Millions $$$ in Rare Minerals are still available to claim!

in #mining7 months ago


PREAMBLE - Mineral claiming & mining regulations in the US are fairly archaic compared to countries with more advanced regulation and procedures for their mining industries (ex: Canada, Australia, China, etc). Many of the mining regulations haven't been updated since 1872. In the US, staking a mineral claim is surprisingly simple. The 1st steps involve going to survey land (i.e. un-claimed land, eligible for mineral entry), literally planting a stake (4-6 foot, wood/stone "monument") to declare your claim, then recording that claim with the state government & Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

In researching US Bureau of Land Management & State laws/regulations for a lithium mining venture in Nevada (aka the new "Gold Rush"), I came across some interesting mineral claiming opportunities for Copper, Molybdenum, Gold & Sand (for various reasons there's high demand, but a scarcity of sand in the US...) The minerals listed are abundant in Arizona, so most of this content will apply to that state. However, many of the same procedures apply to  other states and federal lands, that are eligible. 

For the 1st part of this guide: "Lode" and "Placer" claims vary on the type of mineral your planning to mine and how you intend to mine it. This guide presumes you are already familiar with both methods. If not, I encourage further research on both types.

Finally, I also encourage any entrepreneurial readers who found this guide helpful, to reach out to me, if you too are inclined to pursue wealth in mining ventures out here in the Wild West.

The following procedures apply to locating a mining claim: 

Lode Claims: 

  1. Discover (locate) minerals in place (in solid rock).
  2. Place a location monument containing a location notice on the centerline and within the boundaries of the claim. The location monument may not be a corner monument.
  3. Place monuments at each corner of the claim and at the center of each claim end line. Angle points are considered to be corners.
  4. May not exceed 1500 feet in length or 600 feet in width (300 ft on either side of the centerline).

Location of Placer Claims: 

  1. Discover minerals not in solid rock but "loose" as in free gold in gravel.
  2. Place location monument containing a location notice at one corner and within the boundaries of the claim. This monument cannot be a corner monument.
  3. Place location monuments at each corner of the claim and angle point of the claim.
  4. May not exceed 20 acres per locator with up to 8 locators. If possible, the claim must be located by legal subdivision.

Mill sites: 

  1. Must be located on ground which is non-mineral in character.
  2. Cannot exceed five acres.
  3. Must be located and monumented in the same manner as a placer claim.
  4. The number of mill sites is limited to one per lode mining claim.


Monuments may be a post 1.5 inches in cross section and projecting four feet above the surface of the ground or a stone monument three feet high. Monuments must be marked to identify the corners of the claim or end corner for which they were erected.





  1. Draw a map or sketch of each claim to be to be filed in the county together with your location notice.
  2. File your location notice in the county where the claims are situated within 90 days of the date of location.
  3. File an exact copy of the location notice in the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), State Office within 90 days of the date of location.


AS OF 2022 New claim fees: Location fee $40, Processing fee $20 and Maintenance Fee $165. Lode total - $225. Placer is the same rate, except Maintenance Fees - $165 for each 20 acres or portion thereof.  These fees are paid to the BLM at the time of filing.

By August 31st of each year, you must pay a $165 maintenance fee for the subsequent assessment year or;

File a waiver from the payment of the maintenance fee if you have 10 or fewer claims nationwide (Form 3830-2 Maintenance Fee Waiver Certification). If qualified for this waiver, you must complete $100 worth of assessment work prior to September 1 and you must file an Affidavit of Labor with the BLM and in the county where the claim is located by December 30th of the same year. There is a $15 per claim fee required by the BLM to file an Affidavit of Labor or Notice of Intent to Hold.

BLM fees are increased from time to time. Check with the Arizona State Office for any fee increases. The fees charged by the counties varies. Consult the Recorders Office in the county where your claim is located for more information.


Activities that ordinarily result in no or negligible disturbance of the public lands or resources are termed "casual use." In general, the operator may engage in casual use activities without consulting, notifying or seeking approval from the BLM.

For exploration activity greater than casual use and which causes surface disturbance of five (5) acres or less of public lands; the operator must file a complete Notice with the responsible BLM Field Office. Notice is for exploration only and only 1000 tons may be removed for testing



  • Mining Law of 1872 as amended 30 U.S.C. § 22 et seq. 
  • 43 C.F.R. 3830 Location of Mining Claims 
  • 43 C.F.R. 3833 Recordation of Mining Claims 
  • A.R.S. Title 27



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