Frequently Asked Questions
Question about mining claims
Federal Mining Claims have two sets of rules that govern them, Federal rules and State rules. Federal rules are the same anywhere in the US. However, state rules overlay the federal rules and are generally more restrictive. So in whatever state you are interested in purchasing a claim you will want to make sure of the exact rules that apply to that state. In Montana, any hand work doesn’t require any permits or approvals. But heavy equipment will require permits, reclamation bonds and approval from the regulating agencies.
To make things a little more involved, at the federal level you must know the surface management agency which is either the USFS or BLM. Depending on which of the agencies your claim will be located on will determine which agency you would contact. The USFS has no authority over BLM land and the BLM managed has no authority over USFS managed land.
In addition to the USFS and BLM there are possibly other federal and will be other state agencies you may need to contact and file paperwork with. The exact needs for what you are planning to do with your mining claim are different for everyone and it is not our intent to cover all the issues for determining which agencies are needed and what permits, plans and bonds.
Generally, we test by panning. But we can also sometimes run a yard or two through a highbanker only for the purpose of determining that the claim has the minerals we state in the listing.
We normally do not run enough material to determine how much the ground pays.
Think about the prices we are asking for the claims. If we were to put in the time and money required to determine how much the ground pays we would require a much higher selling price to cover our expenses.
Everyone wants to know this including us! The problem with this question is how short sighted it is.
Absolutely the only way to know the answer to that question is to mine the entire claim. ONLY then would anyone know how much gold is there.
Of course once that is done the claim isn’t worth anything and we wouldn’t sell it.
Generally, people that ask this are the ones thinking they are somehow going to get the claim patented.
Sorry to disappoint those folks. There will never again be any patenting of federal mining claims. Never.
Congress put a moratorium on patenting mining claims due to China.
Several decades ago China figured out that the US considers corporations as US Citizens. A federal mining claim can only be owned by a US Citizen. So China would open corporations in the US and then buy unpatented mining claims and apply to have them patented. This allowed them to own US land and hold it privately.
Because of this congress had to put an end to patenting mining claims. Congress will never again allow mining claims to be patented for this reason.
What does all this have to do with surveying a mining claim? The only reason to have a claim surveyed is to have it patented. The cost to have a claim surveyed is unreasonable to just have it done with no reason to way to recover the expense. We will never survey any mining claim we sell because we would have to recover our expense in the sale of the claim.