South Carolina has about 500 active mine operating permits. In 1974, the S.C. Mining Act was passed to ensure all mined lands would be returned to some useful purpose and for the protection of people and the environment. The Act and regulations outline the application process, how to conduct mine operations, and minimum reclamation standards. The Act defines mining as the removal of ores from the ground for sale (i.e., granite quarries) or for use in a business (i.e., brick manufacturing). There are several types of surface mining done in South Carolina: open pit (i.e., granite, vermiculite), strip mines (i.e., sand, clay, and gravel) and sand dredging from river bottoms.