(1)(a) Each operator who intends to mine or extract heavy minerals at a new mine shall receive approval of the department of a conceptual reclamation plan prior to undertaking mining or extraction.
(b) New mine, for the purposes of this section, shall mean a mine where the operator begins the clearing of land for mining after July 1, 1987.
(c) The term “conceptual reclamation,” for the purposes of this section, means a graphic and written description of general activities to be undertaken across the whole mine to comply with the reclamation standards applicable to this part.
(2) Each operator of an existing mine, which has not submitted a conceptual reclamation plan pursuant to the requirements of s. 211.32, shall submit to the department for approval a conceptual reclamation plan no later than July 1, 1987.
(3) The department may also require that each operator submit an annual report.
(4) Reclamation standards applicable to this section shall be adopted by rule by the department. The intent shall be that these regulations shall be no more stringent than those standards currently in place for the heavy mineral mining. The department shall consider the following criteria in its regulations:
(a) The reclamation standards shall reflect the circumstances unique to each mineral commodity and must reasonably address the practicality for reclamation for each commodity and the future use of the land. All reclamation activities shall, to the extent feasible, be coordinated with resource extraction and shall be initiated at the earliest practicable time.
(b) Reclamation activities shall be conducted in a manner which has minimal long-term adverse impacts on surface and groundwater resources, wildlife, and adjacent lands.
(c) The department shall by rule adopt adequate reclamation sloping requirements.
(d) The operator shall use best management practices to minimize erosion.
(e) Drainage systems, wetlands, and other surface waters shall function in manners which are not significantly different from those which existed prior to resource extraction.
(f) Reclamation shall provide for revegetation. Plans for revegetation shall incorporate measures to minimize wildlife habitat lost as a result of resource extraction.
(g) Reclamation shall result in landforms which are capable of supporting diverse and beneficial land uses.
(h) Exceptions to the criteria contained in this section may be granted by the secretary for experimental or innovative techniques.
(i) Reclamation of the land, including a complete growing season for revegetation, shall be completed within 3 years of the completion of the mining operation associated with the resource extraction.
(5) Any heavy mineral mining operation which annually mines less than 500 acres and whose proposed consumption of water is 3 million gallons per day or less shall not be required to undergo development of regional impact review pursuant to s. 380.06, provided permits and plan approvals pursuant to either this section and part IV of chapter 373, or s. 378.901, are issued.