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To file a Mining Claim after you locate it on the ground:
1)Check land status and for other claims at BLM.
2)Check county courthouse (of the county where the claim is located).
3)File a copy of the Claim Notice at the county (recorder's office).
4)File a copy of the Claim Notice with BLM in Sacramento
a) 2800 Cottage Way Suite W-1618 Sacramento CA 95825
b) $135 initial cost for location and filing fees

How much does it cost to own a mining claim?
$135 is the initial cost to file a mining claim. The assessment fees are $100 per year per claim; or, if you have 10 or fewer claims you can perform $100 worth of assessment work and file a small miners waiver for $5 per year.

When is the assessment work due?
The small miners waiver is due by September 1. The affidavit of assessment work is due by December 30.

The first year the claim is filed, you may not have to file assessment work, but you do have to file a Notice of Intent to Hold. It is easier to pay the $5 and file the small miners' waiver and affidavit of assessment work.

If I pay the $100, do I have to file anything with the county?
Yes. You must still file the Affidavit with the county, it has to say "Paid $100 to BLM".

Can I dredge on BLM?
Yes. If you dredge anywhere in California you must obtain a dredge permit from the Department of Fish and Game. The permit is $75 per year for residents, and more for out of state dredgers. Call Fish and Game for out of state prices. Dredging is allowed on any BLM managed land that is open to mining. Check with the BLM for closures and other mining claims.

Can I pan on BLM?
Yes. There is no permit required to pan. You can pan on any BLM land, except land which is claimed by someone.

What is a small miner?
A small miner is someone with less than 10 claims.

 I strongly recomend that you read , and know these laws . Before purchasing a claim !
For all you need to know about a Notice of Intent

the general mining act of 1872 The General Mining Act of 1872 is a United States federal law that authorizes and governs prospecting and mining for economic minerals, such as gold and silver, on federal public lands. This law, approved on May 10th, 1872, codified the informal system of acquiring and protecting mining claims on public land, formed by prospectors in California and Nevada from the late 1840s through the 1860s, such as during the California Gold Rush.

All citizens of the United States of America 18 years or older have the right under the 1872 mining law to locate a lode (hard rock) or placer (gravel) mining claim on federal lands open to mineral entry. These claims may be located once a discovery of a locatable mineral is made. Locatable minerals include but are not limited to platinum, gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, uranium and tungsten.


1 Western miners' codes

2 Mining legislation before 1872

3 The Mining Law of 1872

4 Some basic terms:

5 Subsequent amendments

6 Current controversy

  1. 1 Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007

7 References

8 External links


Western miners' codes

Miners and prospectors on the California Gold Rush of 1849 found themselves in a legal vacuum. Although the US federal government had laws governing the leasing of mineral land, the United States had only recently acquired California by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and had little presence in the newly acquired territories.

Miners organized their own governments in each new mining camp, and adopted the Mexican mining laws then existing in California that gave the discoverer right to explore and mine gold and silver on public land. Miners moved from one camp to the next, and made the rules of all camps more or less the same, usually differing only in details such as in the maximum size of mining claims, and the frequency with which a claim must be worked before it became forfeited and subject to being claimed by someone else. California miners spread the concept all over the west with each new mining rush, and the practices spread to all the states and territories west of the great plains.

Mining legislation before 1872

Although the practices for open mining on public land were more-or-less universal in the West, and supported by state and territorial legislation, they were still illegal under existing federal law. At the end of the American Civil War, some eastern congressmen regarded western miners as squatters who were robbing the public patrimony, and proposed seizure of the western mines to pay the huge war debt. In June 1865, Representative George W. Julian of Indiana introduced a bill for the government to take the western mines from their discoverers, and sell them at public auction. Representative Fernando Wood proposed that the government send an army to California, Colorado, and Arizona to expel the miners "by armed force if necessary to protect the rights of the Government in the mineral lands." He advocated that the federal government itself work the mines for the benefit of the treasury.[1]

Western representatives successfully argued that western miners and prospectors were performing valuable services by promoting commerce and settling new territory. In 1865, Congress passed a law that instructed courts deciding questions of contested mining rights to ignore federal ownership, and defer to the miners in actual possession of the ground.[2] The following year, Congressional supporters of western miners tacked legislation legalizing lode (hardrock) mining on public land onto a law regarding eastern canal rights. The legislation, known as the "Chaffee laws" after Colorado Territorial representative Jerome B. Chaffee passed and was signed on July 26, 1866.

Congress extended similar rules to placer mining claims in the "placer law" signed into law on July 9, 1870.[3]

The Mining Law of 1872

The mining law of 1866 gave discoverers rights to stake mining claims to extract gold, silver, cinnabar (the principal ore of mercury) and copper. When Congress passed the General Mining Act of 1872, the wording was changed to "or other valuable deposits," giving greater scope to the law.

The 1872 act also granted extralateral rights to lode claims, and fixed the maximum size of lode claims as 1500 feet (457m) long and 600 feet (183m) wide.

Some basic terms:

A mining claim is the right to explore for and extract minerals from a tract of land.

Claim staking is the required procedure of marking the boundaries of the mining claim, typically with wooden posts or substantial piles of rocks. Each state has slightly different requirements for claim staking. In Australia, the same procedure is called "pegging." Once the claim is staked, the prospector documents the claim by filing required forms. Originally the forms were filed with the mining district recorder; today they are filed with the Clerk of the County in which the claim is located, and with the US Bureau of Land Management. Papers are likewise filed to document annual assessment work.

A lode claim, also known in California as a quartz claim, is a claim over a hardrock deposit.
A placer claim is a claim over gold-bearing sand or gravel, often along a stream or river.
The mining law opens up land in the public domain, that is, federal land that has never been set aside for a specific use. Land dedicated for specific uses such as the White House lawn, national parks, or wilderness areas, is not subject to mineral entry.
The mining law applies to some mineral products, but not others, and the list has changed over time. The list of locatable minerals. does not include petroleum, coal, or common construction material such as sand and gravel. Rights to extract nonlocateable minerals are usually obtained through competitive bidding.
All mining claims are initially unpatented claims, which give the right only for those activities necessary to exploration and mining, and last only as long as the claim is worked every year. The original mining law gave miners the opportunity to obtain patents (deeds from the government), much as farmers could obtain title under the Homestead Act. The owner of a patented claim can put it to any legal use. The process of patenting claims has been perhaps the most controversial part of the mining law.
The 1872 law granted extralateral rights to owners of lode claims. This gave the owners of the surface outcrop of a vein the right to follow and mine the vein wherever it led, even if its subsurface extension continued beneath other mining claims. This provision, also known as the law of the apex led to lengthy litigation and even underground battles, especially in Butte, Montana and the Comstock Lode.

Subsequent amendments

The acquisition of mining rights on public land in the West is mostly governed by the 1872 act. Subsequent changes to the law include:

Timber and Stone Act, an 1878 law that allowed private purchase of minable government land;

the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, which made certain nonmetallic minerals, such as petroleum and oil shale, not open to claim staking;

the Mineral Materials Act of 1947, which provides for the sale or public giveaway of certain minerals, such as sand or gravel;

the Multiple Mineral Use Act of 1954, which provided for the development of multiple minerals on the same tracts of public land;

the Multiple Surface Use Mining Act of 1955, which withdrew common varieties from mineral entry; and

the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, part of which redefines claim recording procedures and provides for abandonment if the procedures are not followed.

the sale of public land is still prohibited in 2005. Mining claims can be established on public lands but more and more state and federal restrictions are being enacted.

Provisions of the 1872 Mining Law were changed with the implementation of the 1976 Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA)effective as of January, 1981. Many of the provisions of FLPMA revised the surface uses allowed on mining claims to halt by regulation or otherwise, unnecessary or undue degradation of the public lands allowed under the 1872 mining law. a portion of the FLPMA is the 43 CFR 3809 Surface Management regulations. These regulations were updated and the final rules published in December of 2001. These rules effectively replace many of the 1872 Mining Law provisions and require mining reclamation, financial guarantees for reclamation to the Federal government, mining claim occupation permits and detailed Mining Plans of Operations to be submitted to the governing agencies prior to disturbing the surface.

Current controversy

There are efforts underway to further change the law, initiated in the House Resources Committee. The Democratic takeover of Congress in the 2006 election brought a new chair to the resources committee: Rep. Richard Pombo (R, California) lost the election and was replaced by Nick Rahall from West Virginia, who has been a strong critic of the industry.[4]

However others, such as Rep. Stevan Pearce (R-New Mexico), ranking Republican on the minerals subcommittee and Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) believe that the 2001, 43 CFR 3809 Surface Management regulations address modern day concerns and that implementing further restrictions on the industry or imposing royalties would force even more of the domestic mining industry out of the country. As stated by Congressman Pearce, "Why would we as a nation want to send our metals and uranium mining off shore, then wind up reliant on foreign countries for the raw materials we need for our industries and new power plants. We need to learn from past mistakes such as our reliance on the middle east for our petroleum products."[citation needed]

Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007

On November 1, 2007, the US House passed the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007 by a vote of 244-116. The bill would permanently end granting patents for mining claims, impose a royalty of 4% of gross revenues on existing mining extracting from unpatented mining claims, and place an 8% royalty on new mining operations. Mining of private mineral rights would not be affected. Seventy percent of the royalty money would go to a cleanup fund for past abandoned mining operations, and 30% would go to affected communities.
The National Mining Association maintains that, in combination with existing federal, state, and local taxes, the royalty imposed by the bill would burden US mining with the highest effective tax rate in the world.

The bill is expected to face opposition in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) opposes imposing royalties on existing mines. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) opposes the bill in its current form, but would consider compromises. The Bush administration has threatened to veto the bill.[5]

  I strongly recomend that you read , and know these laws . Before purchasing a claim !
For all you need to know about a Notice of Intent
Filing a Mining Claim
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