Does a Mining Claim Grant Ownership of Abandoned Equipment?
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Thread: Does a Mining Claim Grant Ownership of Abandoned Equipment?

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  1. #1

    Mar 2016
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    Does a Mining Claim Grant Ownership of Abandoned Equipment?

    I remember someone telling me that if there is abandoned mining equipment on a new obtained claim, the current owner obtains some ownership or responsibility?

    Is there any truth to this? Does it vary by state?

    Let's just say a previous claim owner left a large grizzly or trommel.
    Last edited by IMAUDIGGER; Jan 04, 2020 at 12:19 AM.
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    This Communication HEREBY Serves as OFFICIAL NOTICE That All Messages in This Thread Have Been REVIEWED. FURTHERMORE, All Messages of Positive Nature SHALL IRREVOCABLY Be Considered "LIKED" INSOFAR as Applicable to This Forum. FINALLY, All Discrimination is Strictly PROHIBITED.

  2. #2

    Mar 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMAUDIGGER View Post
    I remember someone telling me that if there is abandoned mining equipment on a new obtained claim, the current owner obtains some ownership or responsibility?

    Is there any truth to this? Does it vary by state?

    Let's just say a previous claim owner left a large grizzly or trommel.
    Though I am not a lawyer. I would say the chances of that are very slim of you legally just inheriting them, if you know what I mean. It seems like it would fall under lost or abandoned property law and there would be a specified legal process to take ownership if the owner is unknown or can’t be identified.
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  3. #3
    Charter Member
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    No. Your mining claim only gives you rights to the valuable minerals - not abandoned property or buildings.

    Unclaimed abandoned property reverts to the surface management agency's ownership 30 days after they discover it is abandoned. What happens after that can vary depending on what the property is. In no case can the abandoned property be donated but it might be possible in some specific circumstances to purchase the abandoned property.

    Of course all that doesn't apply until the agency knows there is abandoned property ...

    It would be unlawful to take abandoned property that wasn't yours for your personal use.

    I think a smart claim owner could see some possibilities buried in all those "not yours" laws.

    Heavy Pans

  4. #4
    us
    Oct 2015
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    Very interesting! Wasn't aware of this fact. I was under the impression that the new claim owner would assume some liability of the abandoned structures and equipment lying about. What if this abandoned stuff is deemed an environmental hazard by the feds? Probably not likely, but has that ever happened?
    Reading between the lines then... perhaps the new claim owner could make practical use of any abandoned structures and equipment (if mining incident), eventhough he has no right of ownership of this stuff. Not a bad deal if that's the case.
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  5. #5

    Mar 2016
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    I had a friend who's dad routinely cleaned up old mining claims for the USFS.
    He got some neat pieces of equipment and made some money doing it.
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    This Communication HEREBY Serves as OFFICIAL NOTICE That All Messages in This Thread Have Been REVIEWED. FURTHERMORE, All Messages of Positive Nature SHALL IRREVOCABLY Be Considered "LIKED" INSOFAR as Applicable to This Forum. FINALLY, All Discrimination is Strictly PROHIBITED.

  6. #6
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    TunaTonker

    Nov 2016
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    We have to define what "abandoned" means. By abandoned, do you mean the previous claim owner hasn't removed it yet? If so, then no, ownership wouldn't just automatically transfer to you. Or by abandoned, do you mean it's been sitting unused in the weeds for the past 100 years? If that's the case, though you don't own it, you'd probably have no issue using it on the claim and a worst case scenario would be a cease and desist request.
    Last edited by GoDeep; Jan 09, 2020 at 11:28 PM.
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  7. #7

    Mar 2016
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    Apparently BLM is of the opinion that the liability for unknown hazardous materials and dangerous conditions follows with the new claim owner. That may not be 100% correct, but it gives an idea what direction they would take things if given the opportunity.

    Per BLM
    “Keep in mind the phrase “buyer beware” when deciding to purchase a mining claim via an
    internet site. Sellers may provide incomplete or incorrect information about the mining claim or what
    type of operation is allowable on the claim. Some mining claims contain residual hazardous materials that the seller may not disclose; a buyer could take on a long-term financial responsibility as a result. Old mine shafts and other workings can result in expensive safety and financial responsibilities for a buyer.”
    Hobbs. likes this.
    This Communication HEREBY Serves as OFFICIAL NOTICE That All Messages in This Thread Have Been REVIEWED. FURTHERMORE, All Messages of Positive Nature SHALL IRREVOCABLY Be Considered "LIKED" INSOFAR as Applicable to This Forum. FINALLY, All Discrimination is Strictly PROHIBITED.

  8. #8
    us
    May 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMAUDIGGER View Post
    Apparently BLM is of the opinion that the liability for unknown hazardous materials and dangerous conditions follows with the new claim owner. That may not be 100% correct, but it gives an idea what direction they would take things if given the opportunity.

    Per BLM
    “Keep in mind the phrase “buyer beware” when deciding to purchase a mining claim via an
    internet site. Sellers may provide incomplete or incorrect information about the mining claim or what
    type of operation is allowable on the claim. Some mining claims contain residual hazardous materials that the seller may not disclose; a buyer could take on a long-term financial responsibility as a result. Old mine shafts and other workings can result in expensive safety and financial responsibilities for a buyer.”
    I'm thinking that pertains to patented claims(?).
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    If it can't be grown, it must be mined!

  9. #9
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMAUDIGGER View Post
    Apparently BLM is of the opinion that the liability for unknown hazardous materials and dangerous conditions follows with the new claim owner. That may not be 100% correct, but it gives an idea what direction they would take things if given the opportunity.

    Per BLM
    “Keep in mind the phrase “buyer beware” when deciding to purchase a mining claim via an
    internet site. Sellers may provide incomplete or incorrect information about the mining claim or what
    type of operation is allowable on the claim. Some mining claims contain residual hazardous materials that the seller may not disclose; a buyer could take on a long-term financial responsibility as a result. Old mine shafts and other workings can result in expensive safety and financial responsibilities for a buyer.”
    Yes the BLM is correct. A quitclaim transfers all the grantors ownership and liabilities. It is possible for the unwary buyer to end up with nothing but liabilities for their money. A quitclaim does not necessarily even grant an interest in the minerals. Definitely buyer beware when transferring a claim.

    On the other hand when you locate a claim you don't inherit the liabilities of the previous claimant or land users. Even so I always suggest locators have a witness and take pictures during location of any possible problems already existing within the location. Better to establish that past problems were not created by you before you are approached to clean up something you aren't responsible for.

    Heavy Pans
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  10. #10

    Mar 2014
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    906 times
    Quote Originally Posted by IMAUDIGGER View Post
    Apparently BLM is of the opinion that the liability for unknown hazardous materials and dangerous conditions follows with the new claim owner. That may not be 100% correct, but it gives an idea what direction they would take things if given the opportunity.

    Per BLM
    “Keep in mind the phrase “buyer beware” when deciding to purchase a mining claim via an
    internet site. Sellers may provide incomplete or incorrect information about the mining claim or what
    type of operation is allowable on the claim. Some mining claims contain residual hazardous materials that the seller may not disclose; a buyer could take on a long-term financial responsibility as a result. Old mine shafts and other workings can result in expensive safety and financial responsibilities for a buyer.”
    I interpret this as them referring to environmental hazards such as Arsenic and mercury along with acids. That the remediation May fall on the new owner or pose a risk therein. Not necessarily old equipment. Then old shafts and adits are also referred to but again that would refer to hazards not old equipment.
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  11. #11
    us
    May 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by arizau View Post
    I'm thinking that pertains to patented claims(?).
    patents are merely a parcel of private land.

    one patented BLM has nothing to do with the land anymore.

    All work falls under the scope of county and state ordinance and law.

  12. #12
    Captain Silveraith

    Dec 2019
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    Yes, patented land falls under county & state & possibly even Federal law as far as mining goes. Patented land is sometimes easier to get mining permits approved but not always. As far as equipment left on an unpatented claim, you don't own it, only the mineral rights. At least that's what out lawyer is telling us as we will potentially be buying one of each.
    Hobbs. likes this.

 

 

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