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Indiana Natural Resources Commission

NRC > Department of Natural Resources > Mines & Minerals Mines & Minerals


The Department of Natural Resources is the state agency that regulates several types of mining activities:

  • coal mining
  • oil and gas extraction
  • clay and shale mining (including oil shale)
  • all mineral extractions from state lands

The DNR does not have general authority over other types of mining on private lands. As an example, legislation does not directly provide for DNR regulation of "gravel pits." Other legislation can, however, be important. DNR may regulate a gravel pit to be located in a floodway, but only to the extent provided in the Flood Control Act.

Responsibilities for the regulation of mines and mining are assigned by the Indiana General Assembly in statutes and implemented largely through rules. The Natural Resources Commission adopts permanent rules, and they have the force and effect of law.

DNR's Division of Oil and GasIndiana Division of Reclamation

Permanent Rules

  • 312 IAC 25 Rules governing coal mining and reclamation operations.

    Surface coal mining and the surface impacts of underground coal mining are regulated through SMCRA, a federal program that governs coal mining nationally. The Indiana General Assembly has enacted statutes to implement SMCRA at the state level, with DNR the Indiana agency having primary enforcement authority (sometimes called "primacy"). The Division of Reclamation administers SMCRA.

  • (Statute only) Clay and shale extraction (including oil shale)

    Mining of clay and shale, including oil shale, is regulated through a statute administered by the Division of Reclamation. This statute is IC 14-36-1 and also applies to a few coal mining activities not governed by the Indiana SMCRA statutes and 312 IAC 25. The Commission has not adopted rules that have specific application to IC 14-36-1.

  • 312 IAC 16 Rules governing oil and gas drilling and production

    Oil and gas drilling and production activities are administered through the Division of Oil and Gas. Included is the protection of "underground sources of drinking water" from harm that can be caused by injection wells and disposal wells used in petroleum production.

  • 312 IAC 17 Other petroleum and mineral exploratory regulation

    The Division of Oil and Gas also regulate other petroleum production and mineral extraction activities. These activities are subject to 312 IAC 17:

    1. Administration of the exploration for and production of petroleum on all state lands, except navigable waters.
    2. Test holes for fluid disposal investigation, engineering projects, investigation, and geologic investigation.
    3. Geophysical surveying.