Rye Patch, NV Mining Claim Higrading
Last Post 29 Jul 2018 02:05 PM by CRAIG CAMPBELL. 10 Replies.
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WILLIAM MOOREUser is Offline
Greenhorn
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Posts:10



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27 Oct 2017 10:10 AM

    There were some recent discussions on another forum that must be shared with the GPAA membership. For those that metal detect and prospect in Rye Patch, NV, please read the following summary and share with your Clubs members and prospecting friends.

    Bill

     

     

    From Land Matters:

    The above map shows who the land manager is and which sections have claims. The simple fact that the BLM is the land manager does not mean the land is open to prospecting or claim.

    I took the next step for you. I downloaded the Master Title Plat (MTP) for that Township with a click on the Land Status map. The MTP clearly shows that most of the the odd numbered Sections have restricted minerals - as in not yours. So no you can't just look at a simple map and say to yourself "hmmm no claims and it's BLM managed so I'm good to go".

    The reason this is disturbing to me is myself and others have spent a lot of personal time and money providing free tools and tutorials so the average prospector/researcher can know how to do their legally required Due Diligence before they put boots on the ground. The tools and information are now freely available. Abdicating your personal responsibility to know the land status before you prospect because I provided a map of claimed areas was not the intent of my work. Please don't use Land Matters as an excuse for criminal behavior. Ignorance is never a defense against a prosecution for mineral trespass or mineral theft.

    The talk here has been of "Claim Jumping". Claim Jumping is the act of trying to steal a mining claim with paperwork and lawyers. Taking minerals from a claim you don't have permission to prospect is highgrading - not Claim Jumping. Higrading in all cases involves the theft of minerals owned by someone else. Apples and Oranges.

    I get correspondence from a lot of claim owners complaining of higraders. This is not new to mining. Several studies of commercial placer mines have shown that higrading is the biggest threat to a profitable operation. Anyone that has worked for the larger mining companies know they spend a lot of time, money and hours ensuring their minerals are not stolen. Higrading is on every mining companies radar.

    I often hear excuses like "If the claim isn't marked it's OK to prospect" and the even more common "It's the claim owners responsibility to maintain signs". Neither is true, a few States require corners be checked on an annual basis but in point of fact most states have no legal requirement that claims must maintain markers. In several states corner markers are not required at all for some claims and monuments only have to be present at the time of location. Although as a practical matter the claim owner should do everything possible to put others on notice of the claim it is not the legal responsibility of the claim owner to use signs or markers to keep prospectors off their claim.

    Prospectors, unlike the general public, have a positive legal duty to know the mineral status of the land before entering to prospect. The claim owner put other prospectors on legal notice when they recorded their "Notice of Mining Claim Location" into the public record. That public record suffices as proper notice under the law even if there are no stakes at the mining claim location. The public record is open for inspection to all people.  Potential prospectors need to examine the public record before entering the land to prospect. Land Matters provides links to all the County Recorders right on the Mining Claim maps to assist you in accomplishing that requirement.

    Where Land Matters could do better is in providing the subsurface mineral status of the lands. As you've seen above not all BLM managed land is open to prospecting or location. It's not just a matter of mineral withdrawals but more subtle issues like those odd numbered sections in parts of Rye Patch that were reconvened and were never open to location. There was no withdrawal there because there were no mineral rights to withdraw. Often those minerals have already been sold or leased. If you are found extracting minerals from these restricted lands the BLM will bring charges of criminal mineral theft. It happens quite often and is frequently prosecuted for something as simple as taking a pickup load of gravel or sand.

    Then there is the big mass of "dark matter" that is the subsurface estate still owned by the United States. There are nearly 7 million acres of mineral lands, often available for prospecting and location, underneath private lands in the west. Mining companies know this and have legally mined private lands for years. It requires a huge amount of research to determine just where these hidden mineral lands are found. The BLM is tasked with maintaining the records of this huge subsurface estate but between the BLM and mining companies the attitude seems to be "out of sight - out of mind". With very few exceptions these records are available but virtually unobtainable by the average researcher. Land Matters has plans to map these subsurface mineral rights but it's a huge project with little public interest beyond the landsmen and oil and gas industries. We need to see some real public interest before we will commit the resources needed to complete such a big project.

    Now to the tough part. Most of these complaints I receive of higraders are about metal detecting. Rarely do I hear of processing equipment being used. At least 9 out of 10 reports of higrading I receive are about metal detectorists taking the best and biggest gold. Several of you on this forum have been named by claim owners. I'm not the enforcement guy and I will not be calling you out in public but I do know. For small miners trying to protect their owned minerals from higrading the pointy finger is mostly about metal detectorists.

    I do know that few of you set out with the intent to detect someone's minerals. In most cases these violations are due to ignorance, intentional or otherwise. Assuming that signs are required or that unclaimed BLM managed land must be available for prospecting are just two examples. I have heard from many prospectors that the big mining companies (or someone who appears to be working for a mining company) allow prospectors to work their claims. I've never found a prospector who had a name, phone number or signed release but this seems to be one of those things "everyone knows". I can tell you that no mining company that has public shares could ever legally allow you to prospect their claims without a work contract. The simple fact that you haven't been caught or run off does not amount to permission.

    Please learn to do your own due diligence. Please respect mineral owners rights, those minerals are their private property under the law. 

    According to the Serial Register page Sections 17,19 and 21 is split estate. The surface is BLM managed and the minerals are privately owned. This doesn't make a lot of sense considering the ownership history there but it is how the government has the split estate classified.

    To prospect or mine Sections 17, 19 and 21 you would need the written permission of the private mineral owner. You will need to visit the Humboldt County Assessor to find out who the current owner is.

    One individual and one company have mined that area in the past. The last approved mining there was closed out in 1998. There may be a private mineral lease there now but there is no way to know until someone begins the mine permit process.

    The one thing that is clear is that there can be no prospecting (including metal detecting) or mining on Sections 17, 19 and 21 without the mineral owners written permission.

    Chuck CumminsUser is Offline
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    27 Oct 2017 02:17 PM
    As a big claim holder in Rye Patch I’m so glad you posted this Bill.

    It is the prospectors responsibility to do their homework before going out.

    I see hi-grading all the time at Rye Patch and the above post spells out clearly why it happens.

    Thanks for posting this.
    Garrett ATX
    WILLIAM HALLUser is Offline
    Lost Dutchman
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    30 Oct 2017 03:27 PM
    I would suggest posting this in the greenhorn section and have it pinned there for all to hopefully read and understand.

    I know most wont....
    Or admit they did

    Bill
    So much river....So little time....Get out there
    james pavliUser is Offline
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    29 Jan 2018 02:13 PM
    Hello all, I'm pretty new to gold prospecting and have inquired about the right way of addressing the issue of what I just call trespassing. I researched an area that I chose to do some prospecting when I was going out west. I researched on how to research first and went from there. After reading your post Bill I'm questioning myself once again. I wouldn't want to do anything wrong nor claim ignorance about the law in my search for gold or whatever I may find. If I click on the section as you stated wouldn't it show up as blm controlled land? I cross checked my section of interest with the diggings too and showed abandoned claims but non active. The area isn't the area or state you posted about just for the record. Do you mean I would have to go the recorders office and find if the section is open to mineral withdrawals? Thanks for clarifying this in advance.
    WILLIAM HALLUser is Offline
    Lost Dutchman
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    29 Jan 2018 03:54 PM
    Welcome James,

    I assume you are asking the original poster, he may answer as well.

    I can only speak to the state of California, have no knowledge of other states.
    The only real way to find if a claim is active or abandon,
    Locate the county recorders office in the county of your interest,
    Know the Range, Township and Section on a USGS map
    With that knowledge, the county recording personnel should be able to tell you if abandon or active
    Then head off to the BLM/Forest Circus that has jurisdiction of area of interest, and basically do the same with them.
    They should be able to provide you with that info
    These two parties should also be able to provide info on surrounding sections
    Ask for names of claim owners to contact if you so wish
    County has the last word no matter what BLM may tell you
    BLM will take your monies and never say a word that your claim may be invalid due to the fact you didnt record at the county
    If serious about a claim in California, find a book published by the US Department of the Interior "Location and Patenting of Mining Claims of Cal." tells all one needs to know.
    LR2000 is ok to check claims, but the county has the last word.

    Yes, its can be alot of work, but the pay off....

    Bill
    So much river....So little time....Get out there
    JIM RINEHARTUser is Offline
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    10 Apr 2018 12:37 PM
    We've been members of GPAA for a few years now, and so we're not totally ignorant, but we haven't been to Rye Patch. I told another GPAA member about it, he went there and found a chevron nugget. I do not know where he was metal detecting, and he couldn't tell me where, in relation to the campground. So, with that grid in mind (above), it doesn't show me where it is in relation to where we would be most likely staying. How do we get more info, or a map of that area? And, doesn't GPAA have a claim there? Thanks for helping! Jim and Frances R.
    KEVIN HOAGLANDUser is Offline
    Miner
    Miner
    Posts:128



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    10 Apr 2018 12:51 PM
    Jim,
    I had a feeling this would cause a great deal more confusion than it has to date. The original posting is concerning Rye Patch NV and I believe the poster confused it with the RYE PATCH GPAA claim which is located in Idaho. The grid above has no relation to the GPAA Claim.
    If this is concerning RYE PATCH in Nevada, please read everything that is posted in the original posting. Finding a spot of open ground anywhere around this area is tough to impossible. If there is a location that interest you, I would suggest a search on the LR-2000 to see if it is claimed and if so try to reach out to the owner for permission.
    Hope this helps.
    I'll see you, out there!
    CHRISTOPHER SATKOWSKIUser is Offline
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    17 Apr 2018 05:50 AM
    Posted By WILLIAM HALL on 29 Jan 2018 03:54 PM
    Welcome James,

    I assume you are asking the original poster, he may answer as well.

    I can only speak to the state of California, have no knowledge of other states.
    The only real way to find if a claim is active or abandon,
    Locate the county recorders office in the county of your interest,
    Know the Range, Township and Section on a USGS map
    With that knowledge, the county recording personnel should be able to tell you if abandon or active
    Then head off to the BLM/Forest Circus that has jurisdiction of area of interest, and basically do the same with them.
    They should be able to provide you with that info
    These two parties should also be able to provide info on surrounding sections
    Ask for names of claim owners to contact if you so wish
    County has the last word no matter what BLM may tell you
    BLM will take your monies and never say a word that your claim may be invalid due to the fact you didnt record at the county
    If serious about a claim in California, find a book published by the US Department of the Interior "Location and Patenting of Mining Claims of Cal." tells all one needs to know.
    LR2000 is ok to check claims, but the county has the last word.

    Yes, its can be alot of work, but the pay off....

    Bill

    I can't answer for California, but only for Arizona and only got Maricopa County and Yavapai county.  Neither can answer your questions if you go to the county office, but all answers can be found on line.  Maricopa recently started charginfg $1 per search to view claim paperwork and it does not have claims organized by the public land survey.  Only thing you can do there is go by name or date filed.  Yavapai is much more user friendly.  Took me 8 months to figure how to file a claim.

     

     

    Bottom Line: When asking questions be sure the person is answering the write question and have a clue of what a right answer and a wrong answer is. 


    Chris Phoenix Valley Area
    mike robertsonUser is Offline
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    Greenhorn
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    21 Apr 2018 11:08 AM
    Do you belong to SEIU 99? I think I might know you.
    CRAIG CAMPBELLUser is Offline
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    29 Jul 2018 02:02 PM

    what a great site land matters is,i'm headed up to rye patch for the gpaa outing in september,want to play with my new fisher gold bug 2.been doing alot of research during the hot months.anyway have a great day

    CRAIG CAMPBELLUser is Offline
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    29 Jul 2018 02:05 PM

    thanks!!!

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