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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 25. Department of Energy
Chapter 31. Reclamation Regulations for Mineral Mining
12/7/2021

4VAC25-31-320. Minerals Reclamation Fund (MRF).

A. Each operator who has had five years of satisfactory operation in the Commonwealth under Chapter 16 (§ 45.1-180 et seq.) of Title 45.1 of the Code of Virginia shall become a member of the fund by making an initial payment to the fund of $50 for each acre currently disturbed and each acre estimated to be affected by mining operations during the next year. Thereafter the member shall make an annual payment of $12.50 for each acre currently disturbed plus each acre estimated to be affected during the next ensuing year. No annual Minerals Reclamation Fund deposits will be collected from members where the permit Minerals Reclamation Fund deposits divided by the number of bonded acres in the next ensuing year is equal to or greater than $500.

B. Entry into the Minerals Reclamation Fund shall be mandatory for all eligible permittees.

C. Operator deposits into the Minerals Reclamation Fund shall be released or retained under the following conditions:

1. When the operation and reclamation are complete and the reclaimed area is suitable for bond release, Minerals Reclamation Fund deposits for the reclaimed area shall be returned to the operator.

2. When the mining permit is transferred to another permittee and division approval is granted, Minerals Reclamation Fund deposits for the permit may be returned to the transferring permittee.

3. When a mining permit is completely relinquished to another operator, other than in a permit transfer, all of the Minerals Reclamation Fund deposits for the permit shall be returned to the relinquishing operator upon division approval of the relinquishment.

4. After bond release applications are approved by the division, Minerals Reclamation Fund deposits for the permit shall be held or retained according to the following formulas:

a. If the permit Minerals Reclamation Fund balance divided by the number of acres remaining under bond is equal to or greater than $500, Minerals Reclamation Fund deposits for the permit will be released so that the remaining deposits equal $500 per acre for the acres remaining under bond.

Example: 50 acres permitted; 10 acres bonded; 2 acres requested for release; Minerals Reclamation Fund deposits = $4,000;

Minerals Reclamation Fund balance ÷ remaining bonded acres = $500;

$4,000 ÷ (10-2) acres = $500.

b. If the permit Minerals Reclamation Fund balance divided by the number of acres remaining under bond is less than $500, the bond release amount will be determined by dividing the permit Minerals Reclamation Fund deposit by the number of bonded acres including the acres to be released and then multiplying by the number of acres to be released.

Example: 50 acres permitted; 10 acres bonded; 2 acres requested for release; Minerals Reclamation Fund deposits = $3,000;

Minerals Reclamation Fund balance ÷ total bonded acres = Release amount $ per acre;

$3,000 ÷ 10 acres = $300 per acre;

Release amount = $300 per acre x 2 acres = $600.

D. Moneys available in the Minerals Reclamation Fund may be less than the total of all operator deposits due to expenditures for bond forfeiture as required by § 45.1-197.12 of the Code of Virginia. Minerals Reclamation Fund refunds are subject to availability of moneys in the Minerals Reclamation Fund and shall be suspended if the fund decreases below $250,000. Payments to the fund are then proportionately assessed until the fund returns to a minimum, $250,000 or bond or other securities are posted as required by the director in accordance with § 45.1-197.14 of the Code of Virginia.

E. Minerals Reclamation Fund deposits will be transferred to the successor operator when a permit transfer occurs due to a change in organization status or restructuring that does not involve a complete change of ownership.

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.3 and 45.1-180.3 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 24, eff. September 11, 2003.

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