are in existence in commercial quantities but prior to production activities. Development work includes, but is not limited to, work that must be performed for the purpose of preparing the site for mining, defining further the deposit by drilling or other means, conducting pilot plant operations, constructing roads or ancillary facilities, and other related activities.


“Director” means the director of the division of reclamation, mining, and safety.


“Division” means the division of reclamation, mining, and safety created in section 34-20-103.


“Executive director” means the executive director of the department of natural resources.


“Exploration” means the act of searching for or investigating a construction materials deposit. “Exploration” includes, but is not limited to, sinking shafts, tunneling, drilling core and bore holes, and digging pits, cuts, or other works for the purpose of extracting samples prior to the commencement of development or extraction, and the building of roads, access ways, and other facilities related to such work. “Exploration” does not include:


An activity that causes very little or no surface disturbance, such as airborne surveys and photographs, the use of instruments or devices that are hand-carried or otherwise transported over the surface to make magnetic, radioactive, or other tests and measurements, boundary or claim surveying, location work, or other work that causes no greater land disturbance than is caused by ordinary lawful use of the land by persons not involved in exploration activities; or


Any single activity that results in the disturbance of a single block of land totaling one thousand six hundred square feet or less of the land’s surface, not to exceed two such disturbances per acre; except that the cumulative total of such disturbances may not exceed five acres statewide in any exploration operation extending over twenty-four consecutive months.


“Financial warranty” means a warranty of the type described in section 34-32.5-117 (3).


“Life of the mine” means, with respect to a permit granted pursuant to section 34-32.5-110, 34-32.5-111, or 34-32.5-112, a period lasting as long as:


An operator continues to engage in the extraction of construction materials and complies with this article. The life of the mine includes that period of time after the cessation of production that is necessary to complete the reclamation of disturbed lands as required by the board and this article and continues until the board releases the operator, in writing, from further reclamation obligations regarding the affected land, declares the operation terminated, and releases all applicable performance and financial warranties.


Construction material reserves are shown by the operator to remain in the operation and the operator plans to, or does, temporarily cease production for one hundred eighty days or more if such operator files a notice with the board stating the reasons for nonproduction, a plan for the resumption of production, and the measures taken to comply with reclamation and other necessary activities as established by the board to maintain the operation in a nonproducing state. The requirement of a notice of temporary cessation shall not apply to operators who resume operating within one year and have included in their permit applications a statement that the affected lands are to be used for less than one hundred eighty days per year.


Production is resumed within five years after the date production ended, or the operator files a report with the board requesting an extension of the period of temporary cessation of production stating the reasons for the continuation of nonproduction and those factors necessary to, and the plans for, resumption of production. In no case shall a temporary cessation of production be continued for more than ten years without terminating the operation and fully complying with the reclamation requirements of this article.


The board does not take action to declare termination of the life of the mine, which action shall require a sixty-day notice to the operator alleging a violation of paragraph (a), (b), or (c) of this subsection (11), or that inadequate reasons are provided in an operator’s report under such paragraphs. In such cases, the board shall provide a reasonable opportunity for the operator to meet with the board to present his or her full case and shall provide reasonable time for such operator to comply with this article.


The operator complies with section 34-32.5-109 (2).


“Mining” means the extraction of construction materials.


“Mining operation” means the development or extraction of a construction material from its natural occurrences on affected land. The term includes, but is not limited to, open mining and surface operation. The term also includes transportation and processing operations on affected land. The term does not include concentrating, milling, evaporation, cleaning, preparation, transportation, and other off-site operations not conducted on affected land.


“Office” means the office of mined land reclamation, created in section 34-32-105.


“Open mining” means the mining of materials by removing the overburden lying above such deposits and mining directly from the deposits thereby exposed. “Open mining” also means mining directly from such deposits where there is no overburden. The term includes but is not limited to such practices as open cut mining, open pit mining, strip mining, quarrying, and dredging.


“Operator” means a person, firm, general or limited partnership, association, or corporation or any department, division, or agency of federal, state, county, or municipal government engaged in or controlling a mining operation.


“Overburden” means earth and other materials that lie above natural minerals and includes earth and other materials that are disturbed from their natural state in the process of extracting construction materials.


“Performance warranty” means a warranty of the type described in section 34-32.5-117 (2).


“Reclamation” means the employment, during and after an operation, of procedures reasonably designed to minimize as much as practicable the disruption from an operation and provide for the establishment of plant cover, stabilization of soil, protection of water resources, or other measures appropriate to the subsequent beneficial use of the affected lands. Reclamation shall be conducted in accordance with the performance standards of this article.


“Refuse” means all waste material directly associated with the cleaning and preparation of substances excavated by an operation.

Source: Section 34-32.5-103 — Definitions, https://leg.­colorado.­gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-34.­pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).

Green check means up to date. Up to date

Current through Fall 2024

§ 34-32.5-103’s source at colorado​.gov