Mining and Mining Claims

ORS 517.005
Legislative findings

The Legislative Assembly finds and declares that:


Mining contributes to the economy and well-being of the people of Oregon. Mining creates high-paying jobs in parts of this state that, due to a lack of infrastructure and development, are less likely to be capable of diversifying beyond a regional economy based on natural resources. Mining creates secondary industries in the surrounding region and attracts numerous providers of goods and services. Mining also generates significant tax revenues for local governments and provides support for civic and educational projects in local communities.


The mining of minerals is a natural resource use.


In eastern Oregon, including Lake, Harney, Malheur, Baker and Grant Counties, diversifying the types of natural resource uses that contribute to local economies enables those economies to better withstand temporary economic declines that affect specific natural resource uses. In the same way that a diversified economy is good for a large metropolitan area, a diversified natural resource economy is good for eastern Oregon.


Technological advances in the mining industry, coupled with reclamation efforts, have greatly reduced the environmental impacts of mining operations. The size and scope of modern operations is such that the operations do not cause interference with other natural resource uses, particularly in an area as vast as eastern Oregon.


Mining operations should be encouraged and supported in eastern Oregon as a means for residents and communities to improve their economies and well-being. [2015 c.826 §1]
Note: 517.005 (Legislative findings) was enacted into law by the Legislative Assembly but was not added to or made a part of ORS chapter 517 or any series therein by legislative action. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.
Chapter 517

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Power of Department of Environmental Quality to regulate mining activities and recovery of oil and geothermal activities, (1972) Vol 35, p 1100

Law Review Citations

4 EL 370 (1974)


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021