Types of Patented Mining Claims

Types of Patented Mining Claims


Types of patented mining claims overlapping claims

There are 3 types of mining claims: Lode, Placer and Millsites. Lode claims tend to be 300 feet wide by 1500 feet long, which would net 10.331 acres. Ideally, the miner’s “Vein of gold” runs the full 1500 feet in length and he can follow it underground to the center of the earth. He cannot mine beyond either of the 2 end lines (the 300 foot ones). These are properties where the owner is tunneling into the rock; drilling and blasting to move the rock. Excavations that are horizontal are called tunnels or drifts. Excavations that go down into the ground are called shafts. Excavations that mine upward or vertically are called stopes. Placer claims do not have a definite shape and can be much larger (I have seen up to 120 acres). These are “staked out” around rivers and streams, as these are the kinds of claims where a miner “pans for gold” like you often see in old western movies. The last type of claim is a millsite. When miners blast all of the rock and end up with ore, they need to process that ore to make it into gold, silver, lead, zinc, copper, etc. That work was done on a millsite. They had a 5 acre limit for size, but I am not aware of any particular shape requirement. In all 3 instances, once these properties were patented, the owner no longer needed to do his “assessment work” (the term applied to all of the preliminary work required to obtain the patent) and could use them as he so desired. Mining claims often “overlap” another mining claim. Even though that seems unusual, it is almost the norm with mining property. Remember that the miner staked his claim so the vein would run the 1500 foot direction on his property. Suppose another vein a hundred or so feet away takes a turn and crosses over the first vein? This happens all the time. The answer to who owns the “overlapping” area lies in the actual Patent signed by the president of the United States. These are old documents (generally microfilmed) that are a neat collector’s item aside from being actual title documents that pertain to your property.

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Here is an actual bearing rock common to the Kloster and Minnehaha mining claims.

bearing rock common to the Kloster and Minnehaha mining claims

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