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  1. Polar_Gold

    Out For A Hike

    Intro: I spent the dark winter doing research on some historical gold-bearing areas and found where I wanted to focus my efforts. The last time I did this kind of research was several years ago and had some luck finding gold. That was just before the price of gold jumped up and people started doing a lot more prospecting in remote Alaska locations. Anyhow, this year I did research of historical documents, USGS and other technical papers, Alaska Mapper claims maps, and chats with long time family friends who were miners here in Alaska in the 1950s-1980s. Long story short, I found one area to focus on and spent much of last week hiking, getting the lay of the land and some sampling. After 4 days and about 16 miles of legwork into 3 stream drainages I was left perplexed and need some guidance from fellow prospectors. I chose to avoid areas indicated by Ak Mapper as currently claimed, private property, etc. and for the most part this worked. However, in 3 locations I found simple white signs with surveyor tape tacked on trees indicating mining claims - no significant mining claim number, coordinates or even owner name. At those points I continued hiking to other areas. My questions for fellow prospectors are 1) How up to date are AK Mapper's mining claim maps? 2) My gut tells me those are bogus claims due to the lack of details, however according to my GPS coordinates they do align to other noted claims in the area which aren't immediately adjacent but are owned by big mining companies. What do you think? 3) How would I definitively learn whether or not these are actual claims? I've heard large mining companies are allowed to "virtually claim" blocks of land without using required claim markers. Can anyone verify this or not? Thanks all. I hope to go back to the places that showed color and refine my sampling and bring a sluice along later this summer.