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2013 Annual Mining Claims Filings


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Ruby has put together a new Mining Claims Filing information guide.

It's been modified from last year to include answers to some of the questions that came up.

It doesn't cover every situation that might come up so feel free to ask questions and I'll answer them if I can.

You can download a PDF of the whole Guidlines at the free Ripple Library or you can open just the flow chart from the image below.

This year due to the weekend and holiday the BLM will be accepting filings on September 3rd.


General Guidelines

for Your Annual 2013 Mining Claims Filings

by Ruby Miner


Anyone who has any ACTIVE lode claims, placer claims, mill sites or tunnel sites on file with the BLM who wants to keep those claims after September 1, 2013.


You may be required to file one or more of these documents.

Small Miners Waiver

Annual Maintenance Fee

Affidavit of Assessment Work

Intention to Hold

Small Miners

If you and ALL persons on ALL of your association claims hold 10 or fewer mining claims, you may file a Small Miners Waiver and waive the 2014 Annual Maintenance Fee. This must be done on or before September 1st.

If you filed a Small Miners Waiver in 2012, you must also record an Affidavit of Assessment Work into the County Recorder's office in the county where the claim is located AND file a copy with the BLM on or before December 30, 2013

If you have Mill Sites and/or Tunnel Sites they do not require assessment work. You will need to record an Intention to Hold with the appropriate County Recorder AND file a copy with the BLM on or before December 30, 2013.

Other Miners

All other claim holders must pay an Annual Maintenance Fee with the BLM of $140 for each Lode Claim, Mill Site and Tunnel Site. For each Placer Claim you must pay $140 for each 20 acres and portion thereof. For example; a placer claim that is the size of a standard lode claim (600 ft x 1500 ft) is 20.66 acres and will require a payment of $280.

If you are paying an Annual Maintenance Fee you are required by law to record an Intention to Hold at the County Recorder's office on your existing claims each year. The BLM can not declare your claims as "abandoned" for failure to make this public filing but it is a good idea to do so.

Follow the attached chart to determine what you need to file and to determine how much it will cost you.



Documents that are required to be filed with the BLM need to be filed at the appropriate State BLM office not your BLM Field Office.

Alaska BLM Office

Arizona BLM Office

California BLM Office

Colorado BLM Office

Idaho BLM Office

Montana BLM Office – Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota

Nevada BLM Office

New Mexico BLM Office – New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas & Kansas

Utah BLM Office

Wyoming BLM Office

Eastern States BLM Office

County Recorder

Documents that are required to be recorded with the county need to be recorded at the County Recorder's office(s) in the county where your claim(s) is located.

Links to Count­y Recorders

Please remember that these are General Guidelines only. I encourage all miners to study the appropriate mining laws for a full understanding of the filing requirements.

Another MinerDiggins Adventure

All Rights Reserved

Right to reproduce granted provided text is unmodified and attribution is included.


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Watch out on new paperwork sent from BLM as stated on the assessment forms " EXPIRES AUGUST 31.2013" hence if filed after it legally is void as no longer covered under the uniform documents act. I don't know if this is just a effort to FORCE folks to file labor and small miners exemption at the same time or what ????? New form has doubled filing costs as now 2 pages instead of 1---kalif charges a coversheet charge to file as the county area "CORRUPTED" now with expiration notification. Spent 2 hours at recorders yesterday here in shasta and on conference call with the legal eagle BLM community room in sac with the recorder. No filing stamps on paperwork just insipid coversheet. THEN I have to return friday and BUY for $4.00 each the papers they were sending in the mail(already paid for that)must meet the deadline of the 31st. Last year total cost was $24,this year $33.35 AND now a additional $2.00 for each claim on the form for indexing!!!!!!! Scumsuckingmotherdirty :2mo5pow: John.

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Thst was my first thought too, they just made more money for the county recorder's offices. It's nuts because thst last page is just a signature line...... Placer County.... $33 to record and get an uncertified copy.

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I wouldn't get too upset over your county recorder charging more. It's really not their fault.
We deal with both the BLM and the various County Recorders all the time. I can't speak to how John's County Recorder works but I do know the recorders on the divide where you are Steve.
County Recorders have to have a clear area on the face of any recording where they can put their stamps. Unlike the BLM they have a legal obligation to make sure your recording is legible after they record it - not stamped willy nilly all over your document.
Since you chose to record the whole BLM form they are left with no place to clear stamp the recording. All the County Recorders I have worked with will require a cover sheet where they can clear stamp if you don't follow their published rules for recorded documents. Those rules usually include a 2" clear top margin for their stamps as well as things like reasonable side margins and certain paper sizes. You didn't meet those requirements when you chose to use the BLM forms so they go to the backup plan of a cover sheet.
You can't expect the County Recorder to stamp every page of a recording either. The recorded document is meant to stand as a whole record so only the front page gets stamped. If you want stamps on each page you will have to submit each page for seperate recording. That gets real expensive and defeats the whole purpose of making your complete record public.
So what do you do to reduce the cost?
Notice that I wrote that you chose to record the BLM form?
There is no legal requirement that you record at the County the BLM form OR any document to claim a small miner's exemption.
That's right the small miner's waiver only has to be submitted to the BLM - not the county recorder. It's not even qualified as a filing at the BLM - that's why there is no fee for submitting it. You ARE required to record your affidavit of labor before the 30th of December AND file a copy with the BLM by that same date.
If you have any doubt about that statement please read California Public Resources Code Section 3900-3924.
If you insist on recording your intent to claim the small miners exemption the County Recorder will take your documents for recording. That County Recording only needs to contain:
Small miner waiver requests must include a declaration that:
(1) You and all related parties hold no more than a total of 10 mining claims and sites nationwide;
(2) You have completed or will complete all assessment work required by the General Mining Law and part 3836 of this chapter to maintain your claims by the end of the applicable assessment year.
(3) If you were not required to perform assessment work in the previous assessment year, you must include the reason why assessment work was not required in your certification, whether it is because:
(i) Your claim was located in that assessment year;
(ii) You paid a maintenance fee to maintain your claim during that assessment year;
(iii) Assessment work was deferred for that year; or
(iv) Any other reason recognized under Federal law.(1) The names and addresses of all claimants who maintain an interest in the mining claims or sites listed on the waiver document;
(4) The original signatures of the claimants of the mining claims or sites who are requesting the waiver, or the original signature of the authorized agent of the owner or owners of those mining claims or sites;
(5) The names of the mining claims or sites for which you request a waiver;
(6) The serial numbers that BLM assigned to the mining claims or sites; and
(7) The date the maintenance fee was due from which you are seeking a waiver.
If you can fit that on a single sheet with a margin at the top for the recorder's stamp you are down to one page to pay for.
So the choice is yours.
1. File the form with the BLM for free (required) and ignore options 2 & 3 below.
2. Make a record of that form (that's not required under the law) with the County Recorder for $33.
3. Make a one page record (that's not required under the law) with the County Recorder for ~ $17.

I hope that helps.

Edited by clay
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Each county assessor/recorder in California establishes their own scale of fees (the state does not determine these "fees" since they are not considered taxes and thus are not covered by Proposition 13 and related budget act enactments). These fees typically are published on the relevant county web sites. Sometimes, however, the web sites are out of date. It used to be that these fees didn't change much from year to year. In the last few years, though, I've noticed the fees rise steadily upwards -- and frequently. Thus, if you choose to pay the maintenance fee (it can be paid to BLM either telephonically with a credit card or via snail mail), afterward be sure to ascertain the current filing fee before submitting by snail mail your Notice of Intent to Hold (to avoid delays due to improper filing fee -- if you go in person, then of course, they will tell you how much is due right there at the counter). It is a good practice, IMHO, to include in your Notice of Intent to Hold "And Payment Of Annual Maintenance Fees" since it is the fact of this information that is pertinent to the filing.

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Good advice on the Intent to hold Micro Nugget.

The part about the fees may well be true in California Micro Nugget but in Arizona the fees the County Recorder charges for Location Notices are controlled by the State Legislature.
Currently those fees are $5 for the first five pages plus one dollar for each additional page not to exceed $250 total.
I know a bunch of you folks from Arizona are gonna object to that. I know you were charged the full filing fee when you recorded your location so I'm going to give you the law and tell you a little story to illustrate how this really works.
First the law:

ARS 27-203. Completing lode, placer or millsite locations; recording location notice; monumenting; map, plat or sketch requirements; abandonment of claims; recorder duties and fees

F. The county recorder shall keep proper indices of mine location notices and maps by the cadastral subdivisions of the United States bureau of land management or general land office. The county recorder shall receive the fees prescribed in section 11-475 for recording a mine location notice and map, plat or sketch appended to such notice.

ARS 11-475. Fees; exemptionA. The county recorder shall receive the following fees:

1. Recording papers required or authorized by law to be recorded, if the fee is not otherwise specified in this section, five dollars for the first five pages plus one dollar for each additional page. In no case shall the charge for additional pages exceed two hundred fifty dollars.
Pretty clear eh?
Back in the 1980's the Location Recording fee was set at $4 by law. I went to the County Recorder to record a location and they told me they wanted something like $11 to record my location. I told them I didn't have to pay any more than the $4 the law set as the fee. They refused to file for the $4.
Having a little time to record and being the pissant I am sometimes I contacted my friend the State Attorney General rather than record my location for nearly three times the fee set by law. He wrote me up a legal opinion that the fee was $4. He told me to take it to the County Recorder and if they gave me any lip he would send a couple of his guys over there to straighten them out.
I went to the recorder's counter and gave them a copy of the opinion. Big hullabaloo ensued behind the counter and finally the Recorder herself came out. She read the opinion with disgust and told the clerk to take my $4 and record the location.
Of course I had brought a friend as a witness and he had a couple of claims he wanted to record for himself. (I told you I'm a pissant sometimes). The Recorder gets called back out, takes one look at his papers and says to the clerk "Charge him full price" and walks away after giving me an evil look. :grr01:
Sometimes you just have to fire an employee before they get the message. I campaigned against that Recorder in the next election and she lost her job. I'd like to think I had something to do with that.
Maybe someone else would like to educate their current recorder? :tisk-tisk:
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Clay you MUST have the second page as that's wher you sign and declare that ALL is true so nope won't work asked BLM as without honesty certification and signature it's worthless- A 50% in cost increase and 2 bloody stinkn' trips to 3 counties adds a $100 or so to the costs and wastes 3 days... :2mo5pow: all-John

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County recording fees are atrocious to say the least This is to record assessment work and most of the fees have nothing to do with how many pages. I know its in the Calif. tax and spend state but still terrible. At least the BLM just charges a simple $10 fee

1. County recorder fees $13.00

2. Automation Trust 5.00

3. electronic recording trust 1.00

4. Micro-graphics trust 3.00

5 redaction trust 1.00

6. SB21 surcharge 4.00

7 Clerk copy fee 6.00

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I apologize, I misunderstood the recording you were complaining about. I thought you were referring to your small miners exemption - not your annual proof of labor.

I have a simple solution to your problem.

Don't use the BLM form. There is NO legal requirement to use that bloated piece of junk.

Here are all the requirements for a valid proof of labor:

That's all there is to it. a,b,c,d. No forms needed. Just make your affidavit in the county with the above information on it along with a statement of the actual work done.

One page no drama. Keep it simple. Make a copy and file it with the BLM before December 30.

The only form you are required to use when filing with the BLM is their small miners waiver. The courts have ruled that even that form is not required as long as you substantially complied with the requirements under the law.

Here are the links to the laws and regulations:

43 CFR 3835

BLM media lab (PDF)

You may use the optional assessment form 3809-4 or you may purchase a form from a local stationary store or online. Be sure to check with the county regarding State requirements for forms.

Sorry for the misunderstanding.
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I have just made it habit to file my assessment work along with my waiver...in the long run I just have to grump against this stuff, but having a great claim is worth every penny........

For years I had a claim in Sierra County. That county makes you pay a usury tax for holding a claim. I think mine was about ten bucks. I would always pay double the amount and send a thank you letter to the county for the road crew that maintained such an out of the way road. One day I got a visit on the claim from the foreman of the crew. He said my letters had a profound effect on his performance..... When I first started going to the claim it was a brutal 2 hour 4x4 low range drive, after his crew took over the road most of it was passable easily in 2WD.......

From there on out he would personally call me to let me know when they were going to clear the snow and downed trees from the road. They could not do the entire stretch of the road in one day and frequently left some machinery overnight on the road. I would always leave a six pack in the grader...........had that claim for 13 years

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El Dorado

I always do the same with my papers,it saves from losing your claim over a CRS moment later. :ROFL:

I never gripe about county recorders,because some of them have spent hours helping me go

through old claim records,and deeds. Actually I enjoy going to the BLM and Forest Service offices

here,all the ladies give me hugs. :yesss:

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We work with a lot of County Recorders and as a group they've been some of the nicest public servants you will ever meet. Especially in the smaller Counties they tend to be overworked and underpaid but they still serve with a smile. There are exceptions but they are few and far between.

Treat your County Recorder well. They are one of the most important locally elected officials - right up there with the sheriff when you think about it.

When you can keep a great claim like El Dorado's for what - under $50 per year - you've got to agree this is still one hell of a country. Where else are you going to get a deal like that?

By the way Steve nice move on scoring that claim. Not many people are that much on the ball when it comes to land status. Congratulations. :thumbsupanim

Edited by clay
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The poor lady was REALLY flustered in the recorders office and said she's ready for a vacation after a dozen or so filings. Seems some folks weren't as nice as I was,more bad pr for the next guy does not help our failing cause. Saw her again yesterday as paying my USURY CLAIM TAXES sic sic sic. She thanked me profusely as more folks gettn' nasty with her. It's the bureauratz and employees jus' trying to cope with new BS---she apoligized about immense fees increases as her wages are frozen and forced off work 2 days a month payless......sic sic sic society in death throes...John :2mo5pow:

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I just filed my paperwork at the blm office. The person that helped me ask if I had any other claims. I stated yes because this year I filed an association claim with 7 other people. I was told that if any of those people hold more than 10 claims, my separate claim (the one I filed today and have no other association members) would not be valid because I am now linked to the 7 other people. Is it possible for me to only have 2 claims, but not be eligable to file a small miners waiver because somebody on my association claim holds more than 10 claims?

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I believe that you got some bogus,front desk information. You only have an interest in one

association claim,plus total interest in one personal claim,hence interest in two claims period.

The other association members does not have any interest in your personal claim,or have

any affect on its validity.

Here is where the desk jockey got screwed up. If any member of the association claim owned

more than 10 claims,it would affect the association claim for using a waiver,for assessment work.

Since you only have an interest in two claims,you are perfectly legal to claim a waiver.

Now if you had a partner on your private claim ,that owned more than ten claims,or you owned

more than ten claims, or in combination both owned more than 10,then you couldn't use a waiver.

Actually you only own one claim and have1/8 interest in another. So you are good to go and perfectly

legal to file a waiver,and do assessment work for your private claim.

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Okay so now I am confsed again. I will make the decision after I really understand the law.

I have a claim and I am the only person that is the claimholder. Recently myself and 7 other people filed a claim that is completely separate from my original claim. If one of the 7 people other than myself holds more than 10 mining claims, I can no longer file the small miners waiver for my single party claim even if that person has no relation to my single party claim? I understand that if one of the associate members holds more than 10 claims, we as an association cannot file a small miners waiver. What I do not understand is how tha affects my personal claim status.

Edited by matt
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It doesn't affect your personal claim. It would only affect the association claim,as all persons

involved in an association claim must qualify to claim a waiver for that claim. The key words

to over 10 claims is, own or control. You have to own or control a claim to have it counted as

a claim,for waiver purpose.

If your personal claim put the association claim over the 10 claim limit for association members,

then they would be required to pay fees on that claim instead of a waiver. If the members knew

that over 10 claims were held by members,but decided to file a waiver anyway,that would be fraud.

In that case the BLM would take drastic action,and go after every claim owned by members.

Now here is the big question,do you and the association claim members own over 10 claims?

If not ,then no one needs to worry .

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