7 Suggestions for Finding Workable Gold Ground (Part 4)

(These auriferous terrace gravels are only 20 miles from my home in Northern New Mexico. Notice the pinkish-orange clay layer.)

Here are some additional considerations when it comes to using claim leases as a means of finding workable gold ground:

a) Make sure the ground you want to lease is worth the money, time, and effort.

It should go without saying that there's not much to be gained by shelling out your hard-earned cash (or gold) for a lease on a claim that's not a producer. This is even more true today with the record high spot price of gold. The hustling or "scamming" of borderline (or worse) placer mining claims is on the rise and the old refrain of "buyer (or lessee) beware" was never more true than it is today.

Gold Concentrates
Gold Pans
Gold Concentrators

If you can, try to sample the claim before you lease it. Any honest claimholder or miner worth his or her salt will be glad to accommodate you in this regard if they are up front and have nothing to hide. However if the claimholder or owner balks at this request and starts giving you the runaround, then red flags should start popping up. The question to ask yourself then is "What is this person trying to hide?"

So don't waste your time leasing and working borderline gold producers. You want to sink your mining teeth into something that's going to be worth the money, time, and effort. Otherwise, you might as well go back to one of those old "worked-to death" public panning or mining venues. That is, if you can find one these days.

b) Get it in writing.

Never lease a claim based on verbal agreements or handshakes. I don't care if the claimholder is your best friend, it's basically a dumb-ass move. So get it in writing. Make sure that everything about the lease is spelled out in black and white and that the terms are clearly understood by both parties.

That way no one is going to do a 180-degree turn on you or start changing the lease's terms (including your costs or payments) every other day. Conversely, this also protects the claimholder from being duped or ripped off by lessees. It's a 2-way street you know?

c) Hold up your end of the bargain.

If you do lease a claim hold up your end of the bargain. Be a "miner's" miner. Work hard, get your gold, and do it in a manner that respects the property and rights of the claimholder or owner.


If the claimholder asks that you not bring in your over-sized RV, 4-wheeler, generators, shipping container full of beer, and dozens of family, friends, and onlookers then honor that request. Get yourself a good tent and rough it like an oldtimer. It can't hurt you to leave some of those luxuries behind. Hell, the way I see it we have all gotten too soft these days anyway.

Most importantly, don't trash the claim up and show that small-scale miners (regardless of how desperately the "greenies" want to paint us as environmental "rapists") can do their thing and at the same time show an intimate respect for Mother Nature and the environment as a whole.

If you do lease a claim I wish you the best. May nothing but yellow metal fill your gold pan.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "7 Suggestions for Finding Workable Gold Ground (Part 3)"


(c) J.R. 2009

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com