Jump to content
Nugget Shooter Forums

Bad News for Claim Holders

Recommended Posts

Sawmill, I hope you change your mind about forum claim discussions. I and I know others really value your experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 105
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic


Your post did not bother me,as a fact you are one of a few that actually understood

what I was trying to get across. Don't get your dander up old feller!

I hold you and your friendship in high regards,and that is why I offered to supply the

information in an Email. My post had absolutely ,nothing to do with anything you have

posted. On the other hand I appreciated your understanding and support. The info I

volunteered is not something that should be on a public forum,because it contains

some secrets that may help others with bad intentions. My respect for you is the only

reason that I offered it.

As far as quitting the thread and future claim discussions. I just get tired of going

around in circles trying to help others that don't want to hear the truth. Patented

land is a whole different ball game,because it is private land. Private land does not

fall under the same rules or regulations as public land does. This is why your friend

has won. The Forest Service can not enforce Forest Service policy on private land.

The Forest Service can demand a plan of operations for just about any act that

disturbs the soil or plants for even the most simple project on forest land. It is at

their discretion to determine what a significant disturbance is. They do require an

impact statement for any new timber sales,road construction, and reconstruction .

This is what I do for a living,and I am well versed in Forest Service ,authority,rules,

and regulations. I actually do timber sale contracts,road construction contracts,and

road maintenance contracts with the Forest Service. I also open and close roads for

them too. I am currently waiting for an EA to be completed for road work,and will have

to file a plan,bond, and certificate of liability ,just to use said road.It ain't like the good

old days anymore. My offer still stands,and you are the last person I would want to

offend in any way.

This is one of the reasons I am not going to take part in any more claim discussions.

Too many people get offended,when there was no intent to offend anyone. It is like

they say ,no good deed goes unpunished.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I sure hope the new fees dont effect the little guy, such as myself. I have 2 claims that i work every year ( not a on paper claim kind of guy)

When i turn in my fee waiver i always put " moved approximately 2 to 3 yards of gravel, cleared trails and access , cleaned up misc. trash. " They never seem to argue about it. Its the truth and i dont know how much a guy would get paid for moving that much gravel but at minimum wage I am sure its over a hundred dollars of work. I usually put about 400 dolars worth of work done give or take and all true to the wire.

My claims are both in big trees and every year there are many branches as well as fallen trees on my claims which I remove every year. I just went to one of my claims this last weekend expecting many limbs and stuff but this year there is not to much on the trails, you never know .

Anyway I am not just going to pay the fees every year anyway......... i work them claims and maybe some of you guys dont pay the government enough of your money but I for one pay more than my fair share. Give it property taxes, income taxes, business license fees, sales tax, cigar taxes, gas taxes, use fees, dredge permits ( when allowed ) , cell phone taxes, and taxes on top of taxes. I am sick of it and I will only pay those fees if I absolutely have to!!

I think many here are right in saying this is the first step to taking away all our access to public lands away, period. Not just goldmining but every hobby or activity you choose to do.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Snakejim is correct regarding what the BLM in Utah has to say about assessment work. That same BLM office also says this:

Annual Assessment Work

To keep a possessory interest in the claim or site, the claimant must perform a minimum amount of labor or make improvements worth $100 each year. Since 1992, the claimant may pay the annual maintenance fee per claim or site in lieu of the annual assessment work. See Filings and Fees.

Assessment work is work or labor performed in good faith that tends to develop the claim and directly helps in the extraction of minerals. Geological, geophysical, and geochemical surveys may qualify as assessment work for a limited period. However, a requirement for use of these surveys is the filing of a detailed report, including basic findings. Most State laws require the annual filing of an affidavit of assessment work with the proper county. Also, FLPMA requires the filing of an affidavit of annual assessment work with both the local county offices and the proper BLM State Offices. See below Examples of Work that Qualify or Do Not Qualify as Assessment Work.

Assessment work is not a requirement for owners of mill or tunnel sites. However, they must file a notice of intention to hold the site(s) with the BLM. For mill sites and tunnel sites, filing with the county is not required.

Performance of assessment work must be within a certain period referred to as the assessment year. The assessment year begins at 12:01 a.m., September 1 and ends at 12:01 a.m., September 1, of the next year (see PL 110-161, Dec. 26, 2007, 121 Stat. 2101 and Section 28 of Title 30 United States Code).

Performance of assessment work need not occur during the first assessment year of location. However, for claims located between September 1 and December 31, the claimant must file a notice of intention to hold the claim with the BLM by December 30 of the following calendar year. The claimant must file either:

A notice of intention to hold (for sites or for the year that claims are located) or

Evidence of annual assessment work in the proper BLM State Office on or before December 30 of the calendar year following the calendar year of the location of the claim, mill site, or tunnel site.

I have highlighted the part that addresses the question of what constitutes assessment work or labor. It seems to come down to this: Does the type of labor performed either (a) tend to develop the claim or (b) directly help in the extraction of minerals? Thus, I agree with prior statements, for example, that picking up trash does NOT constitute a valid type of labor because it neither tends to develop the claim nor does it directly help in the extraction of minerals. On the other hand, preparing the ground for electronic gold nugget extraction as previously described does indeed directly help in the extraction of placer gold just as much as digging a hole helps in the extraction of gold ore. It matters not whether the owner of the claim is extracting the nuggets as his sole means of livelihood or whether he is making a profit or whether he has been doing this all his life or whether he just started two months ago. It is the bona fide labor that goes into the gold recovery process that counts. Hobbyists, professionals and self-taught, unlabeled men all should stand before the law equally when requesting a small miner waiver until and unless Congress says otherwise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...


As published in the Federal Register, this Interim Final Rule directly conflicts with mandates within it’s own authorities. In that both the legislation itself (Section 430 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012) and subsequent United States Code (30 USC § 28f (2012)) plainly prescribe, and impose unambiguous law that no BLM annual maintenance fee what-so-ever is due annually for current holders of lode claims, mill and tunnel sites located before August 10, 1993. BLM failed to include that law within this Interim Final rule.

BLM States; “Publishing the regulations in final form gives time to placer mining claim holders whose claims are greater than 20 acres to reduce the size of their claims before September 1, 2012, if they do not wish to pay the adjusted fees”.

This “Interim Final Rule” was published July, 27, 2012, only 35 days before all mining claim owners nationwide must comply with it. It is literally impossible to legally reduce the size of association placer mining claims, without first adjusting on site point of discovery monuments, and boundary markers on them. Then, recording an “amended” location notice with the applicable county recorder, then recording the same with the applicable BLM state office (See 43 CFR§ 3833.22).

The result being, for all practical purposes it is impossible for most of those effected by this rule, who wish to reduce the size of their association placer claims, to legally do so within the imposed short time limit.

BLM’s Interim Final Rule “finds that the rule does not have takings implications. A takings implication assessment is not required“. For all practical proposes parts of this rule are impossible to comply with. As such, this Interim Final Rule will impose a regulatory “taking” of constitutionally protected private property. Accordingly, a takings implication assessment is in fact required by law.

This Interim Final Rule directly conflicts with 30 USC § 28, “…The period within which the work required to be done annually on all unpatented mineral claims located since May 10, 1872, … , shall commence … on the first day of September succeeding the date of location of such claim…”.

BLM asserts they have no discretionto delay publication and implementation of this Interim Final Rule. APA 5 U.S.C. § 553(b)(B) specifically authorizes federal agencies to dispense with the APA’s requirements for notice and comment under certain circumstances. To qualify for the good cause exception, the agency must find that the use of traditional procedures are “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.”

BLM had both practical and adequate time to publish a “Proposed Rule” open to the full APA “notice and public procedure” since December, 2011. Doing so is required by law, because this Interim Final Rule, as published is impart erroneous, and impossible to comply with.

BLM Interim Final Rule asserts, “This rule does not raise novel legal or policy issues.” Given the facts above, this Interim Final Rule certainly raises novel legal issues.

These facts can be easily verified by any competent person. They clearly justify immediate suspension of this Interim Final Rule. At least until such time as these errors and conundrums in law can be resolved by Congress.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank You.....That was very well put together. Let's hope some one with at least a 1/2 a brain reads and understands it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a :thumbsupanim “joke” :ROFL: on the BLM in the new LAW passed by Congress that arbitrarily & illegally raises association placer claim maintenance fees by up to 800%.

The same law exempts any holder of lode mining claims, mill & tunnel sites located BEFORE August 10,1993 from paying any maintenance fee what-so-ever.

This should be brought to the attention of every BLM state office immediately So, they can implement that into effect.

If you doubt that, read it yourself. It’s plain as day & statutorily imposed.


Making appropriations for military construction, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012, and for other purposes.


SEC. 430.

Section 10101 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (30 U.S.C. 28f) is amended— (1) in subsection (a)—

(A) by striking so much as precedes the second sentence and inserting the following:



The holder of each unpatented lode mining claim, mill site, or tunnel site,

located pursuant to the mining laws of the United States on or after August 10, 1993, shall pay to the Secretary of the Interior, on or before September 1 of each year, to the extent provided in advance in appropriations Acts, a claim maintenance fee of $100 per claim or site, respectively.’’; and

(B) by adding at the end the following:

‘‘(2) PLACER MINING CLAIMS.—The holder of each unpatented placer mining claim located pursuant to the mining laws of the United States

located before, on, or after August 10, 1993, shall pay to the Secretary of the Interior, on or before September 1 of each year, the claim maintenance fee described in subsection (a), for each 20 acres of the placer claim or portion thereof.’’; and

(2) in subsection (b), by striking the first sentence and inserting the following: ‘‘The claim maintenance fee under subsection (a) shall be paid for the year in which the location is made, at the time the location notice is recorded with the Bureau of Land Management.’’

SEE > PAGE 1047


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, EM, that is an incredible comment to the BLM ... Thank you for providing it and I hope all will consider sending it if you are a claim owner! Cheers, Unc

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I am impressed,and it takes a hell of a lot to impress me! :thumbsupanim You have sure

done your homework. Would you mind if I ran your posts by a mining law professor,

and a couple very well known Mining Attorneys?

Just an old miner, lucky enough have a good shallow rich diggings & to know the tale of the tape, on this issue.

Run them by anyone you want.

Especially the BLM.

(please excuse the typo's, punctuation & mistakes in grammer, as it was written quickly)

The content should (by all rights) confuse, confound & dumbfound the BLM.WHAT > what> what> I can see it now :*&$*(:

There are a couple other issues about a small miners waiver that will also, which I will post ASAP

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those were published JUNE, 11, 2012.

Before this new association placer claim fee rule was published & implimented.

They are nothing new.

The blunders in the legislation, and subsiquent United States Code cannot be fixed or altered by the BLM.

It takeas an Act of Congress, to undo what Congress itself did.

BLM has no authority to overide an Act of Congess..

BLM is between a rock & a hard place on this one.

About the only "out" BLM has, is to quickly SUSPEND the new regulation.

Meaning = leave it as it was, until Congress corrects it's own mistake.

Which will take at least a year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Elder- Miner

I have been on the site that I attached in my post every day this month.

It is the Arizona BLM State site. Those updates have only been added to

that site in the last couple days. Until yesterday the only new information

about association claims was the part about the 20 acre payment.

The details were only added in the last couple days. I agree that this was

done in a really questionable way,and there is no doubt about it being under

handed,and confusing. I have already done my filings . Your post about trimming

down claims is what made me take another look at that site. That information

was not on that site until just a day or so ago.

I can see where the BLM is headed with these changes. I don't disagree with

a lot of their reasons,but I darn sure disagree with how it was done. It is confusing,

and conflicting,at best.

I also believe that you may have reached a little with your legal assessment of

this mess. Most mining companies are corporations,even most small mining

companies are incorporated. Corporations do not use association claims ,and

are not allowed to file an association claim. Mining is a risky business and due

to liability,bonding and permit requirements ,it only makes good sense to be a


This whole thing is aimed at the paper hangers,speculators,and greedy bastards,

that are abusing the current association claim system. They are just cleaning up

a mess that has got out of control,and bringing the system back to work as it was

originally intended .If this kills off the paper hangers and speculators,it is a good

thing. I agree that they could have introduced these rules in a more reasonable,

and orderly fashion. The idea may be sound,but their method sucks.

My Son and I have never held more than 3 , 40 acre association claims at one

time . This was on purpose and planned . It was simple to switch to a small miner


I wouldn't dwell too much on the $100.00 claim fee,or the 1993 thing either. The

guys that slipped the rider in used old information in their haste,and the $100.00

fee thing ,was nothing more than a typo,or mistake,

As I said at the start of this thread,for us that choose to go the assessment work

route, do your homework,and keep your nose clean. Up to this point the BLM has

never really enforced or investigated claimed assessment work. They have just

accepted the forms without question. I would bet that deal is getting a good look

over ,for the next round.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder what will be the impact of these new rules on the hundreds of people who have bought association claims and had them recorded in a single individual owner's name ... I know Bigelow and the likes of him have sold many such claims to an individual ... In many cases such claim hawkers have located association claims in a single person's name and then sold same to another single individual! ... Curious how that will turn out >>> Cheers, Unc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So if a group of 8 people have held a 160 acre association claim for some time and have always kept up on the small miner's waiver and the proof of labor each year, is the claim still counted as one claim? Thanks, Ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Uncle Ron

That is one of the sticky questions ,about this whole deal. I don't really

know the answer to that either. Also as Elder Miner says,trimming those

claims down with such short notice,will be a big problem too.

I would be talking to the BLM about those matters. Too many changes too

fast,and no real published answers,or information to comply with those rules.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you have a smaller miners exemption (SME) in place? An association placer is a single claim, no matter the size. So long as you own ten (10) or less, nothing changes on the SME. Association placer claims may be conveyed to a single individual, or entity legitimately. With the “caveat” being that there MUST be a valid mineral discovery inside the claim & each ten (10) acre parcel or legal subdivision must be “Mineral in Character” before the conveyance.

BLM generally does not have the staff, time or expertise to determine if all do. Most often the only time BLM does an actual validity contest determination is when a claim is illegally occupied, a plan of operation has been filed, or some dispute exists.

See links below:




Where most new claimants wanting to utilize an SME for association placer claims located between Sept 1, 2011 & Sept 1, 2012 are going to fatally blunder is failure to timely file a Notice of Intention to Hold.(NOI). Most will assume, the maintenance fee was paid in the current year, so nothing is due until next year. Wrong answer. They MUST file an SME with BLM before Sep1, 2012, for the upcoming year, and a county recorded NOI before December 30th of this year with BLM. Failure to do so will ultimately result in forfeiture of the claim, or claims.

Reality here is, BLM had no issues with legitimate association placer claims. What has happened in the last decade is illegitimate (paper hangers & dummy locators) have become so numerous they vastly outnumber legitimate association placer claims. To squelch the exponential growth & bogus sales of illegitimate association placer claims. BLM promulgated this new regulation, to put a halt to it.

For the most part, the blame can be laid directly on shady mining claim sellers who initiate illegitimate 160 acre association placer claims, not supported by a valid mineral discovery, nor is each 10 acre part mineral in character. Then, quickly divide it up & rapidly sell it off in 10 or 20 acre increments each, to novice buyers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the clarification, EM ... I appreciate you taking your time to respond so thoroughly ... I ran across a statement on the California BLM website that stated "The new regulations do not change anything for claimants filing SME's." Thanks again, Cheers, Unc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More about the JOKE BLM pulled on itself.


30 USC § 28f. Fee

(a) Claim maintenance fee

(1) Lode mining claims, mill sites, and tunnel sites.

The holder of each unpatented lode mining claim, mill site, or tunnel site, located pursuant to the mining laws of the United States on or after August 10, 1993, shall pay to the Secretary of the Interior, on or before September 1 of each year, to the extent provided in advance in appropriations Acts, a claim maintenance fee of $100 per claim or site, respectively. Such claim maintenance fee shall be in lieu of the assessment work requirement contained in the Mining Law of 1872 (30 U.S.C. 28–28e) 1 and the related filing requirements contained in section 1744(a) and © of title 43.


That is statutory law BLM must abide by.


III. Discussion of Interim Final RuleWhy the Rule Is Being Published on an Interim Final Basis

The BLM is adopting this interim final rule solely to implement the requirements of Section 430 of the FY2012 Appropriations Act, which amended 30 U.S.C. 28f.

The BLM is not making any other changes to the regulations at 43 CFR part 3830. The Department of the Interior for good cause finds under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) that notice and public procedure for this rule are unnecessary and that this rule may properly take effect upon publication. The reasons are as follows:

This rule merely codifies statutorily imposed procedural changes;

The law precludes the BLM from exercising discretion as to the level of fees or when they are due;

The Department also determines that the exceptions under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) apply and there is good cause to place the rule into effect on the date of publication. The matters addressed in the rule are statutorily required.

All of that being FACT. Where in this Federal Register Notice is the change that no annual maintenance fee is due for unpatented lode mining claims, mill or tunnel sites located BEFORE August 10, 1993? It isn’t there !

BLM cannot legitimately impose an increased fee for association placer claims over 20 acres. Then refuse to promulgate another regulation that is imposed by the same Act of Congress and also statutorily required. In their own words, BLM has “no discretion” to do so. BLM arbitrarily and unlawfully refuses to make that change in law, or suspend this increased fee association placer rule.

The Oboma administration is running amuck.

This is America, not Russia under the dictates of Vladimir Putin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good point on the Notice of Intent to hold elder-miner, you obviously know your stuff.

Don't forget to record your NOI with the county recorder also - it's the law. Although the BLM can't abandon your claim for not making that recording it's not something you want coming up when a big mining company wants your claim. Lawyers will run you broke arguing about something they can't win on.

If this is your first year filing the Small Miners you need to put include that information in your BLM NOI also.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...