Gold mining has been around for hundreds of years. It is thought of as a thing of the past, but in fact, it is still a very valid option for many miners today. There are a few general requirements for a gold claim to be legally recognized. Each state may have its own procedure, so check with your local county clerk's office for the specifics in your region. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is responsible for all gold-mining-related activities. Currently 19 states allow gold mining: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Simple Steps to Legally Mining Gold
The first step to gold mining is to decide whether you would like to own both the land and the mineral rights or just the mineral rights on a piece of federally owned land. The first option, patented or private property, is quite a bit more pricey due to the fact that you are acquiring a piece of real estate. These mines were acquired originally from the federal government through the Homestead Act. Since 1995, new patented mines are generally not issued; however, this may change in the future. Existing patented mines can still be purchased as a typical real estate transaction The second option, unpatented or federally owned property, is more commonly seen because of the affordability factor. You are the owner of the mineral rights on the land, but you are not the property owner.
Step2Make sure to select a piece of land that is no more than 20 acres in size. Erect corner posts that are clearly identifiable. This can be accomplished by painting the posts a bright color. You will also need to post a "notice of location" in a place that is clearly visible when approaching the property. This notice indicates that you own the mineral property rights and that no one else can stake a gold mining claim. It must include the following: the date, the name of the miner, geographical location of the site either using roads or visible landmarks, the type of site (lode or placer) and the total approximate acreage claimed. Lode claims are minerals that are embedded in the earth and require extraction. Placer claims are the most commonly seen claims. The minerals are resting on top of the earth. Rivers, streams and creeks would be examples of place claims. This notice is usually placed on the place of discovery or on a corner post.
Step3Next, contact your local county clerk's office to request your local gold mining claim specifications for the area where you are staking the claim. This generally has to be done within 90 days, but a few states request that it be done within 30 to 60 days. It is up to you to determine whether there has been a previous mining claim staked. The clerk should be able to provide you with this information. If you meet all of the requirements you can return the completed forms and pay for the mineral patent.
Step4Lastly, file your approved claim with the local state BLM office. Simply generate your own form letter indicating ownership of the property, location of your staked gold mining site on the property, type of claim, and then sign and date the bottom. There are no legal forms available for this purpose.