FreeGoldFanatic

Lode Vs. Placer ?

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Rattlesnake Jim,

 

Do you suppose that the 1200 square miles of existing claims surveyed by Clay every year actually had 38,400 individual VALID lode "discoveries"? :)

 

- Geowizard

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Rattlesnake Jim,

 

Do you suppose that the 1200 square miles of existing claims surveyed by Clay every year actually had 38,400 individual VALID lode "discoveries"? :)

 

- Geowizard

Of course not!

I bet that less than 1 in 100 claims made by the big boys actually have a discovery. I doubt they core drill or explore on every 20.6 acres(600'x1500').

No discovery, no claim; no matter what the lawyers and mining companies say.

 

RSJ

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Unfortunately, wrong again...

 

China and Mongolia are Republics. The United States of America is a Democratic Republic.

One of the recent developments in forums has been the solicitation of legal advice. Those members that offer legal advice and that are not licensed to do so, actually cross the line into the realm of committing an offense. The practice of law and being a lawyer requires licensing and is strictly controlled in every jurisdiction. Personally, I would refer questions on the subject of law and "the law of the land" to those that are professionally trained and licensed to make comments and/or opine on the subject.

- Geowizard

The discussion of laws is NOT the practice of law.

Please review the form of government in the United States. It is indeed a Republic in all senses. Let's contrast and compare.

A Republic is representative government ruled by law (the Constitution).

A democracy is direct government ruled by the majority (mob rule).

A Republic recognizes the inalienable rights of individuals.

Democracies are concerned with group wants or needs (the public good).

Please make note of the fact that nowhere in the Constitution, or the founding documents, is the term "democracy" mentioned. The "democracy" you believe you live in is a mental construct only.

As far as your fear of being accused of giving "legal opinions" or "practicing law" it would be best to understand the meanings of those terms before you define them for the members here.

legal opinion

noun

The Judge’s written clarification of a judgement in a court case. Where three or more judges sit on the bench, an individual judge's opinion will either agree or disagree with the majority opinion.

Most States, including California, do not have any definition or laws relating to the "practice of law".

Lucky for us in Arizona, the State I write this from, the definition of "practicing law" is defined by the Supreme Court:

Arizona (Adopted January 15, 2003, effective July 1, 2003)

RULES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF ARIZONA – RULE 31 – REGULATION OF THE PRACTICE OF LAW

Definition: Practice of Law. The “practice of law” means providing legal

advice or services to or for another by:

(A) Preparing any document in any medium intended to affect or secure legal

rights for a specific person or entity;

( B) Preparing or expressing legal opinions;

(C ) Representing another in a judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative

proceeding, or other formal dispute resolution process such as arbitrations and

mediations;

(D ) Preparing any document through any medium for filing in any court,

administrative agency or tribunal for a specific person or entity; or

(E ) Negotiating legal rights or responsibilities for a specific person or entity.

As you can see neither the prohibition against expressing "legal opinion" nor the "practice of law" are involved in discussing existing or proposed laws or court decisions.

We have a civic right and a duty to know and understand the law. We have a right to discuss and express our opinions about existing and proposed laws. The "rule of law" and the right to know and use the principles of law are the essence of a Republican form of government.

Now that we have cleared up that misconception can you see where no legal opinion or practice of law is involved in sharing your knowledge of how a placer claim could ever legally be made over a valid lode claim? I've presented you with the law and a Supreme Court decision that state otherwise. Still you persist in using innuendo rather than facts to support your statement.

I believe that misleading others to act contrary to published law is counterproductive to a Republican form of government. Unless you can bring some facts to support your belief I'm going to have to assume your statement that placer claims can be made over lode claims to be nothing but BS and bluster.

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Thanks Jim. :)

 

Nevada State has the best interpretation of the laws laid out in a concise readable form. They actually encourage good mining and good location work through their clear instructions.

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Lode vs Placer?  

 

It is for sure a source of confusion.  A perspective relating to history of the Nevada boomtowns is an easy example.  Take a look at the plot maps of Rhyolite, Goldfield or Tonopah. At first glance they resemble squiggles of ink left by worms crawling on the surface .  Men were shot while arguing over the same lode vs placer.  Virgil and Wyatt Earp couldn't contain the speculators.  Samuel Clemens wrote a few words describing the dog eat dog claim jumping and one-up-men-ship.  Just imagine, everybody settled fights with threats of murder.

 

It's more civil now but just as important to understand the possibilities of inaccurate claim filing.

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Rattlesnake Jim,

 

Do you suppose that the 1200 square miles of existing claims surveyed by Clay every year actually had 38,400 individual VALID lode "discoveries"? :)

 

- Geowizard

 

First  let me be clear that I do not survey claims. What I wrote was "We map about 1200 square miles of existing claims each year". Big difference between mapping existing claims and surveying claims. The hypothetical 38,400 lode claims were an invention by Geowizard. I have never mapped 38,400 lode claims. :o

 

Of course not!

I bet that less than 1 in 100 claims made by the big boys actually have a discovery. I doubt they core drill or explore on every 20.6 acres(600'x1500').

No discovery, no claim; no matter what the lawyers and mining companies say.

 

RSJ

 

You have touched on the crux of the matter Jim. Without a discovery there is no claim.

 

There is no requirement to drill every 20.66 acres to prove a discovery. We do work with some of the biggest mining companies in the Western Hemisphere and I can assure you they do indeed complete their discovery work timely. I'm sure there are other operators that don't feel the need to follow the letter of the law but the "big boys" we work with most certainly do.

 

What everyone seems to be missing though is the fact that a discovery can not be made on a preexisting claim without that senior claimants knowledge and permission to explore the claim.

 

To make a junior claim over a senior claim you would have to explore the senior claim. That would be mineral trespass - a crime. If you haven't explored the senior claim you will have no discovery to base your junior claim on. Catch 22.

 

The possessory right comes long before and without dependance on any notions of mineral patents. The possessory right takes place when the claim is made by the first act of location. As the 1865 law clearly states the ultimate title to the land is not an issue in a dispute between two mineral claimants with overlapping locations. Only the law of possession applies.

 

If those imaginary 38,400 lode claim owners were to individually give written permission to explore their claims for placers - and you discovered a placer on one - you could still not make a claim over the lode. As the courts have consistently ruled:

 

"A placer discovery will not sustain a lode location, nor a lode discovery a placer location."

 

Circular "logic" aside there is no lawful way to make a placer claim over a valid lode.

 

 

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I think you misunderstood.

 

If you file a placer claim the lode is not protected.

If you file a lode claim the placer is not protected.

 

 

If we use the true definitions of the two types of claims, then I can and have filed a placer claim over a lode location without mineral trespass.

 

RSJ

 

 

It's obvious that you have formed that opinion by yourself Jim. I can see how you would come to that opinion by reading the laws of location. But that is not the whole story.

 

As I've already pointed out there is no legal way to determine whether the original lode was valid or not without trespassing on the mineral rights. The only way to know that the senior lode claim is not based on a valid discovery is to do the discovery work yourself on the senior claim. The only way you can legally explore for minerals to establish the validity of that claim is to get the  permission of the owner to prospect his claim.

 

Now luckily for us we don't have to rely on our own legal opinion about what those location laws mean because the Supreme Court has already given us the whole scoop on the meanings in Cole v Ralph. That case was about exactly the situation of a placer claim made over a lode claim!

 

The only difference between what you are suggesting and what the dispute was in Cole v Ralph was that in the Cole suit Ralph (senior lode) allowed Cole (junior placer) to prospect his lode claims. In fact Cole dug two tunnels on the lode claim, one all the way to bedrock (about 52 feet). In doing so he got his proof that there was no lode there - only placer.

 

One of the issues raised to the Supreme court in that case was whether the Judge set the right standard for the Jury to make their decision. The Supreme court agreed that the trial Judge did state the correct standard for deciding whether the Placer claim could win over the lode. Pay close attention to the words and intent because this is the standard for juries to this day:

 


'The burden is on the plaintiffs in the first instance to show that when they went on these claims to locate the placers the ground was open to location, and that there was at the time no valid, subsisting location where their discoveries were made.'

 

Cole won the case because he proved that the lode was invalid before he made his placer claim. If he hadn't he would have lost the case and just been another claim jumper in the eyes of the law.

 

So yes you can claim a placer over an invalid lode. But it is your legal duty to determine the fact that the lode was invalid when you claimed over it AND you have the burden of proving it in a court of law.

 

Clearly it is not the duty of the senior lode claimant to prove his claim is valid. It is the duty of the Placer overclaimer to prove that when they made their claim "the ground was open to location, and that there was at the time no valid, subsisting location where their discoveries were made."

 

The burden is on you not the senior claimant. Now how are you going to prove that lode claim is invalid before you prospect it? There is your catch 22. You can't legally do it without the permission of the lode owner.

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Jim - from your previous offering of the

MINING CLAIM PROCEDURES
NEVADA BUREAU OF MINES AND GEOLOGY
Mackay School of Mines
FOR NEVADA PROSPECTORS AND MINERS
 brochure:

 

If uncertain as to whether to locate a lode or placer claim, the prospector should
seek advice from the State Office of the Bureau of Land Management or a mining
attorney. An alternative solution is to locate or “double stake” the mineral deposit by
both types of claims, but because a placer cannot be located over a lode claim, the
placer claim must be located and recorded first (30 USC 37; Clipper Mining Co. v.
Eli Mining and Land Co., 194 US 220 [1904])
.

 

Also from your cited case Clipper Mining Co. v.Eli Mining and Land Co:

"If, in the case at bar, the lode claims were known to exist at the time of the entry of defendant's grantors upon the Searl placer, under the decision in the Mt. Rosa case the entry was not unlawful; but if, on the contrary, the veins were then unknown, by the same decision the right of possession of this ground belonged to the owners of the placer location. Their right of possession included these unknown veins and the entry for prospecting was a trespass, and no title could thereby be initiated. * * * * * * *
"Our conclusion, therefore, is that one may not go upon a prior valid placer location to prospect for unknown lodes and get title to lode claims thereafter discovered and located in this manner and within the placer boundaries, unless the placer owner has abandoned his claim, waives the trespass, or by his conduct is estopped to complain of it.
 
and
 
If a placer locator is, as we have shown, entitled to the exclusive possession of the surface, an entry thereon against his will, for the purpose of prospecting by sinking shafts or otherwise, is undoubtedly a trespass, and such a trespass cannot be relied upon to sustain a claim of a right to veins and lodes
 

 

These are not my conclusions about what a court decision means. These are the actual written decisions of the highest court in the land. These decisions are clear and without hidden meaning. It is long settled law (by Act of Congress and upheld by many Supreme Court decisions) that ""The locators of all mining locations . . . shall have the exclusive right of possession and enjoyment of all the surface included within the lines of their locations, and of all veins, lodes and ledges throughout their entire depth, the top or apex of which lies inside of such surface lines extended downward vertically."

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Clay said,

 

 

"You have touched on the crux of the matter Jim. Without a discovery there is no claim."

 

"There is no requirement to drill every 20.66 acres to prove a discovery. We do work with some of the biggest mining companies in the Western Hemisphere and I can assure you they do indeed complete their discovery work timely. I'm sure there are other operators that don't feel the need to follow the letter of the law but the "big boys" we work with most certainly do."

 

 

Does that mean ........

If there there is no claim there is no discovery?  On virgin ground maybe.

If there is no discovery there is no valid claim?  Without a provable discovery there is only speculation.

 

It is a circle.

 

Good job Clay.

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My referance material comes from Jim Rattlesnake S.  Thanks Jim

"You folks might want to read this document:

http://www.nbmg.unr.edu/dox/sp6.pdf"

 

In this Nevada document:

MINING CLAIM PROCEDURES
NEVADA BUREAU OF MINES AND GEOLOGY
Mackay School of Mines
Fifth Edition
FOR NEVADA
PROSPECTORS
AND MINERS

 

on page 9 it says

 

"The 1872
Federal law requires a lode claim for “veins or lodes of quartz or other rock in place
(30 USC 26; 43 CFR 3841.1), and a placer claim for all “forms of deposit, excepting
veins of quartz or other rock in place” (30 USC 35). More generally, any vein, lode,
zone, or belt of mineralized rock lying between boundaries that separate it from the
neighboring rock, even if these boundaries are gradational, should be located as a
lode claim. Particles and nuggets of gold contained in gravel or sand should be
located as a placer claim
. The form of the deposit, and not whether it contains a
metal or nonmetal, is the controlling factor. Building stone, diatomite, pumice, salt,
and some other materials are commonly located as placers (30 USC 161, 162, 611),
and disseminated copper and disseminated gold deposits are located as lodes.
(“Disseminated” means that the mineral is finely distributed throughout a volume of
solid rock.)"

 

First some definations and coments then my question for all of you out there.

 

From http://www.archaeologywordsmith.com

gravel :

DEFINITION: Any stone that is greater than 2 mm in diameter. Gravel may
be classified as: granule, pebble, cobble, and boulder gravel. The term
also refers to a sedimentary deposit consisting mainly of gravel-sized
clasts.

sand CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A term describing the size of sediment or soil particles, 0.06-2 mm in diameter (BS 1377). The term has no implications of color, organic content, or any property other than particle size or texture.  
From http://www.nalms.org/home/publications/water-words-glossary/G.cmsx GRAVEL  A mixture composed primarily of rock fragments 2 mm (0.08 inch) to 7.6 cm (3 inches) in diameter. Usually contains much sand.
SAND Composed predominantly of coarse-grained mineral sediments with diameters larger
than 0.074 mm (0.0029 inch) and smaller than 2 mm (0.079 inch) in diameter.

 

OK,  I have given definations of what is gravel and what is sand; because I want to understand, or clarify, when a section of land should be claimed by "the form of the deposit" ether as a lode or a placer.  The terms gravel and sand are used in the defination of a placer.

 

My questions: #1 So if I take my excavator and dig a trench, or take my dozer and cut a bench in a hillside, I then take the exposed soil and size it, tumble it, wash it, table it or what ever process I wish to choose, BUT I DO NOT CRUSH ANY HARD ROCKS, and I capture any gold or other economicly recoverable elements, do I have a placer claim? 

 

#2 What if the gold I capture is not free gold?  Gold that may be coated with another mineral.

 

#3  If I do any crushing of rock, must my claim be lode to protect it?  What if I have a placer and I run my conglomerates through a rock crusher, it still is considere a placer.  Right?

 

#4  How should I define "rock-in-place"?

 

#3 Now a question relating to "between boundaries".  What if there are no boundaries?  In other words the whole hill or mountain contains a simular soil or rock configuration?  Lode is defined as something "in between".  So if there is no major physical differentiation, igneous or otherwise, between soil stratas, is it all considered a placer?

 

I am not looking for legal advice here.  Only your knowledge, experience or opinion(s).

 

Thanks

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Thank you Geowizard for your response.

 

In a forum we share information freely for the benefit of all.  Please don't get defensive when challenged.  My best boss often told me "prove it" when I gave him information without any supporting facts.  From him I learned from him to take less things at face value.  After all miners are always trying to prove it is there or not.  Aren't we?

 

Your comments are educating, informative and welcomed.

 

Thanks again.

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My referance material comes from Jim Rattlesnake S.  Thanks Jim

"You folks might want to read this document:

http://www.nbmg.unr.edu/dox/sp6.pdf"

 

My questions: #1 So if I take my excavator and dig a trench, or take my dozer and cut a bench in a hillside, I then take the exposed soil and size it, tumble it, wash it, table it or what ever process I wish to choose, BUT I DO NOT CRUSH ANY HARD ROCKS, and I capture any gold or other economicly recoverable elements, do I have a placer claim? 

 

#2 What if the gold I capture is not free gold?  Gold that may be coated with another mineral.

 

#3  If I do any crushing of rock, must my claim be lode to protect it?  What if I have a placer and I run my conglomerates through a rock crusher, it still is considere a placer.  Right?

 

#4  How should I define "rock-in-place"?

 

#3 Now a question relating to "between boundaries".  What if there are no boundaries?  In other words the whole hill or mountain contains a simular soil or rock configuration?  Lode is defined as something "in between".  So if there is no major physical differentiation, igneous or otherwise, between soil stratas, is it all considered a placer?

 

I am not looking for legal advice here.  Only your knowledge, experience or opinion(s).

 

Thanks

 

No need for legal advice FreeGoldFanatic. The Supreme Court already gave us a definition in the Cole v Ralph case I linked to earlier.

 

While the two kinds of location—lode and placer—differ in some respects,  a discovery within the limits of the claim is equally essential to both. But to sustain a lode location the discovery must be of a vein or lode of rock in place bearing valuable mineral, and to sustain a placer location it must be of some other form of valuable mineral deposit, one such being scattered particles of gold found in the softer covering of the earth. A placer discovery will not sustain a lode location, nor a lode discovery a placer location. As is said by Mr. Lindley, 3 § 323:

'Gold occurs in veins of rock in place, and when so found the land containing it must be appropriated under the laws applicable to lodes. It is also found in placers, and when so found the lands containing it must be appropriated according to the laws applicable to placers.'

 

"vein or lode of rock in place bearing valuable mineral"

 

or

 

"some other form of valuable mineral deposit"

 

Is the ore rock still attached to the body of the earth or is the ore material free floating within the overburden?

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My referance material comes from Jim Rattlesnake S.  Thanks Jim

"You folks might want to read this document:

http://www.nbmg.unr.edu/dox/sp6.pdf"

 

In this Nevada document:

MINING CLAIM PROCEDURES

NEVADA BUREAU OF MINES AND GEOLOGY

Mackay School of Mines

Fifth Edition

FOR NEVADA

PROSPECTORS

AND MINERS

 

on page 9 it says

 

"The 1872

Federal law requires a lode claim for “veins or lodes of quartz or other rock in place

(30 USC 26; 43 CFR 3841.1), and a placer claim for all “forms of deposit, excepting

veins of quartz or other rock in place” (30 USC 35). More generally, any vein, lode,

zone, or belt of mineralized rock lying between boundaries that separate it from the

neighboring rock, even if these boundaries are gradational, should be located as a

lode claim. Particles and nuggets of gold contained in gravel or sand should be

located as a placer claim. The form of the deposit, and not whether it contains a

metal or nonmetal, is the controlling factor. Building stone, diatomite, pumice, salt,

and some other materials are commonly located as placers (30 USC 161, 162, 611),

and disseminated copper and disseminated gold deposits are located as lodes.

(“Disseminated” means that the mineral is finely distributed throughout a volume of

solid rock.)"

 

First some definations and coments then my question for all of you out there.

 

From http://www.archaeologywordsmith.com

gravel :

DEFINITION: Any stone that is greater than 2 mm in diameter. Gravel may

be classified as: granule, pebble, cobble, and boulder gravel. The term

also refers to a sedimentary deposit consisting mainly of gravel-sized

clasts.

sand CATEGORY: geology DEFINITION: A term describing the size of sediment or soil particles, 0.06-2 mm in diameter (BS 1377). The term has no implications of color, organic content, or any property other than particle size or texture.  
From http://www.nalms.org/home/publications/water-words-glossary/G.cmsx GRAVEL  A mixture composed primarily of rock fragments 2 mm (0.08 inch) to 7.6 cm (3 inches) in diameter. Usually contains much sand.
SAND Composed predominantly of coarse-grained mineral sediments with diameters larger

than 0.074 mm (0.0029 inch) and smaller than 2 mm (0.079 inch) in diameter.

 

OK,  I have given definations of what is gravel and what is sand; because I want to understand, or clarify, when a section of land should be claimed by "the form of the deposit" ether as a lode or a placer.  The terms gravel and sand are used in the defination of a placer.

 

My questions: #1 So if I take my excavator and dig a trench, or take my dozer and cut a bench in a hillside, I then take the exposed soil and size it, tumble it, wash it, table it or what ever process I wish to choose, BUT I DO NOT CRUSH ANY HARD ROCKS, and I capture any gold or other economicly recoverable elements, do I have a placer claim? 

 

#2 What if the gold I capture is not free gold?  Gold that may be coated with another mineral.

 

#3  If I do any crushing of rock, must my claim be lode to protect it?  What if I have a placer and I run my conglomerates through a rock crusher, it still is considere a placer.  Right?

 

#4  How should I define "rock-in-place"?

 

#3 Now a question relating to "between boundaries".  What if there are no boundaries?  In other words the whole hill or mountain contains a simular soil or rock configuration?  Lode is defined as something "in between".  So if there is no major physical differentiation, igneous or otherwise, between soil stratas, is it all considered a placer?

 

I am not looking for legal advice here.  Only your knowledge, experience or opinion(s).

 

Thanks

In a nutshell, if the mineral is in rock that is part of the mountain like bedrock; it's a lode. It can be a vein or If the whole mountain contains a valuable mineral that is disseminated throughout the rock it's still a lode. Think "hard rock"; drilling and blasting, etc.  If the mineral is in all the loose stuff over bedrock; it's a placer. The size of the loose stuff doesn't matter as long as it's not attached to the mountain any longer.

You can process the placer material by crushing or what ever suits you.

 

RSJ

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NO Rule of Thumb Definition...

 

"...each case must be decided with reference to its own peculiar facts..." (read the full text in Maleys Handbook of Mineral Law)

 

A Large, Shapeless, Mineralized area is Placer even though in place!

 

Titanium Actinite Industries v. McLennan, 272 F2d 667 (1969)

 

Coexistence of Lode Claims, Placer Claims and Mill Sites;

 

In U.S. v. Haskins, No. 72-246-JWC (C. D. Cal. 1972) at 3-4 the board determined that lode claims can coexist with placer claims even though in different ownership, however both types of claims are incompatible with mill sites.

 

 

In U.S. v. Haskins, 51 IBLA 1, 42 (1981). The Board made the distinction between a lode and placer as follows:

 

A lode claim is one located "upon veins or lodes of quartz or other rock in place bearing gold, silver, cinnabar, lead, tin, copper or other valuable deposits" 30 USC 23 (1976) A placer claim is essentially everything else, 30 USC 35 (1976).

 

Credit: Terry S. Maley, "Handbook of Mineral Law"

 

- Geowizard

 

Does your post have a point Geowizard?

 

None of the statements you posted here disagree with the legal principles that:

 

1. Placer claims may not be made over valid lode claims.

 

2. Previously unknown lode claims may not be made over valid placer claims by an uninvited prospector.

 

3. Valuable mineral claimants "shall have the exclusive right of possession and enjoyment of all the surface included within the lines of their locations".

 

All three of these basic principles have already been presented in this thread and each have been demonstrated with Acts of Congress and Supreme Court decisions.

 

How do those two IBLA decisions and parts of a few sentences in Terry Maley's 936 page book in any way disagree with those three basic principles of mining claims?

 

No authority you have presented would lead a critical reader to believe that any uninvited person could ever enter a valid claim, discover valuable minerals and make a valid overclaim of any type.

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