A patented mining claim is one for which the Federal Government has passed its title to the claimant, making it private land. A person may mine and remove minerals from a mining claim without a mineral patent. However, a mineral patent gives the owner exclusive title to the locatable minerals. In most cases, it also gives the owner title to the surface and other resources. Requirements for filing mineral patent applications may be found at 43 CFR 3860.
Mineral Patent Moratorium: Effective October 1, 1994, Congress imposed a moratorium on spending appropriated funds for the acceptance or processing of mineral patent applications that had not yet received First Half Final Certificate (FHFC) or were not in Washington, D. C. for Secretarial review of FHFC on or before September 30, 1994. Until the moratorium is lifted, the BLM will not accept any new applications.