More on Patented/Unpatented Gold Mining Claims (Part1)
(For the most part, you can mine to your heart's content on a patented claim.)
If you don't know what the difference is between a patented gold mining claim and an unpatented claim in the U.S., don't despair. Once again, I'm about to give you very basic and easy to understand definitions in this series of posts. Additionally, at some point here I'll tell you a bit about a Northern California miner and patented claim owner named Stan M. who may be preparing to test the anti-dredging moratorium there.
First things first, however. Here's the primary difference between a patented gold mining claim (like Stan's) and an unpatented claim (like the one I and my co-claimants own on California's North Yuba River):
Patented Gold Mining Claim:
With a patented claim you actually own the land as well as the mineral rights to that land. You can build a cabin or home on your claim acreage as well as sheds, outbuildings, etc., and live on your claim year round. Like any other property owner, you can prevent people from trespassing on your property to fish, hunt, mine, hike, camp, gawk at nature, or nude sunbathe (a frequent occurrence during summer in parts of California's Motherlode Region by the way).
You can mine and recover the gold on your patented claim to your heart's content for the most part since you own both the property as well as the mineral rights. However, you may still be restricted in your mining activities by local, state, or Federal authorities/regulations in that regard. (Without knowing for certain, I suspect this is the angle that miner Stan M. may be planning to test the legality of on his patented claim on California's Scott River.)
(Actual patented mining claim near Silverton, Colorado.)
Since you actually own the land on a patented claim, you could also potentially open and run a business like a "pay-as-you go" mining site, or a fishing or hunting camp. You could even raise animals or farm on a patented claim...of course, always subject to local statutes and regulations.
You and I are S.O.L
Lest you think a patented mining claim is the way to go, the U.S. Congress passed legislation back in the 1990s severely restricting (if not eliminating) the possibility of filing any future patented claims. So you and I are S.O.L in that regard. To acquire a patented claim these days you're gonna have to buy it...and they don't come cheap brothers and sisters...in fact, most of us probably couldn't afford the purchase price.
(You can thank the U.S Congress for putting the whammy on patented claims. [Gee...I wonder who stood to profit??])
Oh, one last point to consider about patented claims. Since you now own what were formerly public lands guess what? Yep. You got it. You get to pay full property taxes on your patented claim holdings. (Did you really think the tax man was gonna let you slide on that one???)
In the next post I'll cover unpatented claims so don't run off.
Good luck to you.
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "More Restrictive Mining Laws Around the Corner?"
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2012
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org