Minerals placer mining tool kit

Information related to the recreational/commercial recovery of gold and other placer minerals from sand and gravels within Alberta.

Placer mining tool kit

Refer to this tool kit to produce gold and other Crown-owned placer minerals from Alberta’s rivers and streams using a sluicebox or other mechanized equipment.

Table 1.

Summary of RequirementsGoing for Gold in Alberta: A Guide to Recreational Panning and Placer Mining
Acts and RegulationsList of Minerals acts and regulations
Information Letters and BulletinsInformation letters
Coal and mineral development information bulletins
FormsApplication Form: Placer Minerals Licence
MapsInteractive energy maps
Mineral disposition information is available through an interactive mapping program. The Metallic and Industrial Minerals map allows you to query by agreement number, search by land description, and print/download maps. All information such as new applications are uploaded to the map overnight. A geoview over manual can be found in the maps help section.

Water body maps
The Alberta government maps to identify water bodies where placer operations are permitted year-round (Class C and D water bodies) or only from May 15 to September 15 (Class A and B water bodies). Some restrictions apply.

Water advisories and warnings map – Alberta River Basins
Alberta government interactive rivers map. To select advisories, use the menu box in the upper left corner of the site.


Table 1.

Recreation on public land - Off-Highway VehiclesPublic land use
Apply for a Placer Mining LicencePlacer miners are encouraged to submit placer minerals licence applications by mail. Payment can be made by cheque or money order, payable to the Government of Alberta. It is not recommended to send cash payment by mail. The fee is $50 plus GST for a 5-year licence, payable to the Government of Alberta.

In order to provide efficient placer mining authorization, a 30-day temporary placer mining licence will be issued. This can be used until the full licence is received in the mail. To receive a temporary licence, please send a copy of your completed application to [email protected]. The 30-day temporary licence will be issued by email while the mailed application and payment is being processed.
Find out When and Where You  May GoCheck the regulation (Schedule 1). Check with Alberta Environment and Protected Areas for water advisories and warnings. Obtain permission from landowner or occupant to pass through occupied land.
Sluice for Gold and other Precious MineralsMaximum 14 days in 1 place. Leave an appropriate distance between operators. Recreational gold panning in Alberta’s rivers and streams using hand-held, non-mechanized equipment does not require a mineral agreement or licence. Placer mining in Alberta’s rivers and streams, using a sluice box or other mechanized equipment, requires a Placer Minerals Licence. Placer mining of Crown-owned placer minerals in other locations, such as from sand and gravel pits, requires a Secondary Mineral Lease. Placer mining in rivers and streams using dredging techniques is prohibited in Alberta.
A Lucky Strike?You pay royalty if more than 1 troy ounce of precious metals is produced and sold in a year. Contact the CMD Unit for more information on how to submit your royalty report and payment. You may wish to apply for a Rock-hosted Minerals Permit to explore or prospect in the area. See the Minerals exploration tool kit or Minerals prospecting tool kit.


Connect with the Coal and Mineral Development Unit:

Hours: 8:15 am to noon and 1 pm to 4 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-7707
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]

In person

Before coming to our office, first contact us to ensure someone is available to assist you.


Alberta Energy and Minerals
Coal and Mineral Development Unit
North Petroleum Plaza
9945 108 Street *
Edmonton, Alberta  T5K 2G6

* Couriers report to the 2nd floor.

Calgary (drop-off location only)

Alberta Energy and Minerals
300, 801 6 Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta  T2P 3W2