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Polar_Gold

Out For A Hike

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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  Anyhow, this year I did research of historical documents, USGS and other technical papers, Alaska Mapper claims maps, and chats with long time family friends who were miners here in Alaska in the 1950s-1980s.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.

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Polar ...

 Ak Mapper does not get updated very often. I have seen it take 6 months for a new claim to post.

You are best to search the recorders office.

 

 Here is the Alaska Statute for requirements on staking a placer claim

 http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/folio.asp

Sec. 27.10.040

 

 Remember there are claims, leasehold locations and prospecting sites.

 

Good luck!

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Chickenminer covered the subject real well.

 

I would add that the recorders office for the respective mining district in Alaska, may cover a large area and is difficult to research. I prefer to check the DNR land status for the given township, range, and section or do an MTRSC search on the recorders office search page. All of this can be done online. The land status and MTRSC pages are updated as recording is verified.

 

- Geowizard

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1) How up to date are AK Mapper's mining claim maps?

Answer: As noted above, not very. All depends on the case load at the time.

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?

Answer: I think if you really wanted to find out you would have to have beat the bush looking for a marker with claim info on it. If MTRSC you go to section or quarter section coordinates looking for posts. But one thing is for sure, finding claim markers in the wild can be hard even if you know where they are. Then to the recorders office, but even then there is a delay allowed between staking and filing with the recorder. It varies, but can be up to 90 days.

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?

Answer: The law is the same for everybody. Actual stakes are required, but I am here to tell you the governments main concern is getting properly filled out paperwork and fees. As far as they and most of us are concerned once a claim is properly filed it is valid. The fly in the ointment is the delay between staking and filing.

I feel your pain. Have flown out to middle of nowhere to stake claims only to find recently placed posts.

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Like I said it varies. BLM is 90 days. State of Alaska is less. Other places could be something else. The point is there is a possible legitimate delay. Some people make a point of using every day of the allowed delay in an attempt to prevent paper claim jumpers from backdating into and before the posting date.

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