A mining claim is a parcel of land for which the claimant has asserted a right of possession and the right to develop and extract a discovered, valuable, mineral deposit. This right does not include exclusive surface rights (see Public Law 84-167).
There are three basic types of minerals on federally-administered lands: locatable, leasable, and salable. Mining claims are staked for locatable minerals on public domain lands.
Locatable minerals include both metallic minerals (gold, silver, lead, etc.) and nonmetallic minerals (fluorspar, asbestos, mica, etc.). It is nearly impossible to list all locatable minerals because of the complex legal requirements for discovery.
Provisions of the Mining Law allow for the development of local rules that are consistent with federal law. Therefore, individual states can have their own manner of locating and recording mining claims, tunnels sites, and mill sites. Always check with the appropriate state for state-specific laws and regulations.
Mining Claim News From The Diggings™
Learn more about the Bureau of Land Management, Public Land Survey System, and mining claims.
Understanding Claim Ownership
We receive lots of emails from people who find their name or a relative’s name on our site and want to know if this means they have some right to the land listed under that name.
Understanding BLM Administrative Areas
Wether it is filing a mine or researching one, the administering BLM office is going to be the definitive source.
Understanding Location Data
Mine handled by the Bureau of Land Management are not mapped by latitude and longitude, instead, these mines harken back to the Public Land Survey System.
A “township” can refer to two different things. Both are part of the PLSS measurement system but have different uses.