Aggregate Leasing & Prospecting


Sand, gravel, scoria, clay, and other surface minerals can be prospected and leased from the North Dakota Department of Trust Lands (NDDTL). Monies received from aggregate and surface mineral leases provide income to the various Trusts managed by NDDTL.

Since construction aggregate mining in North Dakota is an unregulated industry the Department's rules and lease terms and conditions are used to regulate construction aggregate mining on School Trust Lands. 

Below is information on prospecting and leasing.

Prospecting Information
  • NDDTL encourages companies to apply for a NDDTL prospecting permit prior to lease application and approval.
  • An Entity can prospect a maximum of 4 contiguous tracts of land per county per year. 
  • An Entity can prospect a maximum of 16 contiguous tracts of land statewide per year.
  • Prospecting results must be shared with the Department.
Aggregate Leasing for Private Entities
  • Lease terms may not exceed five years.
  • Leases for a term greater than one year must be offered at pubic auction.
  • When the lease applicant requests less than five thousand cubic yards of construction aggregate, the term of the lease shall be for one year or less.
  • Leases are subject to a $5,000.00 annual advance royalty payment.
  • Entities must obtain and retain in force a bond, in an amount and in the form required by the commissioner to assure payment of royalties and reclamation
  • A private entity and their subsidiaries may not hold more than two leases that have not produced and sold at least 10,000 cubic yards of construction aggregate in the previous calendar year.
  • Requests for emergency leases can receive a waiver so they do not have to be offered at public auction. When the construction aggregate is requested for an emergency, the term of the lease shall not exceed one year.
Aggregate Leasing for Political Subdivisions
  • Leases for a one-year term or less shall have a fixed royalty rate based on fair market value.
  • For a lease term greater than one year, the royalty rate shall be based on fair market value with an annual adjustment based on the current fair market value.
  • A $2,000.00 annual advance royalty payment for leases having greater than a 1year lease term.
  • Political Subdivisions must obtain and retain in force a bond, in an amount and in the form required by the commissioner to assure payment of royalties and reclamation.
  • Upon written request, the Commissioner may waive the bonding requirement for a political subdivision.

Early first contact and application submission are crucial for timely processing of requests.  Requests will require additional documentation to be submitted and an onsite review prior to a project being approved, denied, or modified. Specific terms and conditions for the approved site are included in the granted conveyance document.

Below are forms, guidelines, tracking, and search options; email is the preferred form of communication.  The guideline documents provide more in-depth information and process(es) regarding prospecting and leasing on NDDTL managed land.




Tracking & Search

Sample Documents

These documents are for informational purposes only. The Department of Trust Lands will complete the final documents during the easement process.

If you have surface mineral or aggregate prospecting or leasing questions, please use the “Contact Us” form or call NDDTL and request the Surface Management Division.