Mining and Mining Claims

ORS 517.120
Definitions for ORS 517.120 to 517.133

As used in ORS 517.120 (Definitions for ORS 517.120 to 517.133) to 517.133 (Interfering with a mining operation):


“Mining” means the removal of gold, silver or other precious minerals from aggregate or a vein of ore.


“Mining claim” means a portion of the public lands claimed for the valuable minerals occurring in those lands and for which the mineral rights are obtained under federal law or a right that is recognized by the United States Bureau of Land Management and given an identification number.


“Prospecting” means to search or explore, using motorized or nonmotorized methods, for samples of gold, silver or other precious minerals from among small quantities of aggregate or ore.


“Recreational mining” means mining in a manner that is consistent with a hobby or casual use, including use on public lands set aside or withdrawn from mineral entry for the purpose of recreational mining, or using pans, sluices, rocker boxes, other nonmotorized equipment and dredges with motors of 16 horsepower or less and a suction nozzle of four inches or less in diameter.


“Small scale mining” means mining on a valid federal mining claim operating under a notice of intent or plan of operations while using whatever equipment is necessary, as approved by the notice of intent or plan of operations, to locate, remove and improve the claim. [1999 c.354 §1]
Note: 517.120 (Definitions for ORS 517.120 to 517.133) to 517.135 (Exemption from crimes of mineral trespass and interfering with a mining operation) were enacted into law by the Legislative Assembly but were 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