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Online Claim Research Questions


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1 hour ago, oldmancoyote1 said:

I have used The Diggings for active claims.  Taking The Diggings info to the County Recorder's office I have retrieved claim filing documents.  I have seen some indication elsewhere that there are patented claims in the area (Greaterville AZ), so I got a list of patented claims (Excel file) from the County Assessor's Office.  Yet there is only one patented claim shown in my target area.  The area I am interested in probably is patented.  It's a prime location.  I'd very much like to detect this area, but I'm stymied for lack of reliable information.  Anyone got a suggestion?

If it’s a patented claim, I would think that’s now private property and should be on the county tax assessors parcel maps with the new owner’s name, an APN number, etc.

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9 hours ago, oldmancoyote1 said:

I have used The Diggings for active claims.  Taking The Diggings info to the County Recorder's office I have retrieved claim filing documents.  I have seen some indication elsewhere that there are patented claims in the area (Greaterville AZ), so I got a list of patented claims (Excel file) from the County Assessor's Office.  Yet there is only one patented claim shown in my target area.  The area I am interested in probably is patented.  It's a prime location.  I'd very much like to detect this area, but I'm stymied for lack of reliable information.  Anyone got a suggestion?

There are a few private property parcels located there the biggest one is the town of GV (53 acres or so).  Most of the GV is claimed however there is the large section of which is called the 50/50 land which still holds a lot of gold.  

Oh the 53 acres is for sale for $500K

 

 

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23 hours ago, GotAU? said:

I’ve been curious about using the Bureau of Land Management’s MLRS site   https://mlrs.blm.gov/s/   to figure out where to go detect on open lands in heavily claimed areas, and I’ve noticed that it does show some “active claims” on the maps highlighted with red crosshatching, but it doesn’t show “active claims” in other areas at all. It’s strange because the map key includes a code for active load and active placer claims, in addition to closed ones. I’ve heard that it’s because BLM hasn’t caught up on the records yet, but does anyone know why otherwise? I hope it becomes available because that would be a wonderful feature instead of having to get records from their offices. 

 

The first thing to understand is that neither the MLRS nor any of the online claims mapping sites show actual areas under claim.

On the Land Matters website we make that clear right on the front of the mining claims maps page.

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.

The next thing to understand is the BLM, Land Matters, Diggings and even the pay services do not rely on mining claim locations to present their information. The information is derived from BLM case files which are not based on current claims information. Besides the normal 90 day + lag in location files and records the BLM itself is years behind on updating these case files in several states.

Just last week we ran some rough numbers on what percentage of BLM mining claim case files have never been adjudicated by the BLM beyond acknowledging the receipt of a notice. Adjudication is the simple process the BLM uses to determine if your mining claim location is properly described and located on public lands open to mineral entry. Until a mining claim case is adjudicated the BLM doesn't even know whether there is an actual mining claim associated with the notice they received. Here are state by state those percentages of not yet processed mining claims in a simplified format.

4% - Arizona
53% - California
20% - Colorado
10% - Idaho
1% - Montana and South Dakota*
1% - New Mexico
6% - Nevada
3% - Oregon and Washington*
14% - Utah
9% - Wyoming
* These States are administered as a single unit by the BLM.

As you can see if you are looking at the MLRS in California the information you are viewing is more than likely years out of date and has a slim chance of being accurate. In fact California is at least 2 years behind on processing claims closures so the numbers you see here just the tip of the administrative backlog iceberg. To varying degrees a similar situation exists in all states. The BLM isn't shy about warning you of this situation. On every file you acquire from the BLM you will find this notice in all capital letters and bold type:

NO WARRANTY IS MADE BY BLM FOR USE OF THE DATA FOR PURPOSES NOT INTENDED BY BLM

The list above should give you an idea of what purposes the BLM intended. :ph34r:

Most County Recorders will update their records within two weeks of receiving location notices or amendments. There are notable exceptions to that standard. In particular in California some of the larger counties are far behind due to being closed to the public for the last year or so. Nonetheless the County Recorder's office is an essential stop on the path to determine public lands open to prospecting.

What you are up against here is learning a new set of research skills before you can determine where there is open ground for prospecting. This may seem complex, and it is. Despite what appears to be a modern mess of red tape the fact is that successful professional prospectors in the United States have had to master these skills for more than 150 years. It's actually a lot easier now than it was even 20 years ago. It's just one of the many complex skills prospectors must master to be successful.

I do this for a living. I can tell you from experience that there are some basic steps that really need to be accomplished even before you look at the BLM files or the County Public Records. The very first thing you need to do before researching claims in any given area is to study the Master Title Plat (MTP) maintained by the BLM. The Master Title Plat is the definitive map of government interests, ownership and past actions on the public lands. It includes patents, mineral withdrawals and ROWS. It's one of the few government documents you will find that doesn't have the giant BLM disclaimer. You can rely on the MTP to be an official government record.

Without viewing and understanding the MTP you will waste a good part of your research and prospecting time investigating lands that you have no right to prospect or claim. Thousands of mining claimants waste their time and money every year staking claims that are invalid and will be classified as CLOSED as soon as your state BLM gets around to adjudicating your location notice.

The real message here is that you have a legal duty to determine the status of the land before you put boots on the ground to prospect or locate a mining claim. This is known as due diligence and it's a positive legal duty to avoid trespassing. Not just charges of trespassing against a mining claim but trespass on private property or mineral trespass against the United States is a distinct possibility too if you don't do the research before entering these lands.

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10 hours ago, GotAU? said:

If it’s a patented claim, I would think that’s now private property and should be on the county tax assessors parcel maps with the new owner’s name, an APN number, etc.

This is true of the surface of the land and real estate. The problem comes when dealing with the subsurface estate (minerals). In the western United States it's common for the minerals to be owned by a different entity than the surface owner.

Greaterville is a good example. What's known as the 50/50 area in Greaterville are old mining patents where the surface has been reconveyed (given back) to the United States along with half of the subsurface mineral rights retained in private ownership. Since half of the minerals belong to a private party you can't locate a mining claim in those areas even though they are managed and designated as public lands.

This situation is very common and it's a major part of the reason your first stop in claims research needs to be the Master Title Plat which is designed to show these "split estate" and mineral ownership status issues.

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9 minutes ago, Clay Diggins said:

Greaterville is a good example. What's known as the 50/50 area in Greaterville are old mining patents where the surface has been reconveyed (given back) to the United States along with half of the subsurface mineral rights retained in private ownership. Since half of the minerals belong to a private party you can't locate a mining claim in those areas even though they are managed and designated as public lands.

So that Master Title Plat will show the actual boundary of the 50/50 correct?  It was roughly pointed out to me years ago but I would like to see the boundary lines.

 

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42 minutes ago, Swegin said:

So that Master Title Plat will show the actual boundary of the 50/50 correct?  It was roughly pointed out to me years ago but I would like to see the boundary lines.

 

No it won't show the "actual" boundary because all it shows is land status. I don't recall how many different patents were reconveyed in the exchange but each one is individually shown as reconveyed with split mineral estate. You will have to determine the boundary from that information. I mapped those boundaries back in 2012 as part of the Greaterville FootPrint but there is no public version available beyond the current MTP.

Also the MTP is not a geographic map but shows land status in relationship to the Public Land Survey System. There are no common or reference map features on the MTP except Sections and government lots. The land status notation is unique to the MTP and only has a passing resemblance to English language.

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@Clay Digginsand @jasong and others who helped here - just want to thank you for the free time and education you are providing us, I really appreciate your responses, and am sure a lot of us here are benefiting by this -  thanks!

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49 minutes ago, Clay Diggins said:

No it won't show the "actual" boundary because all it shows is land status. I don't recall how many different patents were reconveyed in the exchange but each one is individually shown as reconveyed with split mineral estate. You will have to determine the boundary from that information. I mapped those boundaries back in 2012 as part of the Greaterville FootPrint but there is no public version available beyond the current MTP.

Thank you very much.   I take it the those Footprint DVD's don't get updated any more.  $80 is cheap compared to how long it would take me to locate the boundaries.

 

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3 hours ago, Swegin said:

There are a few private property parcels located there the biggest one is the town of GV (53 acres or so).  Most of the GV is claimed however there is the large section of which is called the 50/50 land which still holds a lot of gold.  

Oh the 53 acres is for sale for $500K

 

 

An adjacent property is 50 50.  I strongly suspect that my area of interest is also 50 50. If it is, I suppose I can not  metal detect there.   Any info on wether I can metal detect 50 50 land.

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