Guarding the gold bugs

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15 Responses

  1. Avatar zic says:

    And the answer to my question on Ebay!:

    A Patented claim is where the land owner owns both the land and the mineral rights to that land. An unpatented mining claim is where the land is still owned by the government and you just own the mineral rights to the land.

    another patent-sales site addresses the issues of buildings (a garage features into the complaint,) and shows the incredibly cheap fees the public receives:

    One downside to unpatented claims is that you can’t build a permanent structure on the claim without paying an expensive bond. All buildings on an unpatented claim must be mobile, or pre-existing. With an unpatented claim you have less liability for the public because it is still public land. With a plan of operations you can fence off your site to keep the public out as well. With an unpatented claim there are no taxes, just your annual assessment of $155 per year plus a small fee to the county BLM, typically between $5 to $20.


  2. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Are mineral rights inheritable?Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      Oh sure, and they can be quite valuable. Mineral rights embrace the right to extract petroleum. Or, in this case, the ore of salable metals.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        I figured mineral rights were transferable, just not sure if they were inheritable; in that absent a will specifically transferring the unpatented rights to another party, a probate court would take up the question, rather than the rights simply reverting back to the government or the land owner (the government, in this case). Obviously if the rights were patent and attached to land that is owned, that is different.Report

  3. It’s too perfect: the Oathkeeprs are defending the White Hope Mine.Report

  4. Avatar notme says:

    Actually this is common, where the mineral or water right may be owned by a different person than the one that owns the surface property. My property teacher used to tell us to think about it like a bundle of sticks. You may own the whole bundle or just a few of them.Report

  5. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Note that the government is anxious to demonstrate that there was an old mining claim that the government declared void for failure to perfect, and an application for a new claim over the same land, which contains significantly greater restrictions on how the surface land can be used. Note also that the government alleges that the surface use that the miners are actually putting the land to are not significantly related to mining or prospecting, storing explosives apparently unrelated to mining activities, and interfering with state environmental remediation efforts.

    That last bit distinguishes what’s happening today from the militia movement of the 1990’s, which was premised on a neo-Confederate understanding of state primacy and sharply limited Federal activities. This looks more like a tortured interpretation of Federal law backed up by dudes walking around with guns and hostile intent (but not yet any violence) towards the government in general.Report