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 Post subject: Claim Legal Question
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:59 pm
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I'm a long-time gold dredger, and a full-time prospector...I'm just now moving into hard rock, and will have a few questions for you guys. First, this will be a bit difficult to describe: on a mountainside there are three claims adjoining. #1 on top has the adit for the original discovery of a mine. There, a winze drops down about 400 feet, meeting a dump tunnel that comes out much lower, on claim #3...which is a placer claim (no lode claim is filed on the lower portal). Between claims #1 and #3 is another lode claim. The dump tunnel runs under this claim, side to side. I own #1. Who owns the rights to the lower tunnel? Could I use it legally? The vein does not run through or under either #2 or #3, so there would be no removal of ore from either claim. I think I know the answer, but there is so much case law out there I may have missed something. I'd appreciate any help, opinions, or just wild guesses. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Claim Legal Question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:53 am 
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Location: McConnico, Arizona
Hi,

I own several mines out here in Arizona and from what im understanding of you describing, according to the original mining laws, anyone that owns a lode claim also has certain 'extralateral rights', meaning that you can mine UNDERGROUND outside the boundaries of your claim, just as long as you do not 'surface' up onto another legal mining claim, which means raising from the lower levels up to the surface. What it sounds to me like is the winze that drops down to the lower tunnel that you are wanting to access and use does not run down thru the claim between #2 and #3 but the lower tunnel runs under #2. In this particular case, i believe, you would have to contact the holder of the claim the tunnel runs under since they would have the rights to that tunnel being it would also fall under "extralateral rights". This would mean you and the other claimholder may have to come to some kind of an agreement in order for you to use the tunnel, however, if the tunnel is located mainly on the placer claim then the placer claimholder would have no LODE rights to that tunnel as they would only have rights to what they prospect on the surface and not underground so legally there would be no rights inside that tunnel, or no ownership.

Another thing that you may want to take into consideration is accessing the claimholders maps and find out exactly just how the claims are laid out. Then you could probably figure things out from there.

Also, it would depend on what kind of land the claims are on meaning who is the surface management agency (ie,BLM, State, Forest Service Lands, etc) is since the laws will vary between those agencies and what thier mining claim requirements and laws are.

The particular "extralateral rights" law i stated above is under the BLM surface management lands for mining claims.

I could probably help you alot more if you could possibly post a handrawn picture of how the claims lay in alignment and show whereabouts the tunnels run and the winzes.


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 Post subject: Re: Claim Legal Question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:40 pm 
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Location: Winnemucca, NV
Hi Wallrat,

I am going to give this my best shot based on my understanding of mining law. I believe your extralateral rights to the lower tunnel end at the exact point where the lower tunnel enters the neighboring lode claim (claim #2). If that lode claim did not exist, your extralateral rights would continue right to the mouth of the lower adit on the placer claim (claim #3) and you would have full legal access to the lower tunnel. If I were in this situation, I would immediately stake a lode claim over the existing placer claim (claim #3) and butt it against the neighboring lode claim (claim #2). Then I would make friends with the owner of Claim #2 and/or set up an agreement to use his/her portion of the tunnel. Should the owner of claim #2 ever need to use the tunnel, the ore would have to pass through either of your two lode claims. I hope this is helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: Claim Legal Question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:35 pm 
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Location: SW Indiana
Hmmm? Never realized that placer and lode were separate claims. Makes sense when you think about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Claim Legal Question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:24 pm 
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Location: Monroe, CT
I don't think you could stake a lode claim over claim #3 because it sounds like there is not a valid lode mineral to make it a legal claim. Nor do I think you would have extralateral rights to it as the vein from #1 does not run into claim #3. It sounds like #3 was probably originally staked as a tunnel site, I don't see why you would not be able to stake it as a tunnel site.


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 Post subject: Re: Claim Legal Question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:39 pm 
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Location: McConnico, Arizona
Miner Mike wrote:
Hi Wallrat,

I am going to give this my best shot based on my understanding of mining law. I believe your extralateral rights to the lower tunnel end at the exact point where the lower tunnel enters the neighboring lode claim (claim #2). If that lode claim did not exist, your extralateral rights would continue right to the mouth of the lower adit on the placer claim (claim #3) and you would have full legal access to the lower tunnel. If I were in this situation, I would immediately stake a lode claim over the existing placer claim (claim #3) and butt it against the neighboring lode claim (claim #2). Then I would make friends with the owner of Claim #2 and/or set up an agreement to use his/her portion of the tunnel. Should the owner of claim #2 ever need to use the tunnel, the ore would have to pass through either of your two lode claims. I hope this is helpful.



My thoughts exactly. You mainly just explained it differently then i did. Ive always heard mines that was 'attached' like that caused lots of problems between the claimholders so ive always tried avoiding that if i could.


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 Post subject: Re: Claim Legal Question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:44 pm 
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Posts: 38
Location: McConnico, Arizona
Doug wrote:
Hmmm? Never realized that placer and lode were separate claims. Makes sense when you think about it.


Yep, thier very different meaning placer claims only gives the claimholder rights on whats on or very near the surface and they have no extralateral rights(meaning they cannot dig or mine underground outside of thier claim boundary posts on the surface) whereas lode claimholders have rights whats on the surface PLUS whats underground as far below thier claim boundaries as they can possibly go, meaning, if the miner can dig 5000 feet straight down then the lode claimholder still has mineral rights. That also goes for thier extralateral rights, to a certain extent. However, id still suggest some sort of written agreement with the claimant of claim#2 in order to lessen any disagreements or legal proceedings that might arise in the future.

A good example of a placer claim is where u can pan, metal detect, dry wash,etc. Very little digging is allowed like is permitted in lode mining. If you happen to dig in a small area and happen to strike a lode very near the surface, the placer claimholder has no rights to the lode UNLESS they go and reclaim the claim as a lode claim. Usually that requires 2 different claims on one claim IF the original claim was recorded as placer only.This means that since the claim was already a placer claim but yet you hit or found a lode on your claim, you must reclaim the claim again, but as a lode claim. This means youd have TWO claims within one claim, a lode claim and a placer claim. But now, if you was to claim as a lode claim in the first place then this alleviates all the headaches of running a placer claim.

Another thing i might mention is this... Just per se you run a placer claim, someone else can legally place a lode claim OVER your placer claim meaning, youd only have mineral rights on the surface while the lode claim holder could dig down and only have mineral rights of what he finds underground and theres nothing you can do to prevent this other than claiming your claim as a lode claim firsthand.

When i do my "straight claiming" (meaning not transferring claims from other claimholders or getting ahold of patents) i ALWAYS go for lode claiming.


Last edited by Dawn_C on Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Claim Legal Question
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:15 am
Posts: 38
Location: McConnico, Arizona
Miner CTMike wrote:
I don't think you could stake a lode claim over claim #3 because it sounds like there is not a valid lode mineral to make it a legal claim. Nor do I think you would have extralateral rights to it as the vein from #1 does not run into claim #3. It sounds like #3 was probably originally staked as a tunnel site, I don't see why you would not be able to stake it as a tunnel site.



Actually, id suggest he try to do a little investigating on mineral content in there just to see if it IS claimable for the proper minerals before trying to claim it. There is a list of acceptable minerals that the BLM accepts as claimable on thier website that would help in finding a way to claim the tunnel, however, even if there was no legal claim on the tunnel prior to this, it can still be claimed and he would just have to either find out what the original name of the tunnel was or just name it himself and then try to run a claim on it. Id think it would be a bit easier to claim it as a lode rather than just a tunnel site though.

However, if he were to claim the tunnel as a tunnel site then he could use that for his extralateral rights into his actual working claim plus hed have a haulage tunnel with full legal access to it for use for his workings in his mine. This would only be IF there was no acceptable lode mineral found anywhere in the tunnel in which he could claim it as a lode claim. Either way hed still have access to the tunnel and into his upper workings via extralateral rights. The only thing he COULDNT do is do any mining or disturbing of any of the other claimants workings that his extralateral rights may pass through and this would also go the same for the other claimant.


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 Post subject: Re: Claim Legal Question
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:25 pm 
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Thanks everyone for the input...I soft of figured things were as you say. I know I can work it through the top portal, but probably not through the lower one. There would be little likelihood of reaching an agreement with the holder of claims #2&3...he thought he owned the top portal, and knew it was his for the last 20 years. Guess he doesn't own a GPS unit. I shot his corners with mine, and discovered the mine was 150' off his claim. Funny thing is he used to have a claim there and let it go by not doing the maintenance...so I filed on it.
Dawn, I think you're mistaken on something: a claim of any sort cannot be filed over your claim (placer or lode)without the prior permission of the original claimholder. I seem to remember that is called a 'hostile filing' or something to that effect, and is disallowed. I'll find the law on that one and post it here in another post. I think I'm correct on that. It's in here somewhere...have fun looking!

http://www.jeffersonminingdistrict.com/ ... ng1878.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Claim Legal Question
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:15 am
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Location: McConnico, Arizona
Wallrat wrote:
Thanks everyone for the input...I soft of figured things were as you say. I know I can work it through the top portal, but probably not through the lower one. There would be little likelihood of reaching an agreement with the holder of claims #2&3...he thought he owned the top portal, and knew it was his for the last 20 years. Guess he doesn't own a GPS unit. I shot his corners with mine, and discovered the mine was 150' off his claim. Funny thing is he used to have a claim there and let it go by not doing the maintenance...so I filed on it.
Dawn, I think you're mistaken on something: a claim of any sort cannot be filed over your claim (placer or lode)without the prior permission of the original claimholder. I seem to remember that is called a 'hostile filing' or something to that effect, and is disallowed. I'll find the law on that one and post it here in another post. I think I'm correct on that. It's in here somewhere...have fun looking!

http://www.jeffersonminingdistrict.com/ ... ng1878.pdf



Nope, you are not correct on that unless the BLM has different laws in your area but since the BLM is federal i believe the law stands no matter what state you are in that allows claiming. I know of several people out here where im at that placed lode claims over someone elses placer claims so i think you might want to re-read the BLM mining laws having to do with mining claims. As the law stands, IF its indeed BLM and since the lands are federal, placer claimholders cannot stop anyone from laying a lode claim over thier claim. The claimholder only has MINERAL RIGHTS, not land surface ownership, unless you was to patent. This is why placer claimholders have no sayso on anyone laying lode claims over someone elses placer claim. They cannot even keep people off thier mine land UNLESS the mine is being actively worked and you can only post the mine ONLY from people entering. Again, its because its PUBLIC land and owned or managed by the BLM.
However, if theres such a law regarding what you mentioned then the land management agency just CANT be BLM, but some other agency.


Last edited by Dawn_C on Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Claim Legal Question
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:27 pm 
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Posts: 38
Location: McConnico, Arizona
Ok, i read quite a bit through that mining law thing you posted but i also noticed, it kept mentioning "STATE OF" which leads me to believe those are mining laws laid down by the STATE and not the BLM. In this case, states have thier own laws regarding mining laws IF the mining operation is to occur on state lands.

This was why i was asking in an earlier post of what type of surface management agency actually manages the land those claims are on since mining laws from State to State varies and has absolutely nothing to do with FEDERAL mining laws as specified by the BLM.

When i mentioned the mining laws in a prior post i was referring to BLM federal mining laws and not State ones. If i was to list State by State mining laws id never get done typing. LOL


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 Post subject: Re: Claim Legal Question
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:58 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:48 am
Posts: 3
Location: California
The case law is Clipper v Eli, the decision was that one may not go on a valid placer claim to prospect for unknown lodes, if however there is a known lode that is within the bounds of a valid placer and the placer claimant has not filed on it it is open for claiming. A known lode is one that has been filed on before and had work done on it. Big Al


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 Post subject: Re: Claim Legal Question
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:15 am
Posts: 38
Location: McConnico, Arizona
BigAl wrote:
The case law is Clipper v Eli, the decision was that one may not go on a valid placer claim to prospect for unknown lodes, if however there is a known lode that is within the bounds of a valid placer and the placer claimant has not filed on it it is open for claiming. A known lode is one that has been filed on before and had work done on it. Big Al



I believe that would be state law and not BLM government law. As i said in an earlier post, i know of several claimants around here that placed lode claims over placer claims and they had no idea of lodes even being in there other than them happening to pass by some type of 'rock color' while they was on the claim. They just happened to figure "well since theres placer here then that placer HAS to be coming from a lode around here somewhere close."Its then the lode claim is placed.

Even though certain laws are in place for certain instances, its usually up to a government judge to give the outcome per instance. Thats usually how such laws come to be.


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 Post subject: Re: Claim Legal Question
PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:33 pm 
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Location: California
To Dawn_C, Clipper V Eli went all the way to the Supreme Court, and is valid in every state in the union. the words "I think" will get you in a lot of trouble when it comes to the law. One NEEDS TO KNOW WHAT THE LAW ACTUALLY IS, before giving advice. I know this because I have spent the last two years researching mining law. And armed with the knowledge of what my rights are, my partner and I just filed a 500,000.00 suit against the forest service in federal court. Big Al


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 Post subject: Re: Claim Legal Question
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:32 am 
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Posts: 38
Location: McConnico, Arizona
BigAl wrote:
To Dawn_C, Clipper V Eli went all the way to the Supreme Court, and is valid in every state in the union. the words "I think" will get you in a lot of trouble when it comes to the law. One NEEDS TO KNOW WHAT THE LAW ACTUALLY IS, before giving advice. I know this because I have spent the last two years researching mining law. And armed with the knowledge of what my rights are, my partner and I just filed a 500,000.00 suit against the forest service in federal court. Big Al



I DO know what the law is as i wouldnt have mines and keep them going if i didnt. However, as i stated in an earlier post, most of the time higher courts can and would override certain laws depending on what that particular dispute is over. Ive had mines and been working mines for the past ten or so years so yes, i think id know what the laws are between federal and state regarding mining claims and such. Ive heard of such disputes come and go through higher courts and each outcome was different than the next, regardless of what the law specified. Also, as i have mentioned in an earlier post, theres been several claimants in the State here that have filed lode claims OVER placer claims and never even knew if a lode existed within that particular claim boundaries and the placer claimowner could do nothing about it since the BLM seen it as 'filing a legal claim'. This kind of law is even stated in the BLM brochures that the BLM puts out for handouts in the various BLM offices throughout the state.


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