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Clay Diggins

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Clay Diggins last won the day on October 24 2017

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About Clay Diggins

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    The Great Southwest

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  1. Big Win For Southern California Miners!!

    The ban was only on locating mining claims. Mining sales and leases were still allowed. Prospecting was still allowed. Mining of non locatable minerals was still allowed. The BLM enforced the ban by refusing to maintain a mining claim case file for a new location. No BLM case file = no mining claim. The line was drawn at locating a mining claim. You could prospect for and discover valuable minerals but you couldn't claim those minerals for yourself. If you discovered oil, coal, sulfur, phosphorous or a bunch of other non locatable minerals you could lease the discovery and mine it. If you needed sand or construction materials you could buy those and mine them. Only the valuable minerals like gold, silver, copper, lead, tin etc. were banned from location. Neither hiking nor anything else was banned.
  2. Apologies

    Land Matters is going through growing pains. The Land Matters website volume has been doubling every two weeks. A month ago there were usually 35 - 50 people making maps at any given time day or night. Now there are around 200 - 250 people creating maps at the same time. That's a much bigger load on our servers and resulted in some stress on the mapping system. That's led to some glitches. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. We are actively "tuning" our servers to deliver more maps for more people. The system is running much smoother now but with continued tuning there will be occasional slowdowns, it's unavoidable but we will try to keep any disruptions to a minimum. We like it that more people are discovering Land Matters every day. We are setting up the Land Matters servers to handle a lot more traffic now so we won't be having problems in the future. Please bear with us over the next week or two as we build a faster more responsive website for you.
  3. I'm surprised the prospectors in Southern California haven't picked up on this. The Obama administration went on a public land closure spree just after Christmas 2016. The most disturbing of those withdrawals was the withdrawal of the last scattered bits of public land not already under withdrawals for wilderness, military, National parks, wild and scenic sewers, or study areas in the Southern California Conservation Area. This particular December 28, 2016 withdrawal was literally the last gasp for public lands open to location in the desert conservation area. 1,337,904 (1.3 million) acres were closed in dozens of small areas. These little bits of land were withdrawn from mining only "to protect nationally significant landscapes with outstanding cultural, biological, and scientific values". Literally some of these areas were parking lots (scientific values?). Virtually all of the area was desert scrub land (biological?) with the usual 4WD tracks (nationally significant landscape?) and trashy drinking spots (outstanding cultural value?). Only mining was restricted. This withdrawal was the most disheartening and downright spiteful of all the withdrawals made just before the end of Obama's presidency. The withdrawal is now being cancelled. The 1,337,904 acres will be open to location again at 10 a.m. on March 9, 2018. It's still out there and now you can get u sum!
  4. Xchange 2 Compatibility With Latest GPZ Update

    I don't have a metal detector that uses XChange but I did look through the "program". It appears to be simple stupid XML with a custom header. It shouldn't be too hard to convert the data to something useful like GPX or KML with a little work in a text program. If Steve can figure out how to get the data out of the machine I'd be happy to help create a converter app to make that data useful.
  5. New Year Claims Numbers

    At present there isn't a way to do that AU_Solitude. The USGS stopped hosting that information. I have the data for all those historic claims in my company database. Land Matters would like to provide something similar to the old USGS historic mining claims info pages but with more detail. From what I understand it's one of the most requested features at Land Matters. Seems a lot of folks were studying those old claims. That may be why the USGS removed the info. Like the geocommunicator functions and the LR2000 it just doesn't fit the new Interior Department agenda. I guess if it's not protecting the outdoors or it's not in the future the Interior Department isn't going to continue supporting it? The problem is that the data for historic claims is huge. Server space costs money and development takes time. At present Land Matters is still trying to fund the mining claims program they already provide. With enough money and time the historic mining claims and much more is possible.
  6. New Year Claims Numbers

    As they do twice a month Land Matters updated their free Mining Claims Maps. That claims map information is current as of January 1st. The mining year is now four months along. In the last 4 months there were 6,479 mining claims closed and 14,854 new claims located as of January 1, 2018. That's a net gain of 8,375 new mining claims in the first third of the 2018 mining year! As of January 1, 2018 there were 391,907 active mining claims in the BLM database. That's a big number but it represents less than 1% of all the public lands.
  7. New BLM Lr2000

    Google Earth has a version of the Chrome browser available through the GE program. You can go anywhere the web will take you just like any other browser. I prefer not to use the Chrome browser for security reasons but if you like using Chrome for your web surfing there is no reason not to use the Google Earth version.
  8. New BLM Lr2000

    Thanks for sharing your experience Chris. I've pretty much given up on trying to use their system. Unlike other users I have a choice but from the complaints and questions I get some users have found the NEW LR2000 to be unworkable. The LR2000 itself isn't a kludge. It's actually quite fast and efficient. I keep a mirrored copy of the entire current and past database on my work computer and speed is definitely not a problem. The kludge comes with the implementation of the interface (all those drop down menus). The contractors for the NEW LR2000 interface decided your local computer should do the computing work rather than their servers. This is done with javascript libraries that you download to your computer every time you load a page on the LR2000 website. Javascript actually works pretty good for this type of searching if it's kept to a minimum. At Land Matters all our maps etc. run from one very small javascript library. At the BLM LR2000 they are using dozens of these libraries for every function. On the Serial Register search page alone I counted 138 javascript libraries to download and run on your computer every time you load a page or do a search. All that javascript code runs sequentially and ends up looking like the three stooges on vacation when it's running. The three stooges is not a good computing model. I'm working on LR2000 search pages for the Land Matters website. I've been testing these and you should get results directly from the LR2000 in less than 4 seconds and there is no code to cause a slowdown when you run more than a few searches. Unlike all the other mining claim websites and services Land Matters does live searches for you of the LR2000, General Land Office and State databases so the information returned is never stale. The Serial Register Page, Mineral Patent and Master Title Plats you can download through Land Matters are exactly the same documents you would get if you went directly through the LR2000 or GLO. I'll put a post up here when the new search function is ready to use on Land Matters. In the meantime you can get those same current items from the maps with a couple of clicks.
  9. Miners Christmas

    Wishing You a Happy Holiday From the folks at Land Matters
  10. The USGS just released their latest Professional Paper 1802 Critical mineral resources of the United States–Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply. This thing is a monster! 862 pages and a 170 Mb download. That is a big download for a lot of people so we shrunk their bloated PDF down to 30 Mb. It's got all the stuff the bigger one does but the graphics are scaled down to web user size. You can download the full 862 page report directly from Land Matters. This huge report is fine in itself but to really understand what's in it we figured a map of all the locations would help. You can load up the Critical Minerals interactive Map right in your browser and study it along with your book. We've added the mines of the world as well as some basic base layers so you can compare the report locations to known historical and current mines. We'll be adding more features to that map soon. If you need to print out the book in it's original high resolution form you can find it at the USGS Publications Warehouse.
  11. Closed Mining Claim Research

    That's the point of the Historical Placer Claims Report Chuck. ALL the claims listed were held for 20 years or more. There are no ACTIVE claims in the quarter section where the 20+ year claim was closed. Land Matters did the work of cleaning the Report of withdrawn areas, claims flippers and blanket claims. That produces a lot fewer potential open areas but it helps prospectors by giving them only valued, open areas to research. Still there were nearly 20,000 closed placer claims that survived the cull. You comment does touch on an aspect of how the mining industry works. Junior exploration companies do claim up considerable area each year to secure the minerals while they carry on exploration. After 5-10 years of exploration if they don't have proof of a juicy deposit or they can't find a buyer/partner for the project they drop the claims and write off the expense as CODB. This is what accounts for the majority of claims turnover each year in my experience. There is another much smaller group of companies that are created just to fleece paper mining investors. They look a lot like Junior exploration companies to the inexperienced. (Liberty Belle and Bre-X being examples) Those scams rarely last more than a few years. I've never known a claim flipper to keep a claim for 20 years or more. That would be a minimum of $3,100 in fees per claim in today's world. Out of the ~45,000 new claims located I doubt more than a couple of thousand could be located by flippers. There is sometimes a fine line between legitimate mining claim locations made with the intent to prove and sell a mineral deposit and locations made to make a profit on reselling the claim. The real difference is the intent and the ability to do the exploration necessary to prove the value of a claim in the open market. All things being equal if the seller has no exploration work completed and no clearly described deposit the claim they are selling is worth just about the $500 it took to make the claim in the first place. It's still buyer beware out there. Barry
  12. Newest Big Nugget Found..........

    Hi Reg, I have no personal knowledge. I'm a bit young to remember that time. I could ask my older brother but I seem to recall he was in Mongolia around the 1800 era. There are quite a few entries on that list that date before 1850. I have no reason to doubt your timeline but I was questioning the early dates I was seeing there. I guess I was right to doubt those early nugget entries. In any case I was just using my skills to answer Mike's question, I was trying to save you a "bit of a task". Thanks for pointing out the reference material Reg and thanks to Steve for finding the source. These are new to my Library so I guess I've got some more study materials. Barry
  13. A lot of prospectors have an interest in exploring closed claims. I'm not a big fan of spending time looking for closed claims for the simple reason that most claims made never produced any valuable minerals. The fact that a claim was previously located is not an indicator of valuable minerals. After all if the claim owners didn't bother to keep the claim active it probably wasn't worth having. There are of course exceptions to that theory but a closed claim on it's own doesn't excite me. I need to know more before I'm going to chase after previously claimed ground. There were more than 44,200 mining claims closed last year alone, that's way to many to make it worth anyone's time to read through without trimming out the thousands of recent claims. Twice a month I do compile all the claim closures updated during that half month. To get any value out of those thousands of closed claims I need to sort them out on some reasonable basis. With the twice monthly Claims Advantage Report it is possible to interactively sort those recently closed claims by Location (State, County, TRS), Claim Name, Claim Type, Closure Date as well as Year Located and Years Held. Sorting the Report by Location allows me to watch certain areas of particular interest to me. Only the Claims Advantage reports allow you to see that information on a current basis, the LR2000 doesn't have that information so that feature is helpful. Once I see a claim being closed in an area of interest I can zoom to a custom map of the closed area right from a button on the Report claim listing. That allows me to see other claims in the area as well as check land status by downloading the Master Title Plat from the map. I can also load the current Serial Register report page from a link on the report. That doesn't complete my research of the area but it does give me enough information to decide if it's worth my time to search the County Recorder for Claim Records. That's pretty cool to have all that information available with a couple of clicks. I use the reports a lot myself. The real power of these Reports starts to shine when I sort by Year Located or Years Held. Remember how I said how most claims made never produced any valuable minerals? Well that doesn't really apply when you see someone has maintained a claim for many years. It makes me sit up and take notice when I see a claim that has been held for anywhere from 20 years to 125+ years. THAT is information I can use! Being that I keep all this information on hand I can sort this information on a much longer timeline than the half month available in the Claims Advantage Reports. By sorting for all the Closed Claims that were held for at least 20 years or more AND were located on now unclaimed land I can see the claims that people valued and kept that are now open to location. That may sound like there wouldn't be that many established closed claims on productive ground right? Well surprise surprise! There are nearly 20,000 placer claims that meet that standard! Naturally I share this information with my favorite charity Land Matters and naturally Land Matters makes this information available to it's Claims Advantage Members. Here's a brief look at how these claims stack up in each State: Surprising isn't it? Here's a quick heat map to show the general location and density of all these open areas: Here's a link to an online interactive map so you can look a little closer. That's a whole bunch of open ground with a HIGH potential for valuable minerals. Whether you are looking for open ground to prospect or are researching for a potential new claim looking at this closed claim information from a more organized and selective angle can really pay off. If you are looking for an edge the Historical Placer Claims Report is a good start.
  14. Newest Big Nugget Found..........

    I parsed the pdf and came up with this entry as the earliest: Alluvial 300oz found in Billy Goat Gully, Kingower 6 ft deep in August of 1801 Remarks: W. Birkmyre, p. 366 R. Brough Smyth's Gold-fields and Mineral Districts of Victoria There are several listings that just state "prior to 1808". I'm not up on Australian history but I imagine that might be about the Rum Rebellion"? Barry
  15. New BLM Lr2000

    Thanks Dave, that means a lot coming from you. Land Matters was created to make access to this type of public information easy and reliably accessible.. Pretty much any information you might want is being compiled somewhere but the government has failed to provide easy or consistent access for the public. I have thought about tracking the LR2000 budget but that means digging through 100's of pages of funding bills or sending an email that is unlikely to answer the question. Both are frustrating time consuming processes with no real possible outcome but anger. I do know it's in the 100's of millions of dollars. Land Matters has provided this information for just three years and a month. It's a non profit organization that has an annual operating budget of less than $10,000. That budget is going to grow as we continue serving more people and more types of information but comparing the Land Matters budget to the BLM's LR2000 budget is a good working example of the general ineffectiveness of many government agencies. Working for those agencies might get me a good salary but it's doubtful it would result in any better service than we can provide with Land Matters. I don't think the problems with the LR2000 are related to lack of skills but rather ineffective use of the good people the agency employs. There are a lot more information projects than just the LR2000 in the works at Land Matters. GLO Patent and Survey copies from a click on the map is an upcoming feature. You can see part of that feature is already working for mineral patents on the Arizona, California and Colorado Mining Claim maps. Better roads on the maps and a much bigger Library are all planned for the future. Barry