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It's that time again. The August 31 deadline to make your required annual mining claims filings is only a month away.


As she does every year Ruby has compiled general guidelines and a graphic flow chart to help claim owners understand their annual obligations. If you are confused about the process or just want a refresher review these could help make the process clearer.

These are a free download. Feel free to share, distribute or print these out as long as you retain the attribution.

2018mcfilings_s.jpg.f5abf6ea693427867a13117f82ec5eaa.jpg   General Guidelines

2018mcf_s.jpg.ca2dd4f934fd5de87ddde2824ba93778.jpg   Flow Chart

Whatever you do don't be late. You will lose your claim if your filings aren't on time.

Feel free to ask questions.

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I was asked this question and wasn't sure about the answer:

If a person buys an existing BLM claim, does that person need to file a Notice of Intent to Hold with the County and BLM?

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Never could find a good answer on that, so I'm waiting on Clay's response.

I do want to piggyback on that question: When a person buys an existing claim of greater than 20 acres, does it need a different person signing for each of the 20 acres?  I believe the answer is a single person can purchase, but a single person filing on a 40 acre claim he bought told me the BLM was trying to take it away.  I also have trouble finding one of the claims that has been bought without a signature for each of the 40 acres.

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On 8/2/2018 at 3:01 PM, Chris Gholson said:

I was asked this question and wasn't sure about the answer:

If a person buys an existing BLM claim, does that person need to file a Notice of Intent to Hold with the County and BLM?

That depends on the circumstance Chris. There is no requirement that you file a Notice of Intent to Hold just because you bought a claim so the general answer is "no".

In every case it is necessary to follow both State and Federal requirements. What this means in effect is you need to make a County Record of your claim status each year AND you need to make an informational filing and pay fees to the BLM each year. That doesn't change just because the claim changed ownership. Whoever owns the claim when the work or filings come due is responsible no matter what the previous owner did.

If you are paying the maintenance fee your August 31 claim declaration and fee submission counts as your Federal filing requirement. You should then make a record of your fee payment and titling that as a "notice of Intent to Hold - Mining Claim" would fulfill your requirement for an annual public record.

If you acquire a claim that has a small miner's waiver and you qualify for the waiver completing the assessment work and filing a copy of your Work Affidavit counts as your Federal filing requirement for the year in which you bought the claim. The recording of the required Affadavit of Labor will fulfill the State requirement.

Claims are transferred by a quitclaim recorded at the County Recorder's. The BLM requires you notify them of the claim transfer by filing a copy of the quitclaim as a notice of transfer. That notice does not fulfill your annual filing requirement nor does a submission of a 3830-2 "Maintenance Fee Payment Waiver Certification" does not meet the requirement for an annual informational notice either.

There are exceptions to the rules but if you aren't a soldier on active combat duty in a war zone or you haven't been physically prevented from entering your claim the Flow Chart above will cover just about any situation.

Clear as mud? 😋

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On 8/3/2018 at 12:05 PM, chrisski said:

When a person buys an existing claim of greater than 20 acres, does it need a different person signing for each of the 20 acres?  I believe the answer is a single person can purchase, but a single person filing on a 40 acre claim he bought told me the BLM was trying to take it away.  I also have trouble finding one of the claims that has been bought without a signature for each of the 40 acres.

All placer claims must have no more than 20 acres per claimant or they are void as to the portions without a claimant.

EXCEPT...

When the claim owner has proof of a discovery of a valuable mineral deposit.

The key word is "deposit" because even though you may have gotten good gold or minerals from the claim that gold is only proof there was once gold on the claim. To prove a valuable mineral deposit you need to establish by means of facts how much valuable mineral is likely still in the ground AND that it is likely you can mine those minerals at a profit.

With proof of discovery one person can own a placer mining claim of more than 20 acres.

I know this sounds like a high bar to hurdle but you need to realize it's done every day. A mining company's first goal once acquiring claims is to prove the discovery. They can't get investors for their projects until they have a proven deposit. This phase is called exploration and although it can be expensive for the small miner to do their exploration like mining companies do it's also possible to prove a deposit with a pick and shovel. It doesn't have to be any more high tech than what a miner in the 1870's did to prove their deposit.  😊

The real key whether you are a big mining company or a little miner with hand tools is to follow accepted practice and keep really good records.

There is a huge advantage to proving discovery besides the number of claimants needed. With proof of discovery you have established a market value for your discovery. Any government entity wanting to take your claim or restrict your mining/access will have to pay you the value of the minerals minus the cost to mine and market your deposit. As you can imagine governments don't like paying for minerals that are still sitting in the ground. When you have proven your discovery government tends to tiptoe around you rather than threatening you.

Proof of discovery is a critical concept in mining law. Until you can prove the claim you are buying has a valuable mineral deposit you are stuck with the one person per 20 acre placer rule. 🙉👭🙌👨🏯👃💥🚀🔭

I love those little things - what the heck are they?

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Apparently, you can enter a claim holders name in, and if the person has not paid, it will appear here with the amount owed.

https://payp.blm.gov/epp-mc/search.do

Just found out about this and I am thinking of adding this to my list of claims to look at.  I don't think I will go out until the BLM officially closes the claim.  They can be months late on updating the database, so the claim reflecting not paid only means that the BLM has processed the forms and check, it does not mean that person has not paid the current year unless the claim reflects closed.  The BLM canbe months late.  You can go onto LR2000 and find the claim is good through this year, or if the fees are paid, what's good about above, a single person can be listed and it can give you an idea about which may be dropping.  There's a few people who have staked so many claims, that if I were to do that, it would take me a lifetime going to these places, just to get the markers up, never mind actually prove mineral exist.

Sometimes these dropped claims are sold to a new owner who does not file for the following year and never filed the quit claim deed.  That poor buyer often gets a second chance to buy the claim from the original seller for much neat the original price.

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