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Clay Diggins

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Clay Diggins last won the day on October 24

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About Clay Diggins

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  1. 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 Land Matters did the work of cleaning the Report of withdrawn areas, claims flippers and blanket claims.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
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. New BLM Lr2000

    Thanks Chris. I look forward to your input. I'm still waiting for the BLM to bring the whole search system functional. There are a lot of search functions still marked "UNDER CONSTRUCTION". I'm wondering why they shut down the old site before they finished the new site? I do see little changes and some speed gains but no real progress in functions. I sense a disturbance in D.C. that's being felt in Denver. I suspect the whole LR2000 upgrade project is under scrutiny. This might be an "interesting" year for some agency employees.
  7. Meteorites On Mining Claims

    There have already been several civil cases Dave. At least one made it all the way to the Arizona Supreme Court. Nininger himself encouraged several lawsuits challenging the Barringer claims. All of them were resolved in favor of the owners of the mining claims. All laws in the United States agree that all valuable minerals on a mining claim belong to the mineral claimant. Meteorites are valuable and mineral so I doubt you will ever see a case where meteorite minerals are specifically segregated from the other valuable minerals. Congress could change that but Nininger was unable to convince them that was a good idea. Maybe in the future? This does raise the question of how long meteorite material has to be on earth before it is considered just more minerals in the earth. There is pretty good evidence that the richest mineral deposit on earth, the Witwaterstrand, may be the result of a meteorite impact 2020 million years ago. Should those mines be closed in favor of preserving the potential meteorite material for study? Considering that all the valuable minerals on earth are the direct result of space materials being attracted to earth's gravity well at what point do meteorite collectors give up on trying to differentiate one from the other? I know this question is being seriously studied in meteorology but I'm doubtful such a defining date can be established.
  8. New BLM Lr2000

    A review Anyone who uses the BLM LR2000 search function knows it can be a challenge to get meaningful results. Often the service is down but you aren't notified of a problem with the system until you go through the whole complex search process to discover there was an "error". Frustrating at times. Well it appears the BLM decided it was time to change the look and feel of the LR2000 search function. They notified users months ago that they were working on an improved version but they caught a lot of people by surprise when they introduced the NEW! IMPROVED! LR2000 on November 1 and shut down the functions of the OLD! BAD! LR2000 at the same time. Problem was they didn't tell anyone. The old LR2000 still appears to be there and will allow you to do a search. That search returns an error, as mentioned earlier that's not unexpected or uncommon when using the LR2000. I use the LR2000 a lot when I need the most recent information on a land or claim case file. It took me nearly 24 hours after the changeover to get fed up enough with the old LR2000 not working to try the new LR2000 which has been available but not working for the last nine months. I'm hoping the BLM will set up that old LR2000 web address to redirect to the new LR2000 page so others won't have to waste their time beating a dead search system like I did. The old LR2000 was clunky. It reminded me of an old unfamiliar broken down right hand drive truck with a Japanese language repair manual. It was really that awkward and counter intuitive. There were many blogs, manuals and videos devoted to explaining the esoteric mysteries of the BLM's version of public access to public records, I even helped write a few myself. I made good use of the old LR2000 on the days it was working and I was glad to have it when I could get results but it needed fixing. The new LR2000 has a cleaner less intimidating interface with a slightly simpler set of options. I really don't like the "black topo" background the BLM now puts on all their web pages. If you like the black topo theme you are probably going to like the look of these new search pages better than the old ones. The behind the scenes search function has changed a lot from the old LR2000. I tried it on several browsers and three operating systems. I had problems on every browser and system. The Search seems to hang in some circumstances, in others it returns results as quickly as the old LR2000. The actual search itself seems to be slower sometimes. Every browser I tried had problems when it had run a few searches. The searches would eventually hang and several loops would keep the browser so busy it would lock up. That's not something I'm used to experiencing. This is a new system so I'm hoping the BLM will get these glitches out soon. The results of each search now displays in a new interface. Essentially there will be a window frame on the results page with the document displayed inside the frame as a PDF. Like the old LR2000 there are options to download the document in several formats including Excel, PDF and HTML. You can now modify or start a new search from the results page. Land Matters has made an effort to bypass the clunky old LR2000 interface and allow you to directly access any claims BLM serial register page directly with a few clicks on a map. This turned out to be a lot quicker way to get information on claims in a specific area without having to pound through the old LR2000. Being a direct live link to the BLM the information is as current as possible unlike other mapping programs that present static information updated every month or so. When the unannounced changeover in LR2000 search systems happened it broke Land Matters system of direct access. With more than 380,000 mining claims being actively tracked Land Matters had a problem. Claims Advantage Members also get several reports a month. In the last two days Land Matters had released two reports with a combined total of more than 20,000 maps and direct links to a broken LR2000. That's 400,000 missing documents. Sometimes life can be.... interesting. Needless to say I have been busy. It took 24 hours but I deciphered the new LR2000 system, fixed the links to the serial register pages and corrected, compiled and uploaded new member reports. The mining claim serial register pages linked to on the maps load more quickly than the old ones did. If you have any problems with those maps or the Member Reports please let me know. Please try out the new LR2000 and share your experiences here. Try the Mining Claims Maps at Land Matters and marvel at the new search results. If you like the way the map link system works we can add the feature for a lot more types of research. Barry
  9. Meteorites On Mining Claims

    Another mystery case with no record. The government did not take the Old Woman Meteorite. The discoverers signed a contract to have the meteorite delivered to a museum in southern California. Everything after that was about how their contract gave them no right to the meteorite - they had signed away their rights. The BLM pointed out that since the Old Woman meteorite had been removed they could find no valuable minerals on which to base a claim. Just because a mining claim once had minerals is not evidence that it still does have minerals. You can't claim minerals that aren't there. They made the mining claim in an effort to bolster their claim that they had a right to the meteorite they had given away. The BLM has never made a final decision that meteorites are not subject to mineral claim. If you ask why they might mumble something about BIG ELEPHANT IN ROOM.
  10. Meteorites On Mining Claims

    OK that was a trick question Lunk. You can't share any meteorite laws with us because there are none. Many years ago I was constantly getting different answers about what was written in the law. Seems nobody could come up with a verifiable answer. It was all like this thread, different opinions and a lot of "everybody knows". I tried looking up the laws but that turned out to be full of lawyerspeak and Not Yours! attitudes in secret libraries far away from any working man. So I did the obvious - I went to law school and learned how to find and understand the actual written laws. Back then that wasn't an easy thing. Took years to figure the system out. Try looking up Shepardizing to get a hint as to how onerous the process was. Lucky for us now in the modern times we can look up any Federal law quick and easy. No need for years in law school. It's like Google Search for law. Here's a link to that search function direct from the folks that keep the law records. I've even done the search for you. As you can see the word meteorite is nowhere to be found in Federal law. I think we can agree that if the word meteorite is not to be found in the law then the law has nothing to say about meteorites? Feel free to play around there it's a great resource. Of course being curious when I first heard these theories about meteorites not being valuable minerals I had to investigate every new theory being proposed. One of the big fantasies in the meteorite circles was there was a case called "The Old Woman Meteorite". Supposedly this was the big case that established that meteories were not subject to location and belonged to the Smithsonian. Well such a case actually exists so I got a copy and read the case and it doesn't address meteorite ownership, mining claims or the actual meteorite itself. The Old Woman case was about the right of the Secretary of the Interior to bypass normal established administrative process in awarding study materials under the Antiquities Act. No issue was raised and no decision was made regarding meteorites, meteorite ownership, public lands, valuable minerals or mining claims. The 9th Circuit simply was carrying out their duty to review a challenge to an administrative decision under the Administrative Procedures Act. Although the decision was judicial it was strictly the final decision on a single administrative action and did not interpret or define anything in regards to meteorites, minerals or mining law. You can read the Old Woman case HERE. As for that BLM "Internal Memorandum" you might observe that expired a year after it was issued? It was neither law nor regulation and was not a public document. It really doesn't matter though because the woman who wrote that memo was in the archaeological resources office. Her job is to enforce the Antiquites Act. The Antiquites Act specifically exempts stone or mineral that has not been worked by men. The writer of that "Internal Memorandum" had no right to make any rules or regulations about stone or minerals. Even if the stone had been worked by a man the object and work had to be more than 100 years old and Archaeologically significant. Even if there were some traction under the Antiquities law mining claim locations are specifically exempt. You can read the whole Antiquities Act HERE. Now we still have the big elephant in the room. The fact that mining claims have been located, mined and patented for meteorite materials. After many court cases challenging those mining claim patents they are still as valid today as the day the claims were located. Despite all the meteorite collectors rumors and invisible "law" that big elephant is sitting right in the middle of one of the most significant falls in the world. Proof that mining claimants own all the valuable minerals within their mining claim - including the valuable meteorite materials. You can ignore that or pretend it's a one off case but several courts disagree with you. In fact the man that made those meteorite claims was the author of "The Law of Mines and Mining in the United States" - still in print today 120 years later.
  11. Meteorites On Mining Claims

    There are no "meteorite laws" in the United States. Which is probably why they aren't common knowledge. If you know of one I'm sure you will share it here.
  12. Meteorites On Mining Claims

    Mining claims are not public land Lunk. The minerals are segregated from the public, they belong to the claim owner. It's true that if a meteorite falls on private property it belongs to the property owner. The public lands of the United States do not belong to the government they belong to the public. When a mining claim is located the minerals are granted to the locator. All members of the public that are citizens and have reached the age of majority can make a mining claim on lands open to location. You can not locate a mining claim for meteorites but you can locate a mining claim for meteorite minerals. On public lands where the minerals are still open to the public recreational and commercial collecting laws are in effect. As I recall those are based on a certain number of pounds per year. Commercial collection requires permits and taxes the same as any other lease or sale of public land materials.
  13. Meteorites On Mining Claims

    I don't know how that rumor got started Dave. There is no such exemption and never has been. All valuable minerals on a mining claim belong to the claimant. Meteorite minerals are valuable. Heck they are usually sold by the gram which puts them right up there with the most valuable minerals found. Mining claims have been located, mined and granted patents for the meteorite minerals discovered on the claim. If you get right down to it all the minerals on every claim were put there my meteorites.
  14. Rye Patch Claim Jumpers?

    According to the Master Title Plat those sections are part of the same land action. Without looking each section up I'd have to say the odds are high they both have the same private subsurface status as Section 19. The Case Number for those odd sections is Nv 050293. With a little research you could know for sure. The Master Title Plat will give you the status of each Section in that Township.
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