Industrial Minerals on Arizona State Trust Land

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Contrary to popular belief, Arizona State Trust Land is not public land. All uses of the land must benefit the Trust, a fact that is considered with the review of each application received for sale, lease, or permit. This includes applications for activities ranging from commercial development to recreation. In 1863, the Territory of Arizona was established by an act of Congress. This act reserved sections 16 and 36 in each township to be held in trust for the benefit of the common schools. Later, the Enabling Act of 1910 allowed the Territory of Arizona to prepare for statehood. This act reserved the additional sections 2 and 32 of each township for the common schools and granted another 2,350,000 acres to be held in trust for other beneficiaries. In all, Congress granted the State of Arizona almost 11 million acres (Figure 1). The State was to manage those lands and maximize revenue for 13 separate beneficiaries. To meet this mandate, the State established the Arizona State Land Department (ASLD) in 1915. Since that time, the ASLD has contributed over $2 billion toward the permanent fund for the beneficiaries through the sale and leasing of the land and natural products which includes minerals. The current inventory of State Trust Lands includes 9.26 million acres representing almost 13% of the State (Figure 2). The ASLD Minerals Section manages the exploration, development, and leasing of mineral products on State Trust Land. We are not a regulatory agency, but a department guided by our fiduciary responsibilities to the Trust. Our mineral programs include: Exploration Permits, Mineral Leases, Mineral Material Leases, Special Land Use Permits, Oil & Gas Leases, and Geothermal Leases.

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  • Report


  • critical issues, database publication, industrial minerals, mineral resources, arizona