Mineral Test Hole Permit

Who Needs A Mineral Test Hole Permit?

Persons who drill any hole in excess of one hundred (100) feet for the specific purpose of exploring for minerals, excluding oil and gas, must obtain a permit from the Tennessee Division of Water Resources, Oil and Gas Section.

What Information Must I Provide?

Applicants must submit the following items with the proper fees before starting any activity:

  • A notarized Application For Permit To Drill (Form CN-0695) which requires the name, address and telephone number of the well owner and operator, farm owner or unit name, well number, county, name of the U.S. Geological Survey 7.5 topographic quadrangle, location and type of drilling.
  • An Organization Report (Form CN-0219) which identifies the company, organization, individual or group for whom the benefit of the project is being conducted.
  • A test hole location plat showing the location of all planned test holes on the appropriate topographic map or maps.
  • Evidence of a $1,000 plugging bond per test hole or a blanket plugging bond of $10,000 for all test holes drilled under a blanket permit (contact the Division of Water Pollution Control for instructions)
Form Description Form Number
Organization Report CN-0121 (R-O-1)
Application for Permit to Drill Mineral Test Hole CN-0695


How Will My Application Be Processed?

The application, required forms and proper fees should be submitted to the Division of Water Resources, Oil and Gas Well Section. A detailed review of the application is conducted and the review process may take up to 15 days. No public review is required.

What Fees Are Required?

Permit fee: $10

What Are My Rights And Responsibilities After The Permit Is Approved?

The applicant may proceed with the approved activities as stated on the permit. The permit is non-transferable. The applicant is responsible for complying with testing, monitoring, prevention of hazards and pollution, and all other requirements pertaining to the drilling, coring, and plugging and abandoning of mineral test holes. Work performed under the permit must be reported to the Division in the Plug and Abandon Report (Form M-P&A, obtainable from the Division) within ninety (90) days after completion of the work. 

What Are The Division's Rights And Responsibilities After The Permit Is Approved?

The Division has the right to inspect the site when deemed necessary. Penalties for violations can reach to a maximum of $10,000 per day per violation. The Tennessee Board of Water Quality, Oil and Gas is responsible for preventing waste and protecting the waters and natural resources of the state from any adverse effects associated with drilling or coring mineral test holes.

Whom Do I Contact For Applications, Assistance And Other Information?

Applicants may obtain applications and information from:

Division of Water Resources, Oil and Gas Section
Nashville Environmental Field Office
711 R.S. Gass Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37243
(615) 687-7120

Applicants seeking coverage under a general or individual Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit for activities associated with a NPDES permit for mining related discharges, a Surface Mining permit, Mineral test-hole permit, coverage under TMSP Sector J, or the Rock Harvesting general permit must submit an application to the Mining Section at the Knoxville Environmental Field Office.  Electronic application submittals and requests for information specific to mining related activities may be received at TNDWR-MINING.E-NOTIFY@TN.GOV.

Applicants may refer to the following publications for further information: