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Thread: What is a "cache" considered?

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  1. #1
    us
    Sep 2016
    Anchorage, Alaska
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    What is a "cache" considered?

    So I've been doing some digging. (No pun intended) Trying to find out what a cache is considered. Basically, if a miner 100 years ago pulled some gold out of the ground, put it in a little tin can, then buried it and stuck it in a hole....is that still considered the same as mineral rights? (This is in Alaska, which should help narrow it down.) So essentially, if I were to find a pre-extracted from the ground cache of gold on someone else's claim...legal or not to take it? Hypothetically. I'm not actually going to, but I've been working on a thing, and it'd involve similar situations.
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  2. #2
    us
    WP

    Mar 2014
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    I would say no. I don;'t know the ins and outs of laws. But ....I would think that if a claim was owned and there was mineral on it, that the mineral would belong to the claim owner no matter how it got there. Is it a Cache or Placer gold? Since it was "placed" there.

    It is a good question....because I do wonder how that is viewed by law. And what the definitions are. Then can they be argued that it is placer gold(like me jkg around)....Maybe.....Or maybe placer gold is only considered natural? I went looking online and from what I can find what you are describing is considered a "cache" even in the "legal" online dictionaries. But I still can't imagine it would be legal to take it, no matter what it'ss called or how it got there. And I'd bet there would end up a legal battle over something like that if the owner of the claim found out. I really don't believe it would be as simple as going in, taking it and saying..."Your claim is only to naturally placed minerals." .

    I can't wait to see the answers from the guys that know these laws inside out.
    Last edited by Nitric; Feb 03, 2019 at 02:15 AM.

  3. #3
    us
    Bryan

    Jul 2012
    Mid-Missouri
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    This is a real head scratcher for me. I believe that it would be considered a cache rather than a natural deposit subject to mineral rights. Alaska does reference caches in its administrative code, and I think the manner in which the gold was found (tucked away in a tin can) proves that someone intentionally placed it there with the intention to retrieve it at some point. I would say that if you found the cache on your property or on property you had permission to search, and you are pretty sure that the former owner stashed it a century ago, it's now yours.

    One thing to consider though, what are the state's policies on lost/mislaid/abandoned property?
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    Bryan in Mid-Missouri
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  4. #4
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2012
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    If it's buried in a can it is not natural, hence a cache, now, unless you own the property or have permission to be there, whatever it is belongs to the owner of the property. If you take it, and they find out, they can and probably would sue you for trespass and the value of the item and legal fees.

    Welcome to the 21st Century.
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  5. #5
    us
    Sep 2016
    Anchorage, Alaska
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokeythecat View Post
    If it's buried in a can it is not natural, hence a cache, now, unless you own the property or have permission to be there, whatever it is belongs to the owner of the property. If you take it, and they find out, they can and probably would sue you for trespass and the value of the item and legal fees.

    Welcome to the 21st Century.
    I’m more leaning towards claim owners. They own the mineral rights. They can’t trespass you or anything and they own the mineral rights to the minerals on the ground. I’m just not sure about pre extracted minerals. Claim owners don’t own the land.

  6. #6

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by TintedSnow View Post
    .... Hypothetically. I'm not actually going to, but I've been working on a thing, and it'd involve similar situations.
    Hey there tinted-snow, you're talking about public land, yet where a private person has made a "claim" for mineral hobbyist purposes (nuggets, panning, sluicing, etc...). Right ? I'm not into nuggets in-their-natural form, on public land. Where a private citizen has made a "claim". So I can't answer to the exact legal question.

    But assuming, for the moment, that the person holding the claim has A) rights to whatever old jar or tin filled with coins that might exist there, and B) Is even there, in the first place, to make a fuss about it , then : I've been on many many many farmers and homeowner's lands with permission. Which I presume to be similar to your question of "claims" and "mineral rights", if we assume they own any pebble, or can, or jar, etc... that's there.

    And with that said, in my 40+ yrs. of this, I have NEVER had an issue of splits, or ownership (eg.: something "ripped out of my hands") occur. In each and every case, it's generally a friendly smile, a handshake, etc.... And on occasion, if I show them a cool old coin or token, they tend to say "take it". Of course, I always offer the things to them (and have even made extensive shadow box displays, etc... for them). And I'll usually hold out a single item (token, button, etc...) and say "This is one that I don't have in my collection, can I keep this one?". And have never had anyone say "absolutely not".

    Granted, I haven't had a cache be the issue. Rather: Just fumble fingers coin-shooter stuff. And granted, Even IF someone grabbed a cache or a jar from me and said "you can't have that" and "it's mine", I would STILL not have regretted the hunt. As long as I have some pix for my own trophy hall, and had fun, I'm fine with that. And, granted, I still have "clothes on my back", "food in my stomach" and a "roof over my head". So why would I get upset with them, get legal on them, etc... ?

    And to whatever extent someone could nip such a situation in the start, by making extensive "search and salvage" legal agreements ahead of time : To me, that seems like the FASTEST way to get a "no".

    When I go to search someone's cow pasture (where a stage stop existed) or their yard, etc..., I'm fully aware that I might have to turn everything over. But that has never happened.

    So your question is one of those type of questions where, admittedly, if you turned over heaven and earth, it has never-ending ramifications of doom and gloom (ie.: why bother?). Yet the human reality of md'ing, finding stuff, etc.... is most often far different. I'm sure there's the fluke random "horrible stories" that will circulate. Of someone who was "robbed of his findings" and thus "went hungry and naked". But .... if we concentrated on those fluke stories, we'd never leave our front doors in the morning.
    Last edited by Tom_in_CA; Feb 04, 2019 at 01:40 PM.
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  7. #7
    Charter Member
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    I have found one small cache of modern (20th century) silver coins metal detecting. I told the owners about it and showed then and they told me to go find more. They didn't care. I always make a deal up front with anyone whose land I'm on that if I find a cache of gold, defined as three or more items, we do onesies' twosies' and split it, they get first pick. And we don't publicize it. But it's never happened, nor do I expect it to ever happen for me. To me, it's the adventure not the money.
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  8. #8
    us
    WP

    Mar 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by TintedSnow View Post
    I’m more leaning towards claim owners. They own the mineral rights. They can’t trespass you or anything and they own the mineral rights to the minerals on the ground. I’m just not sure about pre extracted minerals. Claim owners don’t own the land.
    this would be the same type of situation....There is a burden pile or even ore pile left on a claim from years ago...Now that it has been collected and piled by a person it's not in it's natural state either. To me it would be the same type of thing. If someone has a claim and someone else goes in and starts taking from an ore pile that had been made a 100 years ago. The values may be different but the same idea. I'm not sure how the law is on that either. That's why I would think..That if you claim the mineral on that land it doesn't matter how it got there, you still made claim to it and own it.
    Last edited by Nitric; Feb 04, 2019 at 01:59 PM.
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  9. #9

    Mar 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokeythecat View Post
    ... I told the owners about it and showed then and they told me to go find more. They didn't care. I always make a deal up front with anyone.... .
    Good post. I too will toss out something casual like: "You're welcome to anything that I find". But have NEVER had that come back to bite me in any sort of legal way. I have shown land/home-owners goodies that I found. And it's most-often as you say: They don't care. In fact, they are often intrigued, ask questions about the detector, etc.....

    Granted, I haven't shown anyone a "jar of gold coins" so far. But EVEN IF THAT WERE THE ISSUE/RISK : I'd still rather have the fun of the hunt, than to preclude myself from all-the-types of hunts I've done, by getting overly technical in the start (ie.: worrying & legal ramifications).
    Nitric likes this.
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  10. #10
    us
    WP

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View Post
    Good post. I too will toss out something casual like: "You're welcome to anything that I find". But have NEVER had that come back to bite me in any sort of legal way. I have shown land/home-owners goodies that I found. And it's most-often as you say: They don't care. In fact, they are often intrigued, ask questions about the detector, etc.....

    Granted, I haven't shown anyone a "jar of gold coins" so far. But EVEN IF THAT WERE THE ISSUE/RISK : I'd still rather have the fun of the hunt, than to preclude myself from all-the-types of hunts I've done, by getting overly technical in the start (ie.: worrying & legal ramifications).
    I have been in this position.not a jar but a box of gold coins, roughly 140 1oz in tubes of 20..I was honest about it and gave it to the family....and I still second guess my decision even years later......That amount would have changed my life and didn't mean much to them just a drop in the bucket to them. And no one would have known.....But..the right thing is the right thing....I guess..... Her reaction was "ohhh gosh!! more gold coins......"
    Last edited by Nitric; Feb 04, 2019 at 02:26 PM.
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  11. #11
    us
    Sep 2016
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Equinox 800, White's Goldmaster
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    What is a "cache" considered?

    These are all fantastic points. I’m basically looking for a cache or caches from the the turn of the century full of nuggets. My only concern- it’s located in one of the heaviest mined areas in Alaska and them miners don’t take too kindly to outsiders on their land lol. I’m not looking to score a bunch of money on the find- I’m trying to solve a 100 year old murder mystery/return the lost caches to their rightful owner(s) or museums. Once I really get into it, I’ll post up more details on it.

  12. #12
    us
    WP

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    Quote Originally Posted by TintedSnow View Post
    These are all fantastic points. I’m basically looking for a cache or caches from the the turn of the century full of nuggets. My only concern- it’s located in one of the heaviest mined areas in Alaska and them miners don’t take too kindly to outsiders on their land lol. I’m not looking to score a bunch of money on the find- I’m trying to solve a 100 year old murder mystery/return the lost caches to their rightful owner(s) or museums. Once I really get into it, I’ll post up more details on it.
    Don't give away too many of your details if this is something that you are seriously pursuing....From what you've described so far ....I really think I saw a documentary or an article......Something, on this.....It may be a whole different person. I may be mixed up and can't remember where I even saw the story. Just saying....Watch what you let loose if it's something that your working on.

  13. #13
    us
    Jan 2016
    Somewhere below the mason-dixon
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    loose lips sinks ships. enough said
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  14. #14

    Mar 2014
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    I would like to throw my hat into the ring that a intentionally hidden cache does not fall under the purview of the claim, or is in any way, the property of the mining claimant. Just as it does not fall under any sort of reasonable expectation that a lost gold watch would also belong to a claimant.

    Per the BLM, A mining claim is a parcel of land for which the claimant has asserted a right of possession and the right to develop and extract a discovered, valuable, mineral deposit. This right does not include exclusive surface rights (see Public Law 84-167).

    You can neither “develop” nor “extract” a cache in a mining sense.


    Per Lawdictionary.org mining is defined as, The process or business of extracting from the earth the precious or valuable metals, either in their native state or in their ores

    Further, I don’t believe you can make a legal argument that a cache is in its “native” state. Unless you can point me to where cans of nuggets naturally occur in nature.

    Just my piece

    Mox
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  15. #15
    us
    Sep 2016
    Anchorage, Alaska
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madmox View Post
    I would like to throw my hat into the ring that a intentionally hidden cache does not fall under the purview of the claim, or is in any way, the property of the mining claimant. Just as it does not fall under any sort of reasonable expectation that a lost gold watch would also belong to a claimant.

    Per the BLM, A mining claim is a parcel of land for which the claimant has asserted a right of possession and the right to develop and extract a discovered, valuable, mineral deposit. This right does not include exclusive surface rights (see Public Law 84-167).

    You can neither “develop” nor “extract” a cache in a mining sense.


    Per Lawdictionary.org mining is defined as, The process or business of extracting from the earth the precious or valuable metals, either in their native state or in their ores

    Further, I don’t believe you can make a legal argument that a cache is in its “native” state. Unless you can point me to where cans of nuggets naturally occur in nature.

    Just my piece

    Mox
    This is exactly the answer I was looming for to help me out. Thanks!

 

 
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