82-4-332. Exploration license. (1) An exploration license must be issued to any applicant who:
(a) pays a fee of $100 to the department;
(b) agrees to reclaim any surface area damaged by the applicant during exploration operations, as may be reasonably required by the department;
(c) is not in default of any other reclamation obligation under this law.
(2) An application for an exploration license must be made in writing, notarized, and submitted to the department in duplicate upon forms prepared and furnished by it. The application must include an exploration map or sketch in sufficient detail to locate the area to be explored and to determine whether significant environmental problems would be encountered. The department shall by rule determine the precise nature of the exploration map or sketch. The applicant shall state what type of prospecting and excavation techniques will be employed in disturbing the land.
(3) Prior to the issuance of an exploration license, the applicant shall file with the department a reclamation and revegetation bond in a form and amount as determined by the department in accordance with 82-4-338.
(4) In the event that the holder of an exploration license desires to mine the area covered by the exploration license and has fulfilled all of the requirements for an operating permit, the department shall allow the postponement of the reclamation of the acreage explored if that acreage is incorporated into the complete reclamation plan submitted with the application for an operating permit. Any land actually affected by exploration or excavation under an exploration license and not covered by the operating reclamation plan must be reclaimed within 2 years after the completion of exploration or abandonment of the site in a manner acceptable to the department.