Closed Mining Claim Research
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Thread: Closed Mining Claim Research

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  1. #1
    Charter Member
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
    11554 times

    Closed Mining Claim Research

    A lot of prospectors have an interest in exploring closed claims. I'm not a big fan of spending time looking for closed claims for the simple reason that most claims made never produced any valuable minerals. The fact that a claim was previously located is not an indicator of valuable minerals. After all if the claim owners didn't bother to keep the claim active it probably wasn't worth having.

    There are of course exceptions to that theory but a closed claim on it's own doesn't excite me. I need to know more before I'm going to chase after previously claimed ground. There were more than 44,200 mining claims closed last year alone, that's way to many to make it worth anyone's time to read through without trimming out the thousands of recent claims.

    Twice a month I do compile all the claim closures updated during that half month. To get any value out of those thousands of closed claims I need to sort them out on some reasonable basis. With the twice monthly Claims Advantage Report it is possible to interactively sort those recently closed claims by Location (State, County, TRS), Claim Name, Claim Type, Closure Date as well as Year Located and Years Held.

    Sorting the Report by Location allows me to watch certain areas of particular interest to me. Only the Claims Advantage reports allow you to see that information on a current basis, the LR2000 doesn't have that information so that feature is helpful. Once I see a claim being closed in an area of interest I can zoom to a custom map of the closed area right from a button on the Report claim listing. That allows me to see other claims in the area as well as check land status by downloading the Master Title Plat from the map. I can also load the current Serial Register report page from a link on the report. That doesn't complete my research of the area but it does give me enough information to decide if it's worth my time to search the County Recorder for Claim Records.

    That's pretty cool to have all that information available with a couple of clicks. I use the reports a lot myself. The real power of these Reports starts to shine when I sort by Year Located or Years Held. Remember how I said how most claims made never produced any valuable minerals? Well that doesn't really apply when you see someone has maintained a claim for many years. It makes me sit up and take notice when I see a claim that has been held for anywhere from 20 years to 125+ years. THAT is information I can use!

    Being that I keep all this information on hand I can sort this information on a much longer timeline than the half month available in the Claims Advantage Reports. By sorting for all the Closed Claims that were held for at least 20 years or more AND were located on now unclaimed land I can see the claims that people valued and kept that are now open to location. That may sound like there wouldn't be that many established closed claims on productive ground right? Well surprise surprise! There are nearly 20,000 placer claims that meet that standard!

    Naturally I share this information with my favorite charity Land Matters and naturally Land Matters makes this information available to it's Claims Advantage Members.

    Here's a brief look at how these claims stack up in each State:
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    Surprising isn't it?

    Here's a quick heat map to show the general location and density of all these open areas:
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    Here's a link to an online interactive map so you can look a little closer.

    That's a whole bunch of open ground with a HIGH potential for valuable minerals. Whether you are looking for open ground to prospect or are researching for a potential new claim looking at this closed claim information from a more organized and selective angle can really pay off. If you are looking for an edge the Historical Placer Claims Report is a good start.

    Heavy Pans

  2. #2
    Charter Member
    Oct 2015
    Northern Nevada
    MineLab GPZ 7000 Garrett ATX Pro
    792 times
    Clay your contributions to your fellow prospectors are nothing short of incredible!

    I encourage everyone to become a member of

    Half the battle in prospecting is trying to locate a place where we can legally do so.

    Clay and the good folks at mylandmatters make this process so much easier...

    Please keep up the good work.

  3. #3

    Mar 2016
    5183 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Local historical knowledge goes a long ways. It's only overwhelming if you look at large geographical areas, or areas you are not familiar with.

    Some of the closed claims are areas where people continually file claims over land that has been withdrawn from the public domain.
    Takes about a year, then the status switches from "Active" to "Closed".
    Last edited by IMAUDIGGER; Dec 01, 2017 at 03:15 PM.
    Clay Diggins likes this.

  4. #4
    Charter Member
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
    11554 times
    Quote Originally Posted by IMAUDIGGER View Post
    Some of the closed claims are areas where people continually file claims over land that has been withdrawn from the public domain.
    Takes about a year, then the status switches from "Active" to "Closed".
    That's the point of the Historical Placer Claims Report. ALL the claims listed were held for 20 years or more. Those areas that are closed to entry are eliminated from the Report. There are no ACTIVE claims in the quarter section where the 20+ year claim was closed. Land Matters did the work of cleaning the Report of withdrawn areas, claims flippers and blanket claims. That produces a lot fewer potential open areas but it helps prospectors by giving them only valued, open areas to research. Still there were nearly 20,000 closed placer claims that survived the cull.

    I've never known a claim flipper to keep a claim for 20 years or more. That would be a minimum of $3,100 in fees in today's world. Crooks and Cons aren't fond of the long expensive game.

    Heavy Pans
    Last edited by Clay Diggins; Dec 01, 2017 at 06:12 PM.

  5. #5
    Charter Member
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
    11554 times
    Here's a good real life example of how these reports can lead you to gold in your area. Leigh wrote up this quick example of how to find gold along the coast of California. These same techniques can be used wherever you have an interest if finding open productive gold bearing public lands.

    When you are done reading the article scroll down and check out some of the other interesting articles in the Land Matters News and Views. You won't regret it.

    Heavy Pans

  6. #6
    Aug 2004
    Olympia WA
    Minelab Xterra 70, Minelab SD 2200d, 2.5", 3", 4"and several Keene 5" production dredges, Knelson Centrifuge, Gold screw automatic panner
    1972 times
    A mining claim is like a rental agreement.
    If you find a copy of an old lease for a house you are wanting to rent it only means that someone else lived there before. It doesn't mean its a nice place to live nor does it mean someone else isnt renting it currently.

  7. #7
    Jan 2016
    South of Gunnison, Gold Basin
    2532 times
    Good research clay! That's a great way to narrow it down to something more workable.
    Clay Diggins likes this.



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