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Suction Dredge Mining Loophole Closed

Sacramento, CA — The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) has approved an amendment to the existing suction dredge mining moratorium. Earlier this month, The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) took emergency actions to shore up the loophole in the suction dredge mining moratorium. (Click here for an earlier story on that loophole and the moratorium.)

The new regulation defines suction dredging as the “use of a suction system to vacuum material from the bottom of a river, stream or lake for the extraction of minerals.” Under current state law in effect since 2009, the use of any vacuum or suction dredge equipment for in stream mining is prohibited.


This ruling does not apply to panning for gold. Click here for more information on suction dredge mining rules.


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