Gold Claims in British Columbia

(Placer gold claim for sale near Barkerville, B.C.)

Are you a small-scale or recreational miner from British Columbia who is considering filing on or purchasing a placer gold claim there? Then here are some basic questions and answers for you that may prove useful:

What constitutes a mining claim in B.C.? In British Columbia a gold mining claim is a surveyed land parcel that has been recorded with the appropriate governmental agencies. Once recorded, the claimholder has full rights to access, explore, occupy, and develop any minerals located on the property.

How can I ensure my claim's title is valid if I buy a claim in B.C.? Do your research well on the front end to avoid nasty surprises. Essentially, what you want to verify is the claim's ownership, annual maintenance requirements, and the regulations governing the claim in its particular jurisdiction. Additionally, you may need escrow or legal services to play it safe and guarantee the claim's title transfer before you shell out your hard-earned money.

How long do I own a claim I file on or buy one? As long as you maintain your gold claim and keep up with any recurrent fees or requirements before they expire, the claim is yours to keep. If you fail to complete these simple tasks you may lose your claim or someone else may file on it.

In B.C. there are placer claims and mineral claims. What's the difference? Evidently, Canadian mining law makes a distinction between hard rock or lode vein claims ("mineral claims") and streambed or elluvial and alluvial claims ("placer claims"). With a mineral claim you will be extracting your gold (or other mineral or metal) from host rock veins using hard-rock mining techniques and methods, including tunneling, shoring, etc. You'd work your placer claim with the usual processes and equipment such as suction dredges, highbankers, and sluices to recover metals or minerals from gravels or from stream bedrock.

What if I am contacted by a mining company that wants to buy my claim? First off, lucky you! If your gold claim is included as a parcel that a mining company wants to develop, then you'll probably be offered a "fair-market value" price for it. If you do decide to sell, think about adding in a royalty or percentage (sometimes called a "net smelter return") to the deal so that you will receive financial remuneration from your claim as long as the mining company that purchased it continues to make money from the gold recovered.

Those are just some basic points to consider if you are a B.C. gold miner interested in acquiring your own gold claim. Please note that I am no expert on Canadian mining laws or associated requirements and I wrote this post to try and provide you with some essential information. So make sure you do further research if you are seriously considering filing a claim in B.C., or more importantly, buying a gold claim there.

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2008


  1. Can you tell me where I could file or search for a claim online? Do they provide gps coordinates?
    I'm in an area with rich gold prospecting history in British Columbia and would like to do some recreational placer gold prospecting.

  2. Jack, your best bet is to contact the Canadian Mining/Prospecting forum at:

    Good luck out there! J.R.

  3. was wondering where you can take your kids panning can you go to any place around mission BC out at the creeks around the lakes or is that taboo can post here or email thanks as my kids have been intrested in getting into panning and i want to take them but dont want to get in trouble for doing it lol

  4. Would any of you B.C miners out there like to answer this question for him, please? Thanks! J.R.


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