Saturday, January 19, 2013

What to Look For When Filing a Claim, or I Never Saw It, So How Would I Know I Had To Walk A Mile

For those of you who do not follow me on FB, I share a sunrise picture on all days there is one worth photographing. This one was from January15th.  We have had a nice high pressure ridge dominating our weather for the past few days, so there have been few clouds at dawn to catch color.

January.  My month for resting and catching up.  This past year has been one that has left me with little time to react to the next thing to come along, much less keep up with gold news.  I have 6 months of ICMJ's to read, as well as countless articles from numerous sources.  We even bought a different house in September!  

Those of you who ask questions get first priority, even though I get behind sometimes.  It is often your questions that give me an idea for information that can be added to the website for everyone to read. A recent question made me think of a part of filing a claim that rarely gets covered and so, gives me a nice blog posting for you and food for another website entry.

I often get questions about BLM regs on the Arkansas, which can be very confusing.  However, I recently got a question about the worth of having a claim on the Arkansas, which lead me to an explanation of the other aspects of a claim that I would look for, after you have done all the rest of your normal research.

First, as in all real estate, is location, location, location.  For a placer gold mining claim, I would look at how close it is to the gold source(s) in its' area.  How far it is will determine the size of the gold you will be looking for, abundance of gold, as well as the type of equipment you can successfully use to recover the gold.  You might want to be able to find enough gold to make your expenses on the costs of the claim, too, but that isn't always a priority, especially if you are buying a claim that is patented.  (Patented claims are private property, would cost a lot more, and can be a building site.)

Next, I would look at accessibility. How far do you have to drag your equipment to use it, how steep are the banks, and how often do you have to do that.  There can also be issues with crossing private property to access your claim, and the owners of the private property may give you trouble with that.  

Another consideration is stream flow.  Now, you may not think this is important, but if you are planning on prospecting your claim during high water, you might have some trouble with currents and the swiftness of the water, especially if your claim is on a narrow part of a river with a steeper slope.  You are going to want to be able to prospect effectively when you can be thereJust like a sluice box, the angle and speed of a river will make it easier or harder to capture your gold.  Oh, hey! Isn't that sluice box patterned after a running stream?  Funny THAT!  LOL! Same rules apply.

As many of you are aware, there are a lot of placer gold mining claims out there for sale. If you are considering buying a claim, be aware that there are still people out there that are not above salting a gold mining claim to get you to buy it.  ALWAYS, ALWAYS test the area yourself when the claim owner is not around, with their permission, of course.  Also be aware that some gold mining claims are sold to you with an 'interest' in the claim and can be held by as many others with 'interests' as the claim owner wants to include.  They simply wait until you are tired of sharing or putting up with other problems, quit your 'interest' and resell it to some one else.  If you are OK with this, there is nothing wrong with this type of arrangement, just be aware of what you are getting into. (PLEASE do not talk to people, visit a site covered with 2 feet of snow, declare it a wonderful claim and put half a million dollars into it to recover 14 ounces of gold.  PLEASE tell me you are smarter than that.)

Last is the amount of gold you can expect to recover.  If you are a recreationalist, this means finding enough gold to keep you interested, pay for your gas and maybe lunch, but don't expect to make a fortune even if you are out there every day.  If your area is really, really good, it is probably NOT for sale, already claimed up or private property that you will not get access to. People always ask if you can 'make a living', and to be sure, there are people who do.  However, the other question they do not ask is how GOOD a living you can make.  The answer for most people would be 'don't quit your day job' or 'Do you fish? How good a living can you make doing that?'  

OK. I think that is it.  If I think of anything to add, I will do it later. The sun is coming up and I have to go make breakfast.  No pretty sunrise today, either.  No clouds, but it is 32 degrees outside.  Remember, it is January 19, and I live in the Denver area of Colorado.  Typical January thaw week......February is coming and we could soon be well below zero.  Keep those questions coming so I can continue to add to my website with information people want to know.  As always,

Good Prospecting to You,
Shirley Weilnau 

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