Locating and Recording a Mining Claim/Site

New Claims/Sites
Within 90 days after the date of location of a claim/site, a copy of the Location Notice must be filed for record in the office of the clerk of the county in which the claim is located. A fee is usually charged.

Within 90 days of the date of location, a copy of the Location Notice that was recorded with the county and a map so that it can be identified on the ground, shall be recorded at the BLM State Office. The following additional information is required if it is not included on the copy of the Location Notice: name of claim/site; name/current mailing address of locator(s); type of claim or site; date of location; legal land description within ¼ section. The state of New Mexico does not have official forms. Claimants may use the following link to print forms from Arizona. Please make sure to edit forms to conform to the state in which the claim is located as per 43CFR 3832.12.

Fees
A $189 per claim/site fee is required at the time of recordation with the BLM. This fee covers a $15 service charge, $34 location fee, and the $140 maintenance fee for the assessment year in which the claim/site was located. The assessment year begins at noon on September 1 and ends on noon the following September 1.

Split Estate Lands (Private Surface/Federal Minerals)
A mining claim may be located on land patented under the Stock Raising Homestead Act (SRHA) (private surface with minerals reserved to the United States). However, specific procedures must be followed in order to have a legal mining claim location. They are:

  • A Notice of Intent to Locate a Mining Claim (Form 3830-3) must be filed with the BLM State Office. There is a $30 Service Charge.
  • The surface owner(s) must be notified and proof of notification filed with the BLM State Office
  • A claim cannot be located until 30 days after notification of the landowner provided the NOITL is accepted by the BLM.

Surface disturbance requires an agreement between the surface owner and claimant. If there is no agreement, a Plan, reviewable by the surface owner, must be submitted to the BLM Field Office under the 3809 Regulations. Surface disturbing operations on split estate land, other than SRHA land, require a Plan in all cases. Refer to “Surface Management” for the 3809 regulations.