Mining Claim Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Mining Claim, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Mining Claim?

(n) Mining claim is the right to excavate the metal ore or minerals available in the identified landed property for the specified period

History and Definition of Mining Claim

Mining claim is a legal term that represents the right to extract minerals or any valuable metals from a particular piece of land. The miner with the mining permit or claim has the authority to excavate and sell any metal ore or minerals identified on the property for a specified time. These provisions for mineral extraction have been in place since the late 1800s in the United States, mainly in the western portion of the country, where gold, silver, and other precious metals were discovered.

Each claim must hold a specific deposit or lode, be of limited size, and meet other conditions defined by the government or the local state. Also, to claim a mining claim, one must file paperwork with the Bureau of Land Management office and pay an annual maintenance fee. These unique rights serve as an incentive for mineral exploration and allow land that is not being used to generate profit.

Examples of Mining Claim

  1. John found gold while hiking in the mountains and decided to claim the area as his mining claim.

  2. The nearby county required all mining claims to have a specific portion surveyed for environmental purposes.

  3. The government denied Jake's mining claim application as it overlapped with a protected wildlife habitat.

  4. The mining company spent millions of dollars to secure the land and exploit its mineral resources under their mining claim.

Legal Terms Similar to Mining Claim

  1. Mineral rights: The rights that grant a person the ability to extract minerals from the land they own.

  2. Private property rights: The privileges that an individual has for the property they hold

  3. Land patent: The official document that conveys ownership of a property from the federal government to an individual.