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BLM>Nevada>BLM Programs>More . . .>Geographic Sciences>Mineral Surveyor Program
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A photo of an early surveyor.The Nevada State Office, Cadastral Survey office has the administrative responsibilities for the U.S. Mineral Surveyor Program. A U.S. Mineral Surveyor is a special government employee who, after receiving an order from the state office which administers the public land surveys where the claim is located, has the authority to survey the legal boundaries of the mineral deposits on the public domain.

Mineral Surveyors are appointed under 30 United States Code 39 by the Chief, Cadastral Surveyor of the BLM in Washington, D.C. New Mineral Surveyor appointments are made when an identified public need exists. That is, when there is more work than there are mineral surveyors to conduct that work, in a certain area of the country. When a need has been identified, the BLM will administer an examination, and upon successfully passing the examination, the applicant will be issued an appointment.

The last Mineral Survey Examination was administered in 1986 in Anchorage, Alaska. It lasted two days and contained four parts. The first three parts were given on the first day and consisted of: (1) multiple choice questions, (2) a practical problem, and (3) the preparation of field notes and associated mineral survey plat. A solar observation was taken and computed on the second day.

Applicants for the Mineral Surveyor Examination must be current licensed professional land surveyors and provide the BLM with the names of three references whom the agency may contact.

Currently, we are assessing the public's need for additional Mineral Surveyors. One of the primary factors in making that decision is the consideration of legislation to supplement the Mining Act of 1872. It is not likely the next U.S. Mineral Surveyor examination will be given before Congress acts on this legislation.

A mineral survey monument.

 Information and Reference Links

  U.S. Mineral Surveyor Roster

  Mining Claims and Sites on Federal Lands

  BLM Mineral Survey Procedures Guide

  Public Land Records

  Mineral Survey Patent Moratorium


Mining Claim Links

Where Can Claims be Located 
Types of Claims 
1872 Mining Law 
Land Records (LR2000) 
Mining Claim Forms
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR's) 

Demonstration of panning (mining method).

Questions about this program contact:

Brandon Grace 
Cadastral Survey
BLM Nevada State Office
1340 Financial Blvd.
Reno, NV 89502
Phone: 775-861-6551
Fax: 775-861-6634