How to File Your Own Claim
Below is a step by step guide that will give
you everything you need to know about filing your own gold claim. Be
advised that this is for a sample claim in La Paz County, Arizona. All
steps are basically the same, but obliviously phone numbers and addresses will
Step 1: Find some gold!
The first (and usually the hardest) step is to find an area you wish to make a
Step 1.5: Be aware of time constraints!
Recordation of mining claims and sites must be recorded with BOTH the county
recorder's office as well as the BLM State Office.
Arizona's deadlines for locations are:
Lode Claims - 3 months to monument, claim, and record location
certificate with the county.
Placer Claims - 30 days to monument, claim, and record location
certificate with the county.
ALL Claims And Sites - 90 days form date of location to record claims
with the BLM State Office.
Step 2: Verify that the area you wish to
claim is open.
This used to be easier with the LR2000 Web site by the BLM, as it allowed you to
check the status of an area by yourself thru the internet. The Link was
National Integrated Land
Systems, but has been down for months due to BLM information access
concerns. Before you mark out (Locate) your claim, you must
determine if the lands are, in fact, open to location. You can find this out at
any BLM office. No claims can be staked in areas closed to mineral entry under
certain acts, regulations, or public land orders (referred to as withdrawn
lands). The BLM State Offices and Field Offices have appropriate land and
mineral status maps and records for you to make this determination, and they are
readily available for your inspection. On lands open to location (claim), you
may prospect and properly locate claims and sites. Most State Offices
maintain a record of these locations on microfiche. They are available by
geographic index, serial number index, claim name index, and claimant's index.
The district offices also have geographic and claimant indices for your use.
Step 3: Mark out (Locate) the claim
If your spot is open to claim, the next step is staking out the boundaries.
Federal law specifies that claim boundaries must be distinctly and clearly
marked to be readily identifiable. But each individual state statues have
more detailed requirements for marking boundaries. These generally
consist of a 3' tall mound of rocks containing a center post at each corner of
the claim, with a copy of the final AMC stamped claim form in a container on the
appropriate post. For specific state requirements contact the local
BLM State Office.
Step 4: Do the paper work
Hopefully at this point you have done some GPS research as well as drawn out
your claim on a GOOD TOPO map. My favorite GPS and maps are both from
DeLorme and have always proven to be very
These are the blank forms you need:
BLM Forms (PDF Format) (Click
How your completed claim form should look:
Placer Claim Worksheet
Placer Claim Map
Placer Claim Association Information
(you make your own of this if needed)
Step 5: Double check availability and file
with the county
Proceed to the county recorders office in the county in which you wish to file.
For La Paz County its:
|La Paz County
|1112 Joshua Avenue Suite 201
|Parker, Az. 85344
You can double check now and make for certain nothing changed
since you originally checked the claim status. If all is OK, Give them a
check and they will send a stamped copy of your claim to you when it
has been recorded.
Step 6: File with the state BLM Main Office
You do NOT need to wait for your county paper to come back to you before you
file with the States Main BLM Office. This must be done within 90
days from date of discovery of your gold. Printout or photocopy another
set of claim paperwork and mail it with a check for $165 to:
|Bureau Of Land Management
|Arizona State Office
|Phelps Dodge Tower
|1 North Central Avenue
|Phoenix, Az. 85004-2203
To help speed a copy of your paper work back to you, you will want to enclose a
self addressed stamped envelope, also I sent another check for $1 to pay for any
copy costs. I don't know if it was necessary, but I had the completed
claim back in my hands within the SAME week I sent it. The return receipt
from the post office arrived 3 days after the actual claim.
This is what all your hard work was for:
You are now the proud owner of your own Gold Mining Claim
your very own AMC#.