Maintaining a Mining Claim

Maintenance requirements are based on the assessment year which begins September 1.

Failure to meet any of the annual requirements will result in the claim(s) or site(s) being deemed to be forfeited.

Maintenance Fees

An annual $155 (per every 20 acres) maintenance fee per claim is required to be filed or postmarked (if mailed) on or before September 1 of the year preceding an assessment year. The 2016 maintenance fee must be paid by September 1, 2015.

Maintenance Fee Payment Waiver Certification (aka Small Miners Exemption)

If a claimant owns 10 or fewer active claims/sites on Federal land in the United States, he may qualify for a maintenance fee payment waiver. Waivers must be filed or postmarked (if mailed) on or before September 1 for the subsequent assessment year. There is no fee to file a waiver. A waiver must be filed prior to each year a waiver of the fees is desired.

If a claimant owns claims in more than one state, he/she must file a waiver form in each appropriate BLM State Office.

By filing a waiver form, the claimant is stating that assessment work has been or will be done, and that the proper affidavits of labor will be timely filed.

Annual Assessment Work

Claimants who perform assessment work must spend a minimum of $100 in labor or improvements on each claim, and record evidence of such with the BLM by December 30th of the calendar year in which the assessment year ended. FLPMA required the same document be filed with BLM which has been or will be recorded with the appropriate county office. The charge for recording an affidavit of annual assessment with BLM is $10 per claim. The annual assessment document must be filed or postmarked by December 30th.

The assessment work must be performed within the period defined as the assessment year.

Assessment work is not a requirement for owners of mill or tunnel sites; however, they must file a notice of intent to hold (NOIH) the site. BLM requires a $10 service charge per site for filing a NOIH.

Assessment work includes, but is not limited to, drilling, excavations, driving shafts and tunnels, sampling (geochemical or bulk), road construction on or for the benefit of the mining claim; and geological, geochemical, and geophysical surveys.

Chart showing all Fees & Service Charges

New Location Notices/Sites

Location Fee


Maintenance Fee

$155.00/$155 for every 20 acres claimed

Processing Fee

$ 20.00/claim

Copy Fee

$ .13/page

Proof of Labor


Notice of Intent to Hold


Transfer of Interest (per transfer/per person)




Petition for Deferment of Assessment Work


Notice of Intent to Locate on Stock Raising Homestead Land