Saturday, July 12, 2008

So You Want to Buy a Gold Mining Claim?

Gold mining claims are very hot items these days (just go to eBay and do a search for mining claims and see what pops up). There are two reasons for this sudden and dramatic rise in interest over lode and placer claims: first and foremost, the current record high price of gold per troy ounce and secondly, the difficulty in finding open and accessible areas to mine.

This latter factor has become increasingly frustrating as more gold-bearing areas:
  • fall victim to federal, state, and local governmental withdrawal from public access, most often to accommodate the biased agendas of environmental special-interest groups; or
  • are gobbled up in real estate or business-oriented land grabs; or
  • are claimed up by legitimate mining interests (small-scale mining businesses, recreational miners, mining clubs, etc.) or
  • are offered up for sale by reputable folks or, on the other hand, by a new wave of unscrupulous types I call "claim scammers" operating mostly online.
If you are truly interested in buying a mining claim there are a few salient questions you should ask before shelling out thousands or tens of thousands of your hard-earned dollars to a potential claim scammer:

1) Is the claim situated on lands legally open for mining claim location?

2) Is the claim properly posted and staked out, and is it in compliance with local, state, and/or federal laws?

3) Can the seller offer you a title guarantee?

4) Is the claim properly recorded in the appropriate county?

5) Is the claim properly recorded with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM)?

6) Does the claim comply with applicable Federal and State laws?

7) Is the claim free from disputes from other claimants?

8) Is the claim documented by a solid title abstract?

9) And perhaps most importantly, is there likely to be enough gold on the claim to warrant its cost?

If you can't answer a resounding yes to all these questions you probably have no business trying to buy a gold mining claim unless you have a burning desire to go through life as one of those poor unfortunates I call "professional victims." Once more, these are the absolute minimum standards you should live by when considering purchasing a gold claim from anyone, anywhere, anytime.

With gold at record highs the scammers know there's money to be made off the greedy, the unwise, and the foolish so they come scurrying out from under rocks everywhere. Ignore these standards at your own risk.

What else can I say?

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2008

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