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Registering nonmetallic mineral deposits

Frequently asked questions

What is the intent of registration?

Registration is intended to reserve finite nonmetallic mineral resources, through wise land use planning and zoning, for the needs of future generations. State law, by providing for the registration of marketable nonmetallic mineral deposits, encourages the identification, preservation and planning for the potential development of marketable deposits.

Registration of deposits may also provide protection against present or future land uses, such as the erection of permanent structures, that would impede their development. In this way, registration and land use planning and zoning may be used as tools to promote more orderly future development of identified nonmetallic mineral resources and minimize conflict among land uses.

Who may register?

A landowner may register his or her land. If a mine operator is not the landowner, the operator must coordinate the registration process with the landowner.

What information is necessary to register?

The owner of a property that contains a marketable, nonmetallic mineral deposit may register that land through the recording of a deed notice in the county registrar of deeds office. The DNR has developed an optional form that may be used to register a deposit. The landowner must provide the following documentation:

  1. A legal description of the property;
  2. Certification that the existing zoning law permits or conditionally permits mining unless there is no existing zoning;
  3. A certification by a registered professional geologist or a registered engineer that the deposit is a "marketable deposit" based on geologic, mineralogical or other scientific data, due to the deposit's quality, scarcity, location, quantity or proximity to a known user;
  4. A statement of intent not to undertake any action that would permanently interfere with mining of the nonmetallic mineral deposit for the duration of the registration.
Who must provide, receive and maintain copies of the proposed registration?

The landowner must notify all applicable zoning authorities and provide copies of the proposed registration and supporting documentation at least 120 days prior to filing a registration. Zoning authorities must have the opportunity to review proposed registrations and, if necessary, object to them. Each zoning authority is required to retain records of proposed registrations of land containing marketable nonmetallic mineral deposits.

Under what circumstances may a zoning authority object to a proposed registration?

A zoning authority may object to a proposed registration if it is not marketable, or if the existing zoning prohibits mining. If the zoning officials choose to object, they bear the legal burden to provide sufficient evidence to support their objection in court.

A zoning authority that objects to the proposed registration must give notice of its intent to object and the reasons for its objection no later than 60 days after receiving a landowner's notice of intent to register.

If I register a deposit, does that guarantee I will receive a mining permit?

No. Registration preserves existing zoning and is only allowed when the existing zoning allows or conditionally allows mining. It does not relieve the property owner or mine operator from the obligation to obtain all necessary permits and approvals to be able to mine the deposit, nor does registration create a presumption that these permits will be granted.

How long does a registration last, and how can it be renewed?

Registration lasts for 10 years. It may be automatically renewed for an additional 10-year period without a new determination of marketability by notifying the zoning authority and recording a deed notice renewing registration with the county registrar of deeds. A registration renewal must be recorded at least 10 days and no more than one year before the registration expires. After the 10-year renewed registration period, the land may be registered again through the initial registration process.

A landowner may continue to renew the registration of the land on which nonmetallic mining is taking place for an unlimited number of 10-year periods, so long as active mining is taking place on any portion of the registered land.

How can I get more information?

Detailed registration requirements are available in subch. VI of ch. NR 135, Wis. Adm. Code.

Also, see the publication Registration of Nonmetallic Mining Deposits (WA-825) or contact Roberta Walls.