Placer claim river access

GuidingGeese

Newbie
May 17, 2022
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Colorado
Hi everyone, I'm new here. I've picked up prospecting as a hobby (something I've been wanting to get into for a long time) and my goal is to get a placer claim by the end of the summer (as in find, file, and begin work). In the course of my research I thought of a specific scenario I might encounter. I'd like an old-timer's input on what to do if I run into something like this.

How does river access work in a placer mining claim?

In this imaginary scenario, I have a claim that is near but not bordering a creek. There is someone else's claim between mine and the creek, all on public land. Can I set up my sluice along the creek on the other guy's claim and transport my dirt from my claim to the river (with a wheelbarrow or in 5 gal. buckets) to run through my sluice? Is there a legal issue with operating my sluice or washing my dirt on another's claim? Is this considered rude? If so, is there an alternative to get water to my claim to run through my sluice?
 
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traveller777

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Aug 20, 2017
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Welcome to Tnet. There are some serious prospectors on here so it should not take long for your answer. I am fairly certain I know the answer but let us give time for the experienced guys to answer. I hope you enjoy your time here.
 

et1955

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Jan 10, 2015
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Remember we who are claim owners own all the mineral rights so unless you have special deal with that claim owner the answer is no, think about it you bring a mineral onto my claim and ounce you do that It is my property and I have the right to take it. Interesting question.
 
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GuidingGeese

GuidingGeese

Newbie
May 17, 2022
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4
Colorado
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Remember we who are claim owners own all the mineral rights so unless you have special deal with that claim owner the answer is no, think about it you bring a mineral onto my claim and ounce you do that It is my property and I have the right to take it. Interesting question.
That makes sense.
:thumbsup:
 

desertgolddigger

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May 31, 2015
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I don't have any experience with claims, but I would think you can't do anything on another claim without their permission. I doubt you could even run a hose over their claim to pump stream water into your claim's holding pond, without their permission, though I would hope they wouldn't be that petty about you getting water onto your claim. You can only ask, and hope. Good luck.
 

russau

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May 29, 2005
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St. Louis, missouri
Remember this is PUBLIC LAND ! The claim owner only owns the mineral rights and anybody else can walk across it or even camp on it BUT not to be able to pick up minerals OR questionable digging! Know what your rights are as a claim owner OR a person that has been invited to help work another persons claim for you own info and for your rights ! It's important to all of us that we know our right's and NOT just think we do or someone told them what they think is right. Have your paper work neatly in a folder with all the info you need to satisfy those nosy people that just want to know !
 

traveller777

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Remember this is PUBLIC LAND ! The claim owner only owns the mineral rights and anybody else can walk across it or even camp on it BUT not to be able to pick up minerals OR questionable digging! Know what your rights are as a claim owner OR a person that has been invited to help work another persons claim for you own info and for your rights ! It's important to all of us that we know our right's and NOT just think we do or someone told them what they think is right. Have your paper work neatly in a folder with all the info you need to satisfy those nosy people that just want to know !
Good advise
 

opalboy

Jr. Member
Nov 3, 2012
52
103
A couple of years ago we had gotten some paydirt from a higher location with only enough water for classifying, we took it to a stream with convenient parking (with a working placer mine nearby) and set up a sluice box, a cat operator stopped and nicely told us we couldn’t do that, after telling him we got the paydirt somewhere else, he told us that it didn’t matter, and we left.
Hey, I know when I’m not wanted!😳 So unless you’re real good friends with the other claim owner, No don’t do it.
 

Clay Diggins

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Nov 14, 2010
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Miners have a reserved right to move water to their claims for beneficial mining uses - even if that water must cross other people's claims or most public/private property.

Miners don't have any specific right to take their minerals to water located off their claim for processing.

Can you imagine how it would work out if miners could just haul their minerals to the nearest stream? Having a mining claim with running water would be a nightmare. Other miners covering up your minerals with their tailings? Miners all up and down the stream blocking your access to your minerals and filling the stream bed with their muck?

Think about the economics of mining. If it's cheaper to haul water than it is to haul minerals do that. If it's cheaper to haul your minerals then do that. Either way you are going to have to come up with the water if it isn't on your claim.

There is a cost to hauling either water or minerals. There is always a cost for water. There is a cost to mining and processing your minerals. There is a cost to dealing with your gangue. Figure out which combination is most efficient and profitable for your deposit and go get the gold - but keep your minerals off other people's mining claims. :thumbsup:

Heavy Pans
 

Johnnybravo300

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Jan 3, 2016
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Ive been to some peoples claims where they sluice the tailings right back into the creek and that always stumped me.
They are diluting the concentration of gold in the gravels and running the same material through over and over which only makes the job harder but with less PAY.

Its a real pet peeve of mine to touch any rock twice at my claim and as soon as rocks are washed they leave the creekbed.
Its as easy as running my sluice into a system of plastic house gutters that swerve up onto the bank to a tailings pile. Those rocks are clean and i dont want to shovel them again.
Once in awhile i have a jam or a gutter will slide off a log and i have to spend a few minutes setting it back up but its well worth the work it saves me and ive learned its ok to stop here and there.
Sometimes i even take a water break and eat some food if i think about it haha.
 

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