Jump to content

Watch out for Split Estates article questions

Recommended Posts

Reading surveying notes from the 1890's, the survivor had to survey underground placer workings on the located claim he was surveying.  They probably had to verify there was no known lode veins in the workings.  When he signed off on the survey, from my reading of surveying notes, he had to state if there were known lode veins on the claim.  When the located claim was patented, how did the yes/no on known lode veins from the survey effect the mineral rights on the patented claim?  Can mineral rights on a patented claim be split between surface and subsurface minerals?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

All minerals are subsurface estate Mike. It doesn't matter if the minerals are placer or lode.

Known lodes are not included in placer claim patents. If a placer claim owner knows of a lode deposit on his claim he must either declare it as a lode claim and pay twice as much per acre ($5 per acre for lode as opposed to $2.50 per acre for placer) for his purchase or the lode will be excluded from the patent grant.

This was explained in detail in Section 11 of the 1872 General Mining Act.


SEC. 11. That where the same person, association, or corporation is in possession of a placer-claim, and also a vein or lode included within the boundaries thereof; application shall be made for a patent for the placer or lode claim, with the statement that it includes such vein or lode, and in such case (subject to the provisions of this act and the act entitled "An act to amend an act granting the right of way to ditch and canal owners over the public lands, and for other purposes," approved July eighteen hundred and seventy) a patent shall issue for the placer-claim, including such vein or lode, upon the payment of five dollars per acre for such vein or lode claim, and twenty-five feet of surface on each side thereof. The remainder of the placer-claim, or any placer-claim not embracing any vein or lode claim, shall be paid for at the rate of two dollars and fifty cents per acre, together with all costs of proceedings; and where a vein or lode, such as is described in the second section of this act, is known to exist within the boundaries of a placer-claim, all application for a patent for such placer-claim which does not include an application for the vein or lode claim shall be construed as a conclusive declaration that the claimant of the placer-claim has no right of possession but where the existence of a vein or lode in a placer-claim is not known, a patent for the placer-claim shall convey all valuable mineral and other deposits within the boundaries thereof.

The inverse is not true. Known placer deposits found on a perfected lode claim are patented along with the lode minerals. Also unknown lode deposits on a patented placer claim belong to the patentee as long as they were discovered after the patent was granted.

Until a patent is granted both placer and lode claimaints own all the valuable minerals within their claim as long as the initial discovery supports the type of claim located. You can't locate a lode discovery as a placer claim and you can't locate a placer discovery as a lode claim.

A placer claim can never be located over a valid lode claim but a lode claim can be located over a placer claim IF the placer claim owner or an invitee discover a lode. Uninvited prospectors can not discover or locate either type of claim over an active claim.

You will probably find it helpful download and read the entire 1872 Mining Act if you want to get a better understanding of the principles behind the mineral grant.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now