A few questions about mining claims in California


Dec 9, 2021
Northern California
Detector(s) used
Minelab Sovereign Elite
Given that I am new to gold prospecting (though not metal detecting), I decided to ask here, about some unresolved questions I had about making mining claims here in California. I've done a fair amount of research in the last few weeks on that subject, but a few things remain unclear, because they haven't been mentioned in the official BLM sources.

One, I know about the fees for placer claims, and that BLM allows 20 acres per person per claim, up to 8 people for 160 acres, but I've found little mention of the shape of claims. Basically, I just wanted to know if it's legal for mining claims to have an irregular shape, something other than a square or rectangle. In some cases, for example, a
triangular or trapezoidal shape might be more suitable, than a rectangular plot.

Also, I've seen conflicting information on the size (width) of mining claim markers. Some say a minimum of 4" wide posts, but in the state regulations (3915), says it's a minimum requirement of 1.5" wide - "A wooden post not less than 11/2 inches in diameter projecting at least two feet above the ground. " (Link to https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov).

In any case, I figure a 2" wide post would do. I hope so because marking a site with 4" wide posts is a more expensive proposition, than with 2" wide posts, given the high cost of lumber these days. Still, I'm not entirely sure how to attach my mining claim notice to the posts themselves. I've seen references (on one of Chris Ralph's videos) to small
plastic containers that look to be made for that purpose, but I can't seem to find any source for them. Anyone have any idea where I could find them?

On a side note, I did find a place I wanted to take a look at, come this spring, but I realized it may not be worth it, due to steep climb to get down to the creek, in its ravine. I recently just signed up for Gaia GPS (which is extremely useful, I've found), and I measured the path down to the creek; over a distance of 1500 feet, the elevation change is 650 feet down, which makes for a hell of grade (over 40%). So, while getting down there might not be too difficult, the climb back up probably would be no fun, especially with all the gear I'd need to get down there. And if I ever wanted to set up a sluice in that creek, it would become even worse, with the weight of that equipment.

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