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What is a mining claim?  RSS feed

 
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This is a real estate question and I'm not sure what forum to put it in. I see them on Ebay and since they are like $100 for 80 acres on a river I doubt it's really owning the land.
 
                                
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I think they're cracking down on it now, but at one time lots of folks were abusing the mining laws by saying they were mining a piece of land when they were just living there, gardening etc. There are/were whole communities in some western states of "miners" that mined nothing, but used the land and just re-newed the mining claims year after year. BLM and Forest service offices have all the info. I heard they limit buildings you can put up etc now.
 
                  
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Location: NW Ontario
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Depends on where you live... If you live in the US, I'm not sure what the rules are. I live in Canada and the laws vary from province to province. Here in Ontario (if you have a prospector's license) a mineral claim can be staked anywhere that doesn't already have a claim on it - even on private property. I staked a claim on my own property. Not to mine it but to keep anyone else from prospecting on my land.
 
                
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Location: West Coast of Canada
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If you look at any land title, you will see that they almost always exclude mineral rights.  The land owner only owns the surface.  The government owns the minerals underground.

A mineral claim is a registered legal right to exploit the government's minerals under a piece of land.  If you have a mining claim on a parcel of land, you have the right to access that land and dig for the minerals.  You can sell the minerals you find, though you will likely have to pay the government a royalty.

Most mining claims are filed on government land.  However, there is nothing stopping someone from filing a claim under private land, which can cause grief for the surface property owner.
 
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The 1872 mining law allows private individuals to stake a claim on public land, the catch is you have to prove that you could make a 'reasonable' living from the mineral extraction, and show that you have made annual improvements towards such activity.  This is called 'proving your claim', if you do have a mining claim, make sure to keep your paper work in order every year, other wise somebody (mining companies) can "jump your claim" through bureaucratic means.  Another detail: mineral claims are only valid with metal ores and other commodity minerals, you cant file a claim to mine stone for example.  As far as exploiting the law for homesteading is concerned, it seems in most cases more trouble than it is worth, as well as the ethical consideration of privatizing a public good.
 
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