Buying a Claim
When buying a mining claim its like anything else, just get the facts, the rest is fluff. Its just common sense.
You will want to know a few simple facts and if the seller won't disclose these to you tell him to take a hike.
This is just a common sense guide that may be expanded in the future for greater detail.
1) When was the claim located and recorded? If it was just a few months ago why is he selling?
2) What agency has jurisdiction over the land? The BLM the State or?
3) Is it a patented or unpatented claim? A unpatented claim is just mineral rights - that's its. Anyone can still use the land for any legal purpose. I can ride my quad on it, camp on it, shoot my gun on it, even take a crap on it. You have rights to extract minerals - that's it - nothing else. So if you see people on your unpatented claim camping, flying kites, shooting or any other legal pursuit - you have no right to stop them. You only have rights to extract minerals, you do not have the right to stop anyone from any other legal pursuit on your claim.
4) Can you schedule a time to freely go test it where you want to and bring others with to help? If you want my cash I want some proof its worth it.
5) Why is the claim being sold? Most claims are sold for legitimate reasons, some are not.
6) Will the seller assist with paperwork and fees?
7) What kind of access do the claims have, 4x4, 2 wheel drive, hiking. A very important thing to remember is some claims are "land Locked" - surrounded by private property or other land that may require permission to cross to access the claim. Do your homework.
8) Remember it costs less than $200.00 to file a claim, even for 160 acres on BLM land. If the price tag is into the thousands be sure the seller is not smoking crack when it comes to pricing.
9) Beware of embellished advertising. Many ads show all kinds of pictures, tell history (his story). If the ads is 95 percent fluff and 5 percent fact there is a reason behind it.
Remember a fool and his money are soon parted.
A patented claim is land ownership and mineral rights - this is real private property. I can't ride my quad on it, camp on it shoot on it or take a crap on it.
** A note from Russ Ford of www.russford.com and www.russfordprospecting.com (928)772-4131 regarding patented claims.
** This may be true, but not always. Mineral rights don't always go with a patented deed. Many private properties have the mineral rights owned by someone else (check your deed). The railroad was granted mineral rights to vast areas of the West as an incentive to build the tracks and open the West to settlers. They still own the mineral rights to every other section of land in some areas. It's always good to get the mineral right with your property when you buy..if at all possible. I'm not sure what would happen if the Santa Fe decided to drill a core sample in someone's back yard, but I guess it could happen.
*** Note from John B. patented claims.
*** A small correction to some of the info on here. The vast majority of the railroad lands were granted to the Southern Pacific for building the railroad cross country. As far as I know all that land that was sold the mineral rights were retained by Southern Pacific. Those mineral rights were recently sold to Newmont gold which purchased all of southern Pacific's mining interests. It used to be that you could do a mining lease with southern pacific on your own private land for mining the minerals or the same goes on lands they held the surface and mineral rights too. There are several RR owned parcels still in Rye Patch I believe. The only way the minerals could be worked on private property is with a mutual agreement between surface rights owners and mineral rights owners. Happy Huntin John B.
As you can see information from myself, Russ and John B. has some variation on patented claims - combined the 3 of us have almost 100 years of experience gold prospecting - just remember get ALL the facts before you make a purchase!