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MikeBiondo

MINING CLAIM LOCATION

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Hello all...

I have been trying to wade through BLM's LR2000.  It's pretty straight forward to narrow down a particular 20 acre placer claim using LR2000 tools to Meridian, Township, Range, Section, and Subdivision.  However, for the life of me I can't find location data beyond a 1/4 Section.

If I understand correctly, a 20 acre claim is 1/2 of 1/4 of 1/4 of a full Section.  As I said though, all I can find is subdivisions down to a 1/4 Section.  Am I correct, in thinking that to file a claim with the BLM, you have to be more specific than just a 1/4 Section?  In a 1/4 Section, you can have a total of 16 possible different 20 acre claims, right?

So, I'm thinking, the detail has to be buried somewhere in the LR2000, but I sure can't find it.

Can anyone, please, shed some light on this for me? 

Much Thanks!

Mike

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10 minutes ago, MikeBiondo said:

 a 1/4 Section, you can have a total of 16 possible different 20 acre claims, right?

 

A 1/4 section is 160 acres. Or 8 x 20 acre claims.

Not familiar with the LR2000 but I'm sure others will chime in.

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To get the actual 20ac location you have to view the location notice at the county recorders office. Most allow you to view the document online. I use mylandmatters.org to do my claim research. It’s much easier than LR2000 plus they provide links to county recorders office when you look up claims in a section. 

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33 minutes ago, Morlock said:

A 1/4 section is 160 acres. Or 8 x 20 acre claims.

Not familiar with the LR2000 but I'm sure others will chime in.

Opps...I had a slight miscalculation there didn't I?  :inocent:

Thanks Morlock!

ps: what part of Missouri are you?  I was born&raised in the STL area.  Then about a 20 year stint on the West Coast.  Then back to MIssouri to 50 acres down around St. Robert.  Finally opted for shoveling sunshine rather than snow, and moved to Arizona.   Sold the Missouri property to my brother, so we're back to Missouri often.

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10 minutes ago, Desertpilot said:

To get the actual 20ac location you have to view the location notice at the county recorders office. Most allow you to view the document online. I use mylandmatters.org to do my claim research. It’s much easier than LR2000 plus they provide links to county recorders office when you look up claims in a section. 

Thanks!  I was using MyLandMatters also but I guess they get their data from the LR2000 because they only go down to a 1/4 Section also.  

I'll check the County Recorder for Maricopa County.  I was looking for closed claim in the LSD area which got me started on this wild goose chase.  

So it looks like you have to use MyLandMatters or LR2000 to determine if the claim is closed, and to the County Recorder for the exact location?   Geez...

Thanks again...

Mike

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1 hour ago, MikeBiondo said:

Thanks!  I was using MyLandMatters also but I guess they get their data from the LR2000 because they only go down to a 1/4 Section also.  

I'll check the County Recorder for Maricopa County.  I was looking for closed claim in the LSD area which got me started on this wild goose chase.  

So it looks like you have to use MyLandMatters or LR2000 to determine if the claim is closed, and to the County Recorder for the exact location?   Geez...

Thanks again...

Mike

The mining law only requires a location notice be described to the nearest quarter Section. That's generally a 160 acre area as Desertpilot pointed out.

The BLM only indicates one quarter section on many of their files so the claim could actually be in 1, 2, 3 or 4 quarter sections and as many as four sections and townships. As you now understand the LR2000 is only one of several stops along the way to understanding where any particular claim may actually be located. When the BLM notes a crossover location like these in it's database Land Matters includes the claim in every section that it's been listed. The BLM and Land Matters is only the first step in finding a mining claim location.

The County Recorder would be your next stop to track down the claim location. You can get a copy of the original location notice as well as any amendments there. In Arizona most County Recorders provide free online access and download of those locations and amendments. Those are free in Maricopa County. The Land Matters mining claim maps provide a direct link to the County Recorder Search site as well as enough information to fill out the search form there.

You will find that some claim locations records, particularly in Arizona, are just indicated on their recorded "map" by an "X" somewhat indicating where they think their claim is located on the map. For many claims that is sufficient under the law. Get what information you can from the location notice and location amendments before you go to the next step.

Put boots on the ground and look in the most likely places for claim monuments or stakes. The claim owner is not required to maintain these monuments after they locate but the prospector is still required by law to do their best to discover the location and status of any possible claims before they search for minerals. Sometimes you will find old monuments from closed claims or new monuments for recent claims. Knowing which is which is a matter of doing your research before entering the field to prospect. New claims, in many cases, won't show up in the County Recorder's for as much as 110 days - nearly 4 months. The BLM may be even further behind on showing new claims files in their database.

It does seem like a "wild goose chase" but this is the system that's been in place since 1976. For 104 years before 1976 the system was nearly the same but didn't include the BLM. It was just the County Recorder's books and boots to follow. Believe me this system is much better than staring at at a tiny microfiche machine in a dark room at the Recorder's or worse going through the actual book and pages for days. This "wild goose chase" is the same basic system miners have used for thousands of years. It's an essential part of a successful prospectors tool kit. It's just part of the free valuable minerals grant in the United States. Those "free" minerals are a lot of work to find and take home!

At Land Matters we try to make all this easier for prospectors. Land Matters was formed to fill the information vacuum created when the government took away the last few tools they provided for public land users to easily determine land status - including mining claims. We also provide a lot of information, research and educational resources regarding public land status, including this information on the Mining Claims maps front page:
 

Quote

 

The mining claims represented on these maps are only displayed to the nearest section and DO NOT display the actual claim location. Sections are about one square mile and actual mining claim locations can vary considerably from their mapped location.

The only way to determine an actual claim location is to obtain the County Recorder Location Notice and amendments for the claim in question, study the mapped location and then find the location marker on the ground. Members of the public and other prospectors do not have the right to determine whether an existing claim location is valid, only a court of record can make that determination.

 

That's the short version of what I just wrote above. Look around on Land Matters and you will find a lot more information to make your research as painless and quick as possible.

Hope that helps.

Barry

Edited by clay
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Thanks for the great, in-depth reply.  It helps a lot, and is much appreciated.

With mining law only requiring a location notice be described to the nearest 1/4 Section, it seems like there would be all sorts of claims being filed on top of each other.  I guess between the BLM and the County Recorders they can keep that kind of thing to a minimum.

Thanks again everyone for your comments.

Mike

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Frankly, the BLM doesn't care how many claims are filed over each other but they will surely take your money. Any disagreement with ownership of claims is a civil matter and not a government matter.

Some claims on Rich Hill have been filed over ten times or more. It's up the the person who files to make sure it's open. Otherwise you're just wasting your money.

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52 minutes ago, MikeBiondo said:

Thanks for the great, in-depth reply.  It helps a lot, and is much appreciated.

With mining law only requiring a location notice be described to the nearest 1/4 Section, it seems like there would be all sorts of claims being filed on top of each other.  I guess between the BLM and the County Recorders they can keep that kind of thing to a minimum.

Thanks again everyone for your comments.

Mike

Neither the BLM nor the County have any duty or authority to prevent overclaims. As Morlock correctly pointed out overclaims are strictly a civil matter. The very first federal mining law in 1865 set that as the basis of all claim location laws.

Quote

That no possessory action between individuals in any of the courts of the United States for the recovery of any mining title, or for damages to any such title, shall be affected by the fact that the paramount title to the land on which such mines are, is in the United States, but each case shall be adjudged by the law of possession.

Only the law of possession governs who wins in a dispute between claimants.

Barry

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Wow, what an informative exchange, even for an old hand like me and some others....Thanks, Barry!

 

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By the way, if any of you are thinking about buying a claim... DON'T..   until you do research and check with others. I've seen some pretty convincing ads for gold claims on Craigslist and eBay that are pretty much worthless but asking $5000.00 to $10,000.00.

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Since you’re in the Phoenix valley, the Maricopa County recorder where you are located, you’d find the person’t last name, search that and look for his filings with mining claims, and that’s the easiest way to find the map.  In Yavapai, I can search by township and range, and open up each. Filing to look at the map.  Yavapai is much easier.

Clay helped has helped a lot in helping me learn the process.

Clay touched on monuments and other things. Neither the BLM or the County have any obligation to police your filing, so them taking your money does not mean that you have a valid claim.  You could file on top of the state capitol building and they would still process your claim, but that does not mean you could dig the ground.  Same goes with them taking your money for private property, county land, etc.

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8 hours ago, Morlock said:

By the way, if any of you are thinking about buying a claim... DON'T..   until you do research and check with others. I've seen some pretty convincing ads for gold claims on Craigslist and eBay that are pretty much worthless but asking $5000.00 to $10,000.00.

Yeah, that always seems like the spam mail from DID's (Damsels-In-Distress) with $8,00,000 in foreign countries wanting your help to get the money out of the country.  For only few hundred dollars you can have a portion of the $8 million.  :D

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7 hours ago, chrisski said:

Since you’re in the Phoenix valley, the Maricopa County recorder where you are located, you’d find the person’t last name, search that and look for his filings with mining claims, and that’s the easiest way to find the map.  In Yavapai, I can search by township and range, and open up each. Filing to look at the map.  Yavapai is much easier.

Clay helped has helped a lot in helping me learn the process.

Clay touched on monuments and other things. Neither the BLM or the County have any obligation to police your filing, so them taking your money does not mean that you have a valid claim.  You could file on top of the state capitol building and they would still process your claim, but that does not mean you could dig the ground.  Same goes with them taking your money for private property, county land, etc.

Thanks!  Yes, Yavapai sounds a lot easier than Maricopa.  I've been spending quite a bit of time on the Maricopa County Recorder's website.  My interest is just having a good idea of where active claims are located before heading into an area to detect.  I am hoping to come up GPS coordinates of the active claims rather than having to go in search of monuments.  Besides the possibility of coming up with something useful, it's kinda fun tracking down records from the Recorder's data.  :D

However. just going through claims in LSD, I'm finding all sorts of weird things.  Like active claims that have no record of a Location Notice ever being filed in the current LR2000 Claimant's name.  You can find past Claimants to the claims, you can find Maintenance Fees paid by other non-Claimants, etc. all on what appears to be the same piece of ground.  I can sure see how confusing it can be to come up with something definitive.  But like I said, it's kinda fun trying to follow the trail.

At least, whenever I do get out in the field, I'll feel like I did my due diligence in attempts to stay off Active Claims.

Thanks again, to all of you have commented.  It has helped a lot in even partially understanding the process...

Mike

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Those filed in the county in another name might have been sold, with a quit claim deed.  There’s many sets of ground claimed twice, after all the BLM and county are under no obligation to check to see if the land is free, nor will they resolve disputes.

For me I get GPS cords by first getting the county filing and checking the map, and then going to land matters.org, turning on the PLSS and getting a pin point on where the corner is, like the NE 1/4 of the SW 1/4, just mouse over it.  When I get boots on ground, I’m nearly always within 30 yards of the marker when I get to the site.  There’s times where one marker may be missing. I’ve also put in corners where I checked out a new area for a claim to find markers where there was no claim, but found out by looking on the county website that the area had been claimed 20 years earlier, and since let go.  THere’s very few claims you can’t do this to, and there’s usually a reason like the claim would Vros into an adjacent county, or borders private property like a homestead.

I looked a few miles East and South of the San Domingo North of Castle Hot Springs Road and there were many unclaimed sections where I was free to prospect.  I did not find any gold, but knew I was where no one had been recently with the amount of iron I was pulling out of the wash.

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I am in the same boat. I know the exact GPS coordinates. But how do you find out if someone has a active claim on the location?

Secondary question is how does one find info on a OLD mine? Like mine history.

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14 minutes ago, hotrodfeguy said:

 

Secondary question is how does one find info on a OLD mine? Like mine history.

There's all kinds of information available through public agencies like USGS, State mining bureaus or even universities. Unless you want information on an obscure mine, there should be public information on it.

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12 hours ago, hotrodfeguy said:

I am in the same boat. I know the exact GPS coordinates. But how do you find out if someone has a active claim on the location?

Secondary question is how does one find info on a OLD mine? Like mine history.

OPEN Claims

Not an easy thing.  The post by Clay explains a lot.  Took me 8 months to learn what he posted.

 

Old Mine Data

Honestly google has worked for my amateur stuff.  Sometimes I need to "Cycle" Through many iterations of what I want.  To find what I need to search, I usually get the names of the mines either off the USGS maps or Mindat.  Honestly though, there's not a lot of info out there on old mines.  AZ has something like 30,000+ shafts dug in it, each a different mine, and many of those were so small time there is no data available.  The operation that lost money or barely broke even, just did not leave records.  The small pockets of gold may have barely paid for the dig, if even that.  

I looked at an area a company was digging in during the 40s that was developed at the beginning of the 1900s, but the best I can tell from that is they were digging shafts to see the viability of digging manganese.  Other than that, I found they dug about five shafts, but not much more.  I consider the Dragon Mine by the San Domingo as having a lot of info available, but still not a lot.  Its also a place that is unavailable for us to prospect.

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Old Mine Data

Arizona has a fantastic collection of mine data covering more than 21,000 entries documenting Arizona mines. You can more than likely find information on any but the smallest mining operations there.

The administration of these files used to be a major function of the Arizona Department of Mines and Minerals (ADMMR). In 2011 the whole mining history of Arizona was defunded, including the ADMMR and the Mining Museum. Most of what was left of the mining records and maps were given to the Arizona Geological Survey's (AZGS) at the University of Arizona, the rest was given away or destroyed.

The search engine at AZGS seems to be broken but there is an alternative source for these files at the USGS Science Base Catalogue of the Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources mining collection.

It's still out there but since the closing of the ADMMR and the passing of the amazing State Geologist Lee Allison in 2016 it's become much more difficult to access.

 

Edited by clay

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What a wealth of information clay, chrisski, Morlock, and others have been!  I just wanted to take a moment to extend my thanks to all who took time to share their knowledge. 

Through the generousity of you guy, in just a few days, my level of understanding of the Mining Claim process, and research tools has increased an order of magnitude.

Once again, my thanks and appreciation...

Mike

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The Arizona Mining Museum (now defunct) used to sell a large blue booklet  that listed all the mineral claims in the state. It was divided by counties and listed the claim name, location, elements found on it, etc. There was also a map included. This was a boon for prospectors and rock hounds.

It might have been based on the information from the link Clay posted above as it was pretty comprehensive.

I haven't seen any lately and don't know where you would find a copy. You could try to contact the Arizona Geological Survey. Maybe they can help.

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In Maricopa County you can search the public record by putting in the claim name in the "Business Name" search field. That way you get all the recorded claim docs instead of just the one's associated with a persons name.

State law requires the County Recorder to index mining claim records by their PLSS designation but Maricopa County doesn't seem to follow that law.

Quote

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.

Sure would be a lot easier if they included that ability on their search form. It used to be that you could put the TRS in the Business Name field but that doesn't seem to work anymore.

Yavapai County Recorder is much better as are the other Counties in Arizona with mining claim records.

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