Last Words on Gold Mining Claims (Conclusion)

 (Claims come in all shapes and sizes.)

I'll be closing out my thoughts on gold mining claims in this post. There's quite a bit involved with acquiring a claim, no matter how you go about it. But once that claim is yours, there can be many good things that can come your way especially if you're open to them and can get a good drift on what's what with the gold your claim contains.

It's All Good

Well, here we are. You've dodged the various bullets involved with filing on or buying a claim. Thank your lucky stars you didn't get burned by some claim scammer or that the bureaucrats didn't make things harder than normal for you. In the end, it's all good right? You have an area to work now that belongs to you and just you (aside from any claim jumpers lurking about), and you no longer have to stress or worry over gold ground access. That's a hell of a positive in this mining day and age, believe me. You can camp out on that puppy, sit back in the evenings in front of the campfire, and swap tall tales with your pard. It doesn't get any better than that, gold or no gold.

 (I'd love to hear their stories...)

With a Bit of Luck...

Hopefully you've done your homework and researched the mining history of the gold district your claim sits within and have a good line on where the gold was found by the old timers in your area. This is key information for you and you best know it. The old timers can teach you quite a bit about your claim so read their accounts, their diaries, and their history. With that info in hand, you should be able to embark upon a successful sampling campaign. Once those sampling endeavors are completed in a thorough and systematic way, you should be ready to fire up that small-scale mining equipment and start moving dirt above water or below it. Or, in the case of you desert rats, setting up that puffer or electrostatic dry washer and eating dust all day. The better and more accurate your sampling, the better your production success at the end of the day. With a bit of luck those claim clean outs will be things to marvel at once that yellow starts showing up in those concentrates. If not, is gold regardless and your pulling it off your own claim. What could be better?

 ( Sampling is the best way to learn the "ins and outs" of your claim.)


As you sample and prospect more and more, and work your claim more and more, guess what? You'll start to get a very clear idea of where the gold is and isn't, and most importantly...what the best approach and method for recovering it is. Let me tell you brothers and sisters, that knowledge is...well...golden! Even a 20-acre claim contains a lot of gold ground and you're probably not going to recover ever bit of gold it contains even if you worked it daily for a decade or more. Sure, if you're good at what you do the pickings will get slimmer, but they'll never go away entirely unless you decide to take the TV route and bring in heavy equipment which you won't do because that claim's gold isn't suitable for that large of an investment on your part, right? The other reason is that you're a small-scale guy or gal carrying on the traditions of the old timers and not some arrogant little snot riding his gentlemanly "grampa's" suspenders or a Viking-bearded greedy gold grabber looking to screw the other guy before he screws you. We're talking sluice boxes here and not skip loaders, highbankers not excavators, and dry washers not rock trucks. There's nothing wrong with going commercial if that's your bent, but I doubt that's the case or you wouldn't be reading this and would probably sneer at someone hauling five-gallon buckets of dirt to run through their piddly little machine.

 (It's called small-scale gold mining.)

Never Felt as Free

While you're working that claim of yours lay off the gold recovery obsession now and then and take time to smell the roses. Or the pine needles. Watch those desert sunrises and sunsets with a smile and know that these are moments to cherish. Listen to that river or stream tumbling over those rocks and the calming music it makes. Even the raucous cries of those blue jays or crows are sounds to tuck away in your heart, along with the gold being tucked away in your poke. These things are the real gold in small-scale gold mining. Being away from the idiots and the shit heels, the crap on the job, the bills and responsibilities, even...God forbid...the hubby or little woman and the screaming kids. Those moments out there on your claim (or any gold location) will pass all too quickly. Trust me on that. I started almost 40 years ago and those moments of unrestrained freedom as a small-scale gold miner have passed before my eyes in a blur. But I remember and cherish the good times out there just as I do the not-so-good times. I've never felt as free as an individual in any context as I have while gold mining and prospecting. Nor have I ever been happier than when I was out there doing my thing, claim or no claim.

(Take time to smell the roses...)

So enjoy that claim of yours. Treasure the moments you spend there and the freedom that comes along with those moments. Never forget who and what you are. A small-scale gold miner. Be proud of that fact and act accordingly.

Now go get that gold!

(c) Jim Rocha 2017

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. Great post. I have built my claim into a small hobby mining adventure with a couple pieces of small equipment. It is very remote and I cherish going out there with my friends and evenings around the camp fire. My wife thinks I'm nuts but "the claim" is often the last thing I think about going to bed and the first thing I think about when I get up lol.

  2. There you are my friend! Exactly what I was talking about.

  3. thank you very much J.R. appreciate you sharing your great knowledge as i need all the help i
    can get and you are helping me.



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