Mineral Resources

Benchmark Resources has provided services at more than 300 California mines producing aggregates, precious metals, and industrial materials. Benchmark Resources staff has earned its reputation through dedication and support of economically sustainable and environmentally responsible mineral production for more than three decades. We combine engineering, operations, and regulatory knowledge to support services in permitting and production.

Benchmark understands the needs associated with mineral resources and the complexities of mine permitting. This unique land use requires:

  • Informed decisions driven first by geology, not land use choices, making resource investigation and design important
  • A forward-thinking plan for mine development, operation, and reclamation with flexibility to accommodate footprint and level of activity changes in response to market demands for minerals
  • A knowledgeable and experienced team that understands business economics are complex, permitting timelines are long, regulatory burdens are high, and commodity prices for raw materials must stay competitively low
  • Maintenance of operational compliance with federal, state, and local permits to ensure future profitability while respecting environmental resources and community interests

Mine Engineering and Design

To meet production and profit targets, you want to mine the right material at the right time. Tracking expenses, avoiding waste, and gauging demand can mean the difference between profit and loss, especially in early production when capital investment is highest. Benchmark Resources, backed by a broad range of engineering, economic, and geologic disciplines, can help ensure you are always mining the best value.

Our planning strategy includes looking ahead to anticipate issues, constraints, and opportunities, helping you determine project feasibility and make cost-effective decisions on expansion, redesign, efficiency modification, closure, and reclamation.

Our services include:

  • Designing open-pit mines
  • Assessing reserves
  • Analyzing load and haul fleet studies
  • Investigating geology (drill program design, surface mapping, drill data analysis and interpretation)
  • Developing block models to represent the reserve
  • Scheduling mine planning, pit design, and mass movement

Planning and Permitting

Benchmark Resources’ team of experts has earned a reputation for success in managing the uncertainties in complex land uses and environmental issues. We are capable of administering the full range of local land use entitlements, pollution control permits, and natural resources permits from federal, state, and local agencies.

Navigating the complexity of land use laws and regulations requires integrating political awareness and legal and technical knowledge. Mining projects can be controversial. We use our permitting and procedural expertise to identify and address environmental concerns, provide an informed and objective analysis, and streamline the approval process. We integrate environmental considerations and constraints early in the process, ensuring that the full scope of issues are considered and the decisions made are appropriate for the scale and complexity of the operation. Therefore, including Benchmark Resources on your team will ultimately reduce the time and cost of the permitting process.

We obtain permit approvals for:

  • Construction aggregates (both hard rock and alluvial)
  • Waste rock disposal sites
  • Instream aggregate harvesting
  • Precious metals
  • Industrial and specialty minerals
  • Cement manufacturing
  • Processed ore and tailings disposal sites
  • Concrete batch plants
  • Asphalt concrete plants
  • Concrete and asphalt recycle plants


Mining is heavily regulated, especially in California. A new mine can carry a heavy burden of mitigation measures, conditions of approval, reclamation requirements, and federal and state laws affecting all aspects of operations. Benchmark Resources facilitates our clients’ business success by considering operational efficiency, production, and profitability.

We craft project design and operational commitments that comply with:

  • General plan and zoning ordinances
  • Conditional use permits
  • The California Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA)
  • The local agency ordinance
  • Hazardous materials and toxic substance handling and storage
  • Protection of surface water quality
  • Water supply regulation
  • Air quality programs for criteria pollutants
  • Wetlands protections
  • Endangered species protections
  • Agicultural land protections

We have preemptively monitored and managed compliance and reporting, resolved enforcement actions, and negotiated disputes over nuisance complaints. Our programs to audit environmental compliance, as with all our work, are conducted with the strictest confidentiality.

“We engaged Benchmark Resources after careful investigation of all choices. Our new mine project required resolution of the full range of land use and environmental obstacles. Our confidence in the team grew as the project won support at each level of government. The hard work, dedication, and determination of the Benchmark Resources team is second to none.”

Michael Mallery, President/General Manager
Carmelita Resources LLC