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Thread: How to find the Mineral Survey information from Patented mining claims?

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  1. #1
    us
    Jun 2015
    The Golden State
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    How to find the Mineral Survey information from Patented mining claims?

    Good day!

    I was wondering if any of you knowledgeable folks know how to pull the historical "Mineral Surveys" from old patented claims? or if those records even exist still?

    I'm in the process of opening up and reviving a couple old historic patented lode claims with a partner.
    Thanks to My Land Matters and and some resultant sleuthing through the BLM websites I was able to locate and download copies of the actual original patent paperwork and maps for these claims that date back to the late 1800's. The BLM servers said "No images available" but in a roundabout way I was able to locate and download them.

    But the files that I've found only seem to indicate the location description and maps. I have the corresponding "Mineral Survey" numbers but how do I go about to pulling these old mineral surveys or is this data even still in existence?

    I've been digging and researching for the last few months trying to find out where the mineral surveys are stored or how to search for them but haven't found anything related to archived mineral surveys for patented claims. I don't know how thorough or significant the mineral surveys were back then but any information could be useful in our future exploratory and developmental undertakings.

    Any help or suggestions on where too look would be greatly appreciated,
    Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
    3,438
    9984 times
    Prospecting
    All the historical federal land records are kept at the General Land Office in Washington D.C. but you don't have to mess around with their website.

    It's easy with Land Matters.

    1. Go to the California Mining Claims map on Land Matters.
    2. Click on the "Mineral Patents" checkbox under the "Mining History" group.
    3. Turn on the "i" information tool and click on the map where the patent was issued.
    4. You will be presented with a list of the mineral patents near your map click.
    5. Use the links on the list to download the Patent, Survey and Serial Register page matching the patent you are interested in.


    You can also turn on the PLSS "Special Surveys" map layer then you can usually see where the patent is on the map.

    Go get u sum!

    Heavy Pans
    Last edited by Clay Diggins; Mar 05, 2019 at 05:16 PM.

  3. #3
    us
    Jun 2015
    The Golden State
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    Hey Clay Diggins, Thanks so much for the quick reply!

    Yes when I go to access the patents through that route and click on the Patent Image tab it says "No Images Available".
    I found out a few months back if I clicked on the "Related Documents" tab then selected CDI, then I was able to pull the scanned images of the original patent paperwork and map.

    That was the roundabout way I've been accessing the patent paperwork even though supposedly a digital patent image doesn't exist.

    It may be the "CDI Image" that I am viewing is different than the actual "patent image", or just not a complete version.

    I guess what I'm wondering should the "Mineral Survey" be something different? Because what I'm able to pull up is like 5 or 6 pages of what appear to be the patent application in mostly all old 1800s cursive. Looks to me to be just a land description of what is being claimed and an attached map. Through my research it looks like the more modern patent process was a very long and intensive undertaking, but back in the late 1800's was it a much simpler process and these 5 or 6 pages all that was needed? With the hardrock mining boom of the late 1800's I imagine they were getting flooded with patent applications back then so was it a less stringent process back then?

    The "No Image" page it says to contact BLM and it looks like its Garys email so maybe I'll try reaching out to him to see if these files still exist.

    Thank you so much for the help! I very much like finding and saving these historic documents as the old original claim maps have already been a very valuable resource
    Clay Diggins likes this.

  4. #4
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
    3,438
    9984 times
    Prospecting
    Ah good - so you found the CDI! That's the Control Document Index. That's the place where optically scanned patents and stuff go to live until someone gets the time to transcribe all that fancy writing and clean up the scanned image.

    The pages you find in the CDI are 99% likely the same you will get when the patent is moved into the regular population with the certified patents. Until that happens the General Land Office can't send you a certified copy.

    The requirements for taking a claim to mineral patent haven't really changed. Just look around for a mineral patent granted in the 1990s and you will see the same thing as one from 1880. A physical description of the boundaries of the patent area - metes and bounds (distance and direction) for a lode claim. Then a little verbiage about what rights are or are not included in the grant and an attached survey map of the boundaries of the claim. A couple of signatures and you've got everything required to be included in a mineral grant. That's pretty much the whole kit whether you were patenting 8 acres in 1880 or 400 acres in 1988.

    Hope that helps!

    Heavy Pans

  5. #5
    us
    Jan 2015
    San Francisco, Ca
    127
    135 times
    Prospecting
    Iíve wondered this myself. How to access the actual mineral surveys done on a patented piece of land. Iíve been able to find the patent documents online like the original poster, but cannot locate the mineral surveys that are indicated on the MTP.
    Clay Diggins likes this.

  6. #6
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
    3,438
    9984 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by mofugly13 View Post
    Iíve wondered this myself. How to access the actual mineral surveys done on a patented piece of land. Iíve been able to find the patent documents online like the original poster, but cannot locate the mineral surveys that are indicated on the MTP.
    It's not a mystery. Land Matters has provided the links and instructions to access Survey Plats on their website for quite a while.

    Follow the instructions above to get to the patent page.

    Here are the instructions to get a patent or survey image even if the patent hasn't been certified yet. These instructions are from the Mining Claims Maps page by choosing the "Mining History" tab and scrolling down to "Mineral Patents"

    Many Patent images have not been processed yet but you can still get a raw copy of the Patent image by selecting the "Related Documents" Tab and then clicking on "CDI" from the link list to the left of the "Related Documents" window and choosing the "Image" symbol next to the Mineral Patent listing you are interested in. The Mineral Survey Plats are available in a similar manner by choosing "Surveys" from the left link list instead of "CDI".
    It's really that easy.

    The General Land Office has all the historical public land documents. It's not an easy site to use so we have connected you directly to the documents and provided the instructions to get you what you want. Eventually every document at the General Land Office and the BLM will be available with a click from a map.

    Educate Yourself and Prosper!

    Heavy Pans
    KevinInColorado, arizau and et1955 like this.

  7. #7
    us
    Jun 2015
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    Hey, Thanks for clarifying what the CDI image is and now it definitely makes more sense.

    So is the Mineral Survey just another name for the patent location or should the Mineral Survey be a different document than the 5 or 6 page location description and maps that I'm able to pull through the CDI tab? I see no Mineral Surveys listed, the only surveys I can see are landownership type plat maps.

    I figured since the Mineral Survey has a specific MSxxxx type identifier that is different than the claim number it must correlate to some other document. But maybe I'm looking for something that simply doesn't exist. The Mineral Survey number does match the land plat for the claims.

    I guess I'm just wondering what is the Mineral Survey and its MSxxxx number, does it just indicate the legal land survey of the patented claim? I though it would be like a survey of the mineral character of the claim/deposit but I'm starting to think its something much simpler.

    Thank you so much for the help, the information and knowledge in this area is nearly non-existent anywhere online nowadays and greatly appreciated
    Clay Diggins likes this.

  8. #8
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
    3,438
    9984 times
    Prospecting
    The mineral survey is a requirement for the patent. It is simply an official survey plat of the area submitted for patent. The mineral survey must be completed by a certified U.S. Mineral Surveyor. Several contiguous claims can be aggregated into one patent.

    Mineral surveys are always completed before the patent is processed. Each mineral survey is assigned a serial number. Many mineral surveys are never taken to patent. If the survey has been finished and serialized with an MS number it becomes an official land document even though it might not be associated with a patent grant. If a mineral survey is completed before the official Public Land Survey is completed the mineral survey becomes part of the official public land description. You can see that when viewing the PLSS in the western mining states.

    Once the patent is granted the "claim(s)" cease to exist. The patent grants (transfers) the land from the public domain into private ownership.

    The mineral character of the claim is private information even if the claim is never patented. Types of ore, value of ore in the ground and amount of ore and metal extracted are all the private proprietary property of the claim owner. The BLM is under strict restrictions as to what information about the minerals in the land can be revealed. Essentially the only information the BLM can share with the public is whether the land has been proven to be mineral in character at some point in time.

    You may be thinking of a mineral exam instead of a survey (map). Mineral exams are conducted by a Certified Mineral Examiner. Mineral exams can be conducted by the BLM on any active claim but they are not required for a mineral patent. Even when the BLM does conduct a mineral exam the results are kept private beyond a simple declaration of "mineral in character" or not. A patent that had a mineral exam conducted before it was patented is under no requirement to make the exam results public.

    In the United States no mine operator is required to reveal to the public the nature or use of their minerals. Large mining companies that issue shares may be required by the SEC to publish some basic numbers but individuals and private companies don't have to reveal squat. Doing so would be revealing trade secrets and give a competitive advantage to other miners. In the U.S., with its private property laws, no individual or company is required to make those things public information whether it be manufacturing hula hoops or mining.

    Luckily some miners have shared some information over the years. They do that as a matter of choice. There are some really great repositories of mining construction, operation and production details offered up by some miners. There is no guarantee that any particular mine you are interested in will have published any of those details.

    Heavy Pans
    delnorter and qmikep like this.

 

 

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