Jump to content

Online Claim Research Questions


Recommended Posts

16 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

There is one other resource that I have not seen mentioned in this thread. I am not sure it is relevant in all places, but it has worked for me in the past.

Keep in mind that a mining claim is private property; as such taxes have to be paid on it. That means that the county assessors office will have tax information about the claim. If you can even just point to a location on a map, the assessors staff can and will give you, or direct you to their ownership information. This information does not divulge the status of a claim, whether active or inactive; but it will tell you who pays the taxes on a claim, which would be the claim owner.

With that information in hand you can make contact with the claim owner and ask him or her in person about the status of the claim. This is by no means fool proof, because the claim owner can tell you the claim is active, whether it really is or not. But it is one more tool for you to try in determining claim status.

I use this for real estate investing purposes when I have no idea of the ownership of a property I am interested in. Where I live in Northern California the county assessor's staff is very helpful and will guide you through the process, which may include you having to actually look up the information in their computerized records, but even then if you get stuck they will walk you through it.

That's a good tip Jim. County Assessors can, and often will, help you locate property information. It works well in the dozen or so counties that do tax mining claims. Most states and counties do not tax mining claims.

The BLM Serial Register page for each mining claim also has the names and addresses of the owners of each mining claim. Using the Land Matters mining claims maps you are provided a link to each claim's Serial Register Page at the BLM. You can get the contact information for any claim right from your own computer. If you have a mobile internet connection you can look up claims and claim owners while in the field.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Here is my process, maybe this will help clear up confusion about what to look for at the recorder, or how to do it. Most of this can be done online, and is quick and easy.

Most recorders have online databases back to the 1990's or so. The BLM database is more or less correct for older claims for which they have done the data entry on and you know down to the 1/4 section what is claimed (more on that in a moment), so what I do at the recorder website is find out if any newer claims have been filed which the BLM database does not yet have record of as my first step.

Search the recorder database by T/R/S, and then order results by date. Now just look for any claims filed at the county which are newer than the newest claims the BLM has record of. Download the location certificates, map them in Google Earth, import the KMZ into your phone or GPS, and now you know exactly where they are at on the ground and what to avoid.

If there are no older claims within any 1/4 section you will be prospecting, then there is no need to pull location certificates for those older claims since you can just avoid that whole 1/4 section, and you already know where the newer claims are at so you can avoid them. Good to go now, go detecting!

IF however there are older claims the BLM is listing in a 1/4 section you are interested in prospecting then you now to map those older claims (or at least determine where they are at). You need to pull those location certificates at the recorder. If they are newer than the 1990's then you can do it from home on the recorder website at most counties, just like with the newer claims.

If the older claims are older than the 1990's or so, then this is the point you will likely need to visit the recorder's office in person and search either or both of the books or microfiche. In almost every county, this almost always boils down to first locating the index book. Some indexes are sorted by geographic area (T/R/S), some are sorted by name, some are sorted by claim names, some are sorted by document type. Most are also sorted by date. Locate you items of interest in the index, and then pull them up in whatever book the index lists. Take your stack of location certificates and map them out however you prefer.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Clay Diggins said:

There have not been thousands of new claims located in Montana in the last few months. In the entire 2020 mining year there were 1,625 claims located in Montana. In the month of January there were 2 claims located in Montana. As of February 1 the Montana BLM had a backlog of 115 mining claims waiting for adjudication. That's directly from the BLM's own records and includes mining claims in the State of South Dakota which is administered by the Montana state office of the BLM.

Compare that with Nevada where there were 15,641 mining claims located in the 2020 mining year and 3,841 mining claims located in January of this year alone.

Claims are not located by longitude and latitude. Legally there are only two methods of locating mining claims, by aliquot part and by metes and bounds. Mining claim location notices received at the BLM are regularly rejected for not locating by one of the two legal methods or by locating by the wrong method for the type of claim or location.

The BLM does not have a data page with coordinates. What the BLM is attempting to do in the future is to display new claims by the coordinates input into their new online mapping system. There is no plan to map all the 400,000 plus existing mining claims.

Clay, curious- so do you use an automated method of scanning and converting the location descriptions of claims from BLM records to geographic coordinates on MLM, or do you have to code those manually?  I used to work for a cartographic company, and manually coding information from legal land documents for GIS was excruciatingly slow. I am impressed by the work you have done on the site!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

(Not Clay, but...) Considering a huge amount of location certificates which I pull lack even basic information to properly map them - like a tie point, or bearing/range from tie to a corner - and also because there are really no standard forms to use to program automated data recovery from, there is really no good way to automate the mapping of all the older claims unfortunately.

Even doing it by hand is impossible for a lot of claims. You'd be surprised how many "claims" people pay money to file yet put apparantly zero thought into putting even the most basic minimum amount of location information onto them.

That's why I thought it was good to see the online claim filing system on the MLRS. But we'll see how that goes, I hope now it doesn't start a deluge of paper staking.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, jasong said:

Here is my process, maybe this will help clear up confusion about what to look for at the recorder, or how to do it. Most of this can be done online, and is quick and easy.

Most recorders have online databases back to the 1990's or so. The BLM database is more or less correct for older claims for which they have done the data entry on and you know down to the 1/4 section what is claimed (more on that in a moment), so what I do at the recorder website is find out if any newer claims have been filed which the BLM database does not yet have record of as my first step.

Search the recorder database by T/R/S, and then order results by date. Now just look for any claims filed at the county which are newer than the newest claims the BLM has record of. Download the location certificates, map them in Google Earth, import the KMZ into your phone or GPS, and now you know exactly where they are at on the ground and what to avoid.

If there are no older claims within any 1/4 section you will be prospecting, then there is no need to pull location certificates for those older claims since you can just avoid that whole 1/4 section, and you already know where the newer claims are at so you can avoid them. Good to go now, go detecting!

IF however there are older claims the BLM is listing in a 1/4 section you are interested in prospecting then you now to map those older claims (or at least determine where they are at). You need to pull those location certificates at the recorder. If they are newer than the 1990's then you can do it from home on the recorder website at most counties, just like with the newer claims.

If the older claims are older than the 1990's or so, then this is the point you will likely need to visit the recorder's office in person and search either or both of the books or microfiche. In almost every county, this almost always boils down to first locating the index book. Some indexes are sorted by geographic area (T/R/S), some are sorted by name, some are sorted by claim names, some are sorted by document type. Most are also sorted by date. Locate you items of interest in the index, and then pull them up in whatever book the index lists. Take your stack of location certificates and map them out however you prefer.

That's pretty much the same system I use in Nevada jasong. The only difference being my clients want all the claims mapped no matter what the age.

The availability of information varies a lot by state and county. In Arizona location notices and amendments are available online for free. Every County Recorder is required to record mining claim records by TRS as well as Grantor/Grantee, date and type of document. That's true of the entire state except Maricopa County who have refused to record their documents to the standards defined by the legislature despite many requests over many years.

In California it appears the only recording standard is send more money and hope they eventually respond in some way. Different counties there have different fees and policies. Little tiny Mono County is responsive and will often email you the requested docs for free if you are polite, patient and respectful. Another county (to remain unnamed) wants thousands of dollars before they will respond. The largest county has refused to search their records for the last year cuz covid. In California you pays yer money and take your chances.

Idaho is a mixed bag but I've found the recorders there to be helpful and responsive. Not all counties have online access but even some of the smallest counties do have online free downloads of records.

Obviously I deal with Recorder's in all the western mining states as well as beyond, It would take more time than I have to outline my experiences with all of them but the one thing that becomes obvious rather quickly is that there is no standard method of acquiring public records, mining or otherwise. You've just got to learn the local systems and jump through whatever hoops are presented.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah I should probably preface my advice with the statement that I do not prospect in California and know nothing about the local government systems there since that state sounds like it can often be another country in some ways. So many people there and so much private land that it's just easier for me to avoid and stay in my loner bubble. :cool:

Most everything I do is in AZ, NV, CO, WY. And I'm looking more into ID, SD, and MT lately since they are much closer to me and my ability to travel is reduced from what it once was. And since all my old friends basically live in Oregon I'm looking at stuff there too lately.

I was surprised that even Esmeralda county - population like maybe 900 and without a single incorporated town - even had online document access (though admittedly that one lacks some features). Some states seem to do things well, others not caught up to the modern era yet.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

47 minutes ago, GotAU? said:

Clay, curious- so do you use an automated method of scanning and converting the location descriptions of claims from BLM records to geographic coordinates on MLM, or do you have to code those manually?  I used to work for a cartographic company, and manually coding information from legal land documents for GIS was excruciatingly slow. I am impressed by the work you have done on the site!

On Land Matters I create the claims mapping with a proprietary system I've built into my spatial database. Even though that sounds "automatic" it still takes about 12 hours to process the 30 plus Gigabytes of claim data provided by the BLM twice a month.

For individual claims mapping in my business jasong pretty much outlined the system. It's very involved work with huge amounts of research required to compensate for the often poorly located claims.

Here's an example from my claims mapping this week. I'm researching a group of claims from the 1900 period in a well developed mining district. This group of claims has no metes and bounds description and the tie to a known permanent monument refers to "the white bridge on the paved road". This mining district is now composed of large mine pits that have completely obliterated any past roads or bridges from that period. The only other location reference is to another group of claims that were never recorded at the County and were abandoned in 1914. I have now managed to map the claims after researching the highway department records (no results), mining district records (missing), old maps (no results) and a long conversation with a regional historical society member (success!).

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Clay Diggins said:

On Land Matters I create the claims mapping with a proprietary system I've built into my spatial database. Even though that sounds "automatic" it still takes about 12 hours to process the 30 plus Gigabytes of claim data provided by the BLM twice a month.

For individual claims mapping in my business jasong pretty much outlined the system. It's very involved work with huge amounts off research required to compensate for the often poorly located claims.

Here's an example from my claims mapping this week. I'm researching a group of claims from the 1900 period in a well developed mining district. This group of claims has no metes and bounds description and the tie to a known permanent monument refers to "the white bridge on the paved road". This mining district is now composed of large mine pits that have completely obliterated any past roads or bridges from that period. The only other location reference is to another group of claims that were never recorded at the County and were abandoned in 1914. I have now managed to map the claims after researching the highway department records (no results), mining district records (missing), old maps (no results) and a long conversation with a regional historical society member (success!).

That’s impressive sleuthing!  Whenever my wife’s work (she’s an archaeologist) runs into obscure land descriptions that use geographic points like yours that are long gone for benchmarks, sometimes Sanborn maps help.  They located the foundation and walls to a Spanish mission annex building using the description of where it was in a old document describing the building it was next to in town.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, GotAU? said:

Jim, I can see APN numbers and a map showing parcel boundaries and other information about patented claims mapped on our county Online GIS system, but it’s only the patented claim lands that show up. Are you able to get information like that on all mineral claims?

I don't know about where you are, but here the answer is yes. That is because here in California even unpatented claims have to have tax paid on them because they are considered private property. But once again, this is through the county assessors office.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, Jim_Alaska said:

I don't know about where you are, but here the answer is yes. That is because here in California even unpatented claims have to have tax paid on them because they are considered private property. But once again, this is through the county assessors office.

I believe unpatented claims are federal land, so why are they considered as private property and taxable by the counties in any state, including here in California?  Is it a property tax or assessment  for something like a buiness tax?  I’m new to claims and am not sure what the typical county tax fees are that I would be facing if I wanted to stake one here in So Cal on BLM land.  Also, how do the counties assess the value for determining the fees for the taxes?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Content

    • By GB_Amateur
      It seems one of my recurring detecting New Year's Resolutions has been to find new hunting grounds and not get stuck in a rut trying to find the last crumbs I'm capable of tasting in the sites I've detected extensively.  So far this year I've done well (at least one silver coin in each) at three 'new' sites (two parks and one school) and 3 weeks ago before heading out East I was able to get in a short 1 hour hunt at another park I've never previously visited.
      I vaguely knew about this spot previously but for various reasons I never tried it.  My first 'requirement' is that a new (to me) site have a decent chance of hiding old coins.  For the most part that means having had significant human activity prior to 1970 and preferably prior to 1960.  This 4th 'new' (to me) site of 2021 didn't seem to meet that minimal requirement.  In fact there is a prominent bronze plaque on site which states it didn't become a park until 1974 and previously was an industrial storage lot for several decades.  However, Historic Aerials hinted at a more promising past.  It seemed to show that some of the modern park's features were present at least back to 1965.  I'll go deeper into that later in this post.
      That first 1 hour hunt produced three Wheat pennies along with four copper (alloy) Memorial Cents and a couple clad dimes.  Three Wheaties in an hour on a site which supposedly wasn't frequented until 1974 was surprising but far from earth shaking.  I filed it away until after getting home from my week+ in the East.  After getting home I needed some time to decompress (i.e. take care of other things) and it was quite humid besides.  Further, this summer has been wetter than normal and the grass grows back as fast as it gets cut.  Finally this past Thursday (2 days ago as I write) I got in 3 hours on a freshly mown park.  I concentrated on areas that the Historic Aerials indicated would be most promising but still did some fairly broad surveying.  The results were a bit disappointing compared to the previous short run -- 1 Wheat cent vs. 4 copper Memorials along with a few modern 5, 10, 25 cent coins.  Here's a photo of only the coin finds (oh, plus a Sterling ring my wife has already claimed):

      The next day I returned for another 3 hours, this time hunting exclusively on what I considered the most promising part of this site.  Now the floodgates started to open:  10 Wheaties compared to 5 copper Memorials along with $1.85 in larger denomination modern coins:

      The dates on the 10 Wheaties are: 1909, 1918, 1920, 192x-D (haven't yet resolved that last digit), four from the 40's and two from the 50's.  Non-cent finds don't seem to show any particular date pattern although only 2 or 3 are from the current millenium.  Now for the non-coin finds from these last 2 days (total of 6 hours):

      Pretty much the typical park trash.  There is one arcade token from 80's or later (right below five Stinkin' Zincolns).  The ladies watch appears to be nothing special (no precious metal or stones).  Possibly most interesting is above the drink can lid -- it's a copper piece that looks like it has a coin slot in it.  The padlock is badly corroded and the shank has been cut with a hacksaw.  It may be from this site's industrial days.  Oh, one last interesting find.  To the right of the Hot Wheels car is a wooden piece I recognize as being from a Lincoln Logs wooden playset (not metallic)!
      So what explains the plethora of Wheat Cents?  Here are some hypotheses:
      1) The bronze plaque is wrong and the property was turned into a park well before 1974.  This seems a bit odd -- I mean the park department historian can't get a date right and spends hundred+ dollars on a sign with erroneous information?
      2) The industrial site's employees spent some of their lunch-hours in the same shady(?) sloped spot, either accidentally dropping coins or even possibly playing some kind of penny-ante game tossing them and missing picking up some?
      3) Nature's randomness is conspiring to try and trick me into thinking this site's Wheats/Memorials ratio is indicative of something other than just luck.
      The plausibility of this last hypothesis can be tested with statistics.  I'll start with my on-going 5 year record of fraction of copper Lincolns that are Wheats.  That's 338/1547 = 21.58%.  Most of these have come from parks and schools, all of those sites having been established no earlier than 1974 while most of the remaining sites were private permission homesites that were established no later than 1960.  Thus using this value as 'typical' for sites frequented for at least 47 years is a stricter requirement than necessary.  Still, using 21.58% ratio of Wheats to total coppers, the chance that of the first 27 copper alloy Lincolns found, 14 or more would be Wheats is less than one in 7100.
      Of course Wheats tend to be an indicator that even better (yes, silver coins) treasures are hidden and awaiting a coil to be swung over them.  Hopefully I can add some more evidence by digging one (or more) of those on my next trip to this spot.
    • By maxxkatt
      You have basically four books on the Equinox metal detector to choose from.
      1)    The Minelab Equinox 600 800 Metal Detector Hand book by Andy Sabisch $23.95 - 176 pages
      2)    Minelab The Equinox Series from Beginner to Advanced by Clive Clynik $19.95 - 111 pages
      3)    The Minelab Equinox: “an Advanced Guide by Clive Clynik $22.95 - 101 pages
      4)    Skill Building with The Minelab Equinox by Clive Clynik $21.95 - 119 pages
      There may be more, but these are the ones I actually purchased. I have no relationship with either author other than some email questions. I also run two very technical book review web sites on college level books and above.
      Andy’s book is well edited, with slick photographs and a large easy to read format with some general information on the Equinox detector. However, in my opinion it is padded with photos and testimonials that really don’t add much to the Equinox knowledge.
      Clive’s books are more expensive if you buy all three of them. Smaller format and yes, there are some spelling mistakes Clive did not catch. But, for the amount of pure Equinox knowledge (especially for the 800), these books are packed from cover to cover with very useful Equinox information. I find myself highlighting quite a bit in each of Clive’s books.
      I have many years of metal detecting experience with various metal detectors under my belt. Nothing prepared me for the 800. My previous detector was the very good Garrett AT Pro. Prior to the Equinox, I feel the AT Pro was the best mid-range metal detector available.
      That all changed in the Spring of 2018 when detectorists started buying the 800. Most people at that time could not or refused to believe the 800 was as good as Minelab and a few others were saying.
      Big caveat here, this was not your father’s detector. It is a very powerful and complex mid-ranged metal detector. Until you tame it, you will be frustrated unless you learn to just use it as the Minelab engineers designed it and that is to use the standard modes until you have at least 50 hours on the 800 or 600.
      And that brings me to Clive’s three books. They will show you how to get the most out of your equinox. If you are content with hunting in the standard modes maybe buying just Clive’s first book.
      Bottom line, I kept all three of Clive’s books and sold Andy’s book. But the safe choice would be to purchase all four books.
    • By GB_Amateur
      A recent thread and one of the responses got me thinking on a related topic (related to the response, not the original post question).  I quote part of Steve H.'s response (referring specifically to finding natural gold in the Contintental USA):
      The best gold was gone a decade ago, and the leftovers have been hit hard the last ten years.
      That got me thinking about coin and relic detecting.  Good detectors for that purpose have been around at least as long as those for natural gold detecting.  Although there are many more locations for coins and relics, and those on average are more accessible, there are certainly more detectorists searching them.  So should we arrive at the same conclusion?
      One argument I don't buy (although it might apply to jewelry detecting, but even there modern problems exist and are growing) is that coins (in particular) are being reseeded.  True, if all you are after is face value (spending money) coins.  With the rare exception of very rare mint errors (double dies in particular), almost no coins have been minted for circulation in the last 65 years which carry a collector premium, and few coins minted for circulation contain sufficient bullion value to make melting them down worthwhile, even if you can get away with it....  So, no, there isn't a reseeding of coins of value.
      We C&R detectorists do have one major advantage over natural gold detectorists -- private 'permissions'.  (Although there are private gold bearing properties and private gold claims on public properties that are accessible, those invariably involve considerable compensation to the property/claim owner for access and/or recovery.)  How many unsearched private properties with promise for old coins and valuable relics are still accessible?
      Let's continue with unserached public properties such as public schools and public parks.  How many of those still exist?  Better asked, what percentage of those still exist?
      Final set of questions:  as is true with gold bearing sites, the earlier detectorists didn't get it all, just the easiest to find and recover.  How many old coins (and valuable relics) are contained in sites which have been detected?  Do we have the tools today to identify and extract them?
      While I (hopefully) still have your attention, I'm mentioning a book which I don't think gets as much notice as many detecting books that do:
      How to Research for Treasure Hunting and Metal Detecting by Otto von Helsing (2013).  It's ~200 pages of no-nonesense instruction on the topic.  To drive home my 'no-nonesense' claim, here is something he says in his second paragraph (in the Introduction):  The goal of this book is to teach the average person how to do good research to find promising leads for metal detecting.  I don't care if you have gray hair on your head and hate computers or if you are 20-something and like to text while driving (In which case it's likely you won't make it to the gray-hair stage.)           !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      I'm just getting started and don't expect it to be a lazy read, so I can't yet give a review.  But I like his attitude.
    • By mn90403
      While looking at this online book I saw a sketch of the San Bernardino meteorite.  The report was published in 1883!
       

       
       
    • By Jzconcepts
      Hello, my father lives in SW Utah and I would love to take him nugget shooting somewhere. He is 100% disabled from Vietnam and he can use the shovel as a cane for a while and I am usually his “digger” and pinpointer guy 🙂
      So I was hoping for some info on where I he and I could go nugget hunting, with my Orx in either Az or southern Utah, Nv.
      So we can plan a trip together (researching and reading will give him something to do) 🙂
      He doesn’t have many years left where he can even get around on his own, so any input would be great, thanks in advance
    • By KellycoDetectors
      When metal detecting, whether you are gold prospecting, relic hunting, or water hunting; it is easy to get discouraged. However, it’s important to know that you can better your results in metal detecting if you explore some of these best practices. I prefer to call it Smart Hunting!
      Find a Metal Detecting Location with Google Earth
      Use Google Earth to search your local area for new potential spots. Start off by branching out from where you live. Sometimes there are fields hidden in woods that you can’t see from a major street or road. Keep your eye out for clear stretches of land. You should be able to see the difference between a forest and a field.
      Organize Your Metal Detecting Leads
      If you see something that piques your interest, drop a pin. You can also make separate folders to organize your leads. Just make sure your privacy settings are enabled! You do not want to share your new potential locations right away!
      You can grab the Latitude and Longitude aka coordinates, from Google Maps. Make sure you have this information copied or saved in a separate area, as you will need it.
      Use Historical Aerials
      You may now use Historical Aerials to “peel back time” for your respective area. This website gives you access to many historical aerial photos that may help you refine the area you want to detect in.
      This is great if you are looking for things like old trails and swimming holes.
      If you are looking for old relics and coins then it may be best to look at an atlas for that area. For example, in NJ you can find free Atlases online that date back to the 1800s. All you have to do is search on google. Depending on the atlas you look at it may even show you old homesites, which is a fantastic clue.
      An example of a really great website for atlases is Historic Map Works.
      Research the Property Owner and Ask For Permission
      Once you have found your “prime” location, the next action is to obtain the permission of that area. It is important to always have the permission of the area in which you are detecting and most importantly, never to trespass.
      But, how does one find out who owns that property? Well, there are many ways to obtain information. For now, we will focus on the Smart Hunting aspect.
      There are tools online for each state in the US that allow you to pull up public tax assessment information. Remember when we said save your coordinates? Use the information discovered to build your strategy as you will be given contact information to aid you in your journey to permission.
      If the location in which you are Smart Hunting turns out to be a business, find the website to the company. Try to locate a “contact us” page to strengthen your efforts in getting the permission you are seeking. You may also attempt to create a “Waiver of Liability,” as businesses want to ensure you are not an insurance risk. Do not get discouraged if you get a no. I always try to play the “No” game. And that is how many “No’s” can you get before you get a yes. You will be surprised with your outcome!
      Sometimes if the property is owned by a private resident it will show their contact information. Again, I want to clarify that this is public information. You may choose to find them on social media or send them a well thought out handwritten letter. Why? Because people need to write more handwritten letters. You also have the option to show up at their home. If it is a farm, sometimes this works out as they often have farm stands. Go grab some juicy vegetables and talk yourself into some permission. Need some exercise? Maybe lend a helping hand on the farm! You never know of the doors that will open through the power of positivity.
      If you manage to gain permission, you now have your opportunity to put the Smart Hunting you did to work.
      You have now become a Detective Detectorist!
      Smart Hunting: Metal Detecting With Technology originally appeared on kellyco.com
×
×
  • Create New...