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California Gold Mining Getting Harder To Do


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   I just had a freind contact me about permitting in northern California. He applied for a Plan of Operation on a claim back in early Spring & finally got the Forest Service to have a look at his plan. They informed him his plan would not be approved because it was closer than 100 yards to a creek & he could not pump water out of a creek. They cited some bs about a change to working near creeks that took place in 2016. They told him he'd have to truck in water as well. This is quite curious to say the least because I had a crew in the same county that was mining along a creek and pumping water directly out of the creek. The same agent that told my friend he couldn't mine was fine with our operation in 2019. I intend to look into all of this and see what I can find out. I have found that some of these government agents tend to make up their own rules at times. 

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Getting harder? It’s past tense now, as in “got harder.” Quite some time ago, like well over a decade now. So yeah, tons of stuff you can’t do, or is much harder to do in California, and about 49 other states. California always gets the heat, but try placer mining anywhere but Alaska, and you’ll find similar issues, though maybe not quite as difficult. Long story short, it is what it is, and only reason I’m responding here is to warn that if this thread goes off the rails with any political rants I’ll lock it down.

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Steve is right, as usual. We have been under a ban of one sort or another since 2009.

GM, you were fortunate that you were allowed to operate. Suction dredging was banned in 2009 by the California legislature, followed closely by a ban on using ANY mechanical means to extract precious minerals within 100 yards of an active waterway.

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Sorry, I didn't intend to make it a political statement but just what I was told by a fellow miner. Remove the thread if you like, no big deal & Happy Thanksgiving to all.

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1 minute ago, GhostMiner said:

Sorry, I didn't intend to make it a political statement but just what I was told by a fellow miner. Remove the thread if you like, no big deal & Happy Thanksgiving to all.

No apology needed, your post is just fine. It just gives an opportunity for some people to have a rant is all, so I'm heading that off at the pass. After 20 years on forums I know which of certain subjects to look out for. The list gets longer as it seems everything is political these days. But yes, no big deal, and happy Thanksgiving back at you!

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1 minute ago, Steve Herschbach said:

No apology needed, your post is just fine. It just gives an opportunity for some people to have a rant is all, so I'm heading that off at the pass. After 20 years on forums I know which of certain subjects to look out for. The list gets longer as it seems everything is political these days. But yes, no big deal, and happy Thanksgiving back at you!

   So true. Our crew did some mining back in 2019 & 2020 in northern Cal. We ran one permit on a claim we didn't own & permitted by someone else. Somehow he was able to use the creek as a water source. The Forest Service came up to the claim one day and asked if we were pumping water directly out of the creek. I said yes, it's approved in the plan. They said ok but don't dig within 50 ft of the creek. It's the inconsitancy that gets me. We did permits several tomes in 2015 along creeks with no issues as well. Then again in 2019 & 2020 a long distance from our creeks using a pond for water. I was told that Fish & Game is more involved now but not sure if that is true. Just letting everyone know you may have issues if you are planning on full scale miining as some are unaware. I've got my eye on a claim in Montana right now but i'm thinking the same issues will come up.  

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Interesting...

California is without a doubt the hardest of the mining states to jump through the hoops.

I work with several mining companies who have permitted large operations in California in the past two years. The fact is if you know what you are doing and have the funding to carry through your plan even a major operation in California can be permitted, built and operating in under two years.

The same type operation in another mining state would be mining in less than a year.

That's my experience. I realize others have different experiences but I'm not buying into the "impossible" narrative. If you have mineral rights on federal lands you have the right to mine those minerals.

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2 minutes ago, Clay Diggins said:

Interesting...

California is without a doubt the hardest of the mining states to jump through the hoops.

I work with several mining companies who have permitted large operations in California in the past two years. The fact is if you know what you are doing and have the funding to carry through your plan even a major operation in California can be permitted, built and operating in under two years.

The same type operation in another mining state would be mining in less than a year.

That's my experience. I realize others have different experiences but I'm not buying into the "impossible" narrative. If you have mineral rights on federal lands you have the right to mine those minerals.

Absolutely true. Thanks Clay. Your words always carry weight with me.

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Think gold mining is hard to permit? Try rare earths. 

I discovered a massive new monazite deposit, like 100 square miles. I can't even legally take a sample pan in some places with higher concentrations though without exceeding NRC regulations due to radiation levels (thorium), let alone send samples for assay on them done to try to prove it up as not only does it appear to be illegal to mail samples but illegal to drive with them. Let alone move to the next step and try to get some machinery in... I'm told it's probably 10 years to get a permit for processing (and more money than I could ever get). My excitement went from 100 to 0 in no time on that one. ?

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