Locatable Minerals

The General Mining Law of 1872, as amended, describes locatable minerals as minerals which include both metallic minerals (gold, silver, lead, copper, zinc, nickel, etc.) and nonmetallic minerals (fluorspar, mica, certain limestones and gypsum, tantalum, heavy minerals in placer form and gemstones).

Beginning in 1873, the United States Department of the Interior began defining locatable minerals as those recognized as a mineral by the standard experts, are not subject to disposal under some other law, and make the land more valuable for mining purposes than for agriculture. Minerals, normally locatable on lands acquired (purchased or received) under the Acquired Lands Act of 1947 by the United States or found on American Indian reservations are subject to lease only (43 CFR Group 3500). Therefore, it is easier for the BLM to list the minerals that are not locatable because of the complexities listed previously.

(See 43 CFR 3833)

Mining claim location notices/certificates must be filed in the proper BLM office within 90 days after posting. All mining claims and sites located on or after September 1 must pay, at the time of recording, a $34 location fee, a $140 maintenance fee (to cover the assessment year of location), and a $15 new mining claim service fee for a total of $189 for each claim located. For information on types of claims, etc., see our information brochure: (click here)

Miners with 10 or fewer claims/sites nation-wide, may file a Maintenance Fee Waiver Certificate on or before September 1 of each year. The waiver is filed in advance for the assessment year, which begins on September 1. If a miner elects to file the waiver, he/she must include the original signatures of all owners of record, and follow up with the filing of the annual assessment affidavit, due on or before December 30.


All maintenance fees are paid in advance for the upcoming assessment year. The maintenance fee must be paid in the proper BLM office* where the claim/sites are recorded or mailed to the proper BLM office* on or before September 1 of each year. Provide a list of the claims/sites which includes the claim/site names and the BLM serial number with your payment.

*Proper BLM Office means the Bureau of Land Management State Office listed in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 43 CFR 1821.10(a). 43 CFR 3830.5, states that in Alaska, the Records and Public Information Unit of the Northern District Office of the BLM may also receive and record documents, filings, and fees for all mining claims, mill sites, and tunnel sites located in the State of Alaska.

  1. Hold or control no more than 10 mining claims, mill sites, or tunnel sites nationwide on the filing due date of September 1.

  2. File Form 3830-2, Maintenance Fee Waiver Certification with the proper BLM office that includes a list of the claim/site name(s), the BLM serial number(s) and the name, address, and ORIGINAL signature(s) of all owner(s). Filing the Maintenance Fee Waiver Certification requires the filing of an Affidavit of Annual Labor for the assessment year that just ended, by December 30.  For the Maintenance Fee Waiver form click here

  3. Complete the assessment work for the current assessment year prior to the September 1 for which you are filing the waiver.  On or before December 30, file an Affidavit of Annual Labor with the BLM and include payment of $10 per claim/site with your filing.

Additionally, you must file your Affidavit of Annual Labor with the State of Alaska's District Recorder's Office for the location of the claims/sites, and we ask that you provide to the BLM a copy of the recorded document.  Currently, there are no additional fees required for filing recorded documents.

Annual filings postmarked on or before September 1 will be considered to have been properly filed if they reach the BLM within 15 calendar days.  Filings, either in person or postmarked after September 1, will not be accepted unless September 1 falls on a weekend or a holiday. If that occurs, the filing date deadline will be extended to the next business day that BLM offices are open.

It is important to keep the BLM informed of any ownership changes. Changes of ownership must be filed with a Quit Claim Deed (Transfer of Interest) which is a copy of the legal instrument or document that operates under state law. (See 43 CFR 3833.30) Processing a transfer of ownership requires a $10 per claim/site, per person service charge for each transferee, to be paid at the time of filing.  The BLM will not accept a document that has not been recorded.

It is also important to keep the BLM informed of any changes of address. Please notify the BLM, in writing, when your address changes.

Public Information Center
Alaska State Office
222 West 7th Avenue, #13
Anchorage, AK 99513
 (907) 271-5960
Public Information Center
Fairbanks District Office
1150 University Ave
Fairbanks, AK 99709
(907) 474-2251 or 474-2252