Annual Claim Fees Due September 3, 2013
August 2013 by Scott HarnThe deadline for filing annual mining claim fees with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is Tuesday, September 3, 2013. All mining claimants who wish to retain mining claims on federal public lands through 2014 must pay a maintenance fee or file a maintenance fee waiver certificate on or before September 3, 2013.
Because September 1 falls on a Sunday this year, and Monday, September 2, is a holiday, the BLM will accept yearly filings through September 3.
The BLM last year issued a rule that changes the way maintenance fees for placer mining claims are assessed. The rule implements the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 (FY 2012 Act), which requires the BLM to collect maintenance fees for placer mining claims based on the total acreage contained in the claim, rather than by the claim.
Claimants will now pay the maintenance fee (currently $140) for every 20 acres or portion thereof, contained in the placer mining claim. For example, if a placer mining claim consists of 46 acres, the claimants will pay $420 for the maintenance fee—$140 for each 20-acre portion of the placer mining claim and another $140 for the remaining 6 acres.
The maintenance fee for other types of claims—lode claims, mill sites and tunnel sites—continues to be $140 per claim or site. At the direction of Congress, the maintenance fee has been adjusted twice since 1993—it was raised to $125 in 2004 and to $140 in 2009.
Each payment must be accompanied by a written list of the claim name(s) and BLM serial number(s) (CAMC numbers) for which the maintenance fee is being paid. Filings made by mail need to be postmarked on or before September 3, 2013.
Miners who file the 2014 Small Miner’s Waiver will be required to file an Affidavit of Assessment Work (Proof of Labor) Form, including the $10 processing fee per CAMC number on or before December 30, 2013.
I hope this case inspires some of you. It shows that miners can and do succeed when they are persistent and well-prepared, even when representing themselves against state and federal attorneys in a court of law.
• California suction dredgers had better prepare for battle
Many of you are aware that we have been engaged in litigation with anti-mining activists that have been attacking us through the Karuk Tribe of California since 2003. It all started with their lawsuit against the US Forest Service (USFS), challenging that District Rangers do not have the authority to allow small-scale mining activities under a Notice of Intent (NOI) when the Ranger concludes that the mining activity is not likely to create a substantial surface disturbance.
We ask that all who attend this demonstration bring their mining equipment to display and actively talk with the attending public in a courteous fashion about the benefits of suction dredging…
Is there any hope for a solution? Yes, there is, and we’ve been working with Public Lands for the People, the Minerals and Mining Advisory Council, attorney James Buchal and others on that solution.
Superior Court Judge Karen L. Dixon granted the temporary restraining order on July 3, 2013.
There are some miners who are under the impression that an organized Mining District will immediately get the regulatory agencies off their backs so they can start digging or dredging again.
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