Harrison, Temblador, Hungerford & Guernsey provides land use, environmental, transactional and litigation counsel to the mining industry across California. Firm attorneys are recognized leaders in this field, and write and speak extensively on legal issues that impact all aspects of the mining industry. The firm is located in Sacramento and maintains close working relationships with key regulators.

Our expertise includes the following:

  • Establishment and defense of vested, nonconforming use rights for resource projects
  • Reclamation strategy and permitting on private lands under the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA)
  • Project strategy and permitting on private lands under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
  • Project strategy and permitting on federal lands under Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rules and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • Permitting resource greenfield operations
  • Permitting of asphalt plants
  • Permitting amendments to mining permits and reclamation plan
  • Litigation and defense of mining and resources entitlements
  • Representation before the State Mining and Geology Board on statutory appeals and matters of primary jurisdiction
  • MSHA advice and defense
  • Representation before the Regional and State Water Quality Control Boards
  • Representation before the California Fish and Game Commission
  • Mine closure and financial assurance release
  • Litigation, and all aspects of regulatory defense, regarding mining rights and entitlements
  • Due diligence for sales/acquisitions of resource operations
  • Mineral property title review and litigation
  • Mineral lease preparation and litigation
  • Transactional work with buy/sell agreements and operating agreements
  • Clearance of reserved mineral interests from title
  • OSHA advice and defense
  • Advice and strategy regarding compliance with Naturally Occurring Asbestos regulations for construction and quarrying operations

A representative summary of matters the Firm has handled is included below. For matters of public record, we would be happy to provide more detail upon request.

  • Representation before the California Supreme Court in seminal vested rights case, Hansen Bros. v. County of Nevada (1996 12 Cal.4th 533)
  • Major permit and reclamation plan expansion for open pit gold operation (Kern County)
  • Fully permitted major hard rock quarry in northern California in eighteen (18) months, from filing application to approval (Amador County)
  • Obtained largest aggregate use permit in California near central California metropolitan area (1.5 billion tons/300 years) (Kern County)
  • Permitted major amendments to construction materials reserves, alluvial and hard rock (San Bernardino County, Sonoma County, SLO County, Sacramento County, Riverside County, San Joaquin County, Kern County, Fresno County, Contra Costa County, Calaveras County)
  • Permitted construction materials site and obtained subsequent wildlife permits for greenfield site (Kern County)
  • Permitting of split estate federal/private hard rock reserve as an amendment to an existing operation (San Diego County)
  • Negotiated mining lease updates with state agencies for terrace deposit (Butte County)
  • Permitting of industrial mineral greenfield deposit, water and wildlife mitigation permits (Kern County)
  • Securing vested, nonconforming use, rights for limestone, construction aggregates and precious mineral deposits throughout California. (Yuba County, Humboldt County, Del Norte County, Yolo County, Kern County, Santa Clara County, San Bernardino County, Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, Sonoma County, Mendocino County, San Diego County)
  • Established instream mining rights and obtained associated water and wildlife permits for mineral extraction (Humboldt County, Trinity County, Santa Barbara County, San Benito County)
  • Worked on the establishment of the first programmatic, area-wide, alluvial terrace mining program in California (Yolo County)
  • Obtained permits for expansion of limestone quarry in connection with existing cement production facilities (Santa Clara County, Kern County, San Bernardino County)
  • Represent mine operator before the State Mining and Geology Board challenging illegal local reclamation obligations (Contra Costa County, Alameda County, Santa Clara Count)
  • Closure of mine site in connection with immediate reuse and redevelopment (Alameda County, San Diego County)
  • Represented mine owners in reuse of mining properties as fill sites (Alameda County, Santa Clara County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County)
  • Conducted rights analyses in connection with property acquisitions
  • Worked on permit amendments for gold recovery project from tailings (Calaveras County)
  • Represented a County in connection with sale of rare earths mining and processing project (San Bernardino County)
  • Represented a County in connection with case of first impression concerning jurisdiction over vested mining rights (El Dorado County)
  • Represented owner in expansion of industrial sand deposit (Contra Costa County)
  • Represented buyers of mining and construction material companies and assets in due diligence review (Fresno County, San Mateo County, San Joaquin County, San Mateo County, Humboldt County, Sacramento County)
  • Obtained federal operating leases and operating entitlements on BLM land (Imperial County, San Diego County)