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Prospecting, Government definitions
post Jan 3 2007, 12:01 PM
Post #1

Master Mucker!

Group: Admin
Posts: 4,149
Joined: 7-October 03
From: Colorado
Member No.: 3

For those of you wondering exactly what "prospecting" would be defined as..............

Here is Colorado state gov's definition.

34-32-117 (2).
(12) "Prospecting" means the act of searching for or investigating a mineral deposit.
"Prospecting" includes, but is not limited to, sinking shafts, tunneling, drilling core and bore
holes and digging pits or cuts and other works for the purpose of extracting samples prior
to commencement of development or extraction operations, and the building of roads, access
ways, and other facilities related to such work. The term does not include those activities
which cause no or very little surface disturbance, such as airborne surveys and photographs,
use of instruments or devices which are hand carried or otherwise transported over the
surface to make magnetic, radioactive, or other tests and measurements, boundary or claim
surveying, location work, or other work which causes no greater land disturbance than is
caused by ordinary lawful use of the land by persons not prospecting. The term also does
not include any single activity which results in the disturbance of a single block of land
totaling one thousand six hundred square feet or less of the land's surface, not to exceed two such disturbances per acre; except that the cumulative total of such disturbances will not
exceed five acres statewide in any prospecting operation extending over twenty-four
consecutive months.


This post has been edited by ColoradoProspector: Jan 4 2007, 04:41 PM



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post Jan 5 2007, 12:36 PM
Post #2

Master Mucker!

Group: Admin
Posts: 4,149
Joined: 7-October 03
From: Colorado
Member No.: 3

Glad you guys like this thread....I just happened to have a couple more. happy.gif ohmy.gif

These two are from the United States Code.....


                  TITLE 30--MINERAL LANDS AND MINING

Sec. 21a. National mining and minerals policy; ``minerals''
        defined; execution of policy under other authorized programs
    The Congress declares that it is the continuing policy of the
Federal Government in the national interest to foster and encourage
private enterprise in (1) the development of economically sound and
stable domestic mining, minerals, metal and mineral reclamation
industries, (2) the orderly and economic development of domestic mineral
resources, reserves, and reclamation of metals and minerals to help
assure satisfaction of industrial, security and environmental needs, (3)
mining, mineral, and metallurgical research, including the use and
recycling of scrap to promote the wise and efficient use of our natural
and reclaimable mineral resources, and (4) the study and development of
methods for the disposal, control, and reclamation of mineral waste
products, and the reclamation of mined land, so as to lessen any adverse
impact of mineral extraction and processing upon the physical
environment that may result from mining or mineral activities.
    For the purpose of this section ``minerals'' shall include all
minerals and mineral fuels including oil, gas, coal, oil shale and
    It shall be the responsibility of the Secretary of the Interior to
carry out this policy when exercising his authority under such programs
as may be authorized by law other than this section.

                        TITLE 16--CONSERVATION
                  CHAPTER 2--NATIONAL FORESTS

Sec. 478. Egress or ingress of actual settlers; prospecting

    Nothing in sections 473 to 478, 479 to 482 and 551 of this title
shall be construed as prohibiting the egress or ingress of actual
settlers residing within the boundaries of national forests, or from
crossing the same to and from their property or homes; and such wagon
roads and other improvements may be constructed thereon as may be
necessary to reach their homes and to utilize their property under such
rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary of
Agriculture. Nor shall anything in such sections prohibit any person
from entering upon such national forests for all proper and lawful
purposes, including that of prospecting, locating, and developing the
mineral resources thereof. Such persons must comply with the rules and
regulations covering such national forests.

Now the next one is again from the FS/36CFR.......
You will note that there seems to be a conflict of their own directives to see it too? "non motorized hand sluice"...... dry.gif
Well keep readin......then read FSM 2861.2 posted above again.......then you decide. blink.gif

Sec.  228.4  Plan of operations--notice of intent--requirements.

    (a) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, a notice

of intent to operate is required from any person proposing to conduct

operations which might cause significant disturbance of surface

resources. Such notice of intent to operate shall be submitted to the

District Ranger having jurisdiction over the area in which the

operations will be conducted. Each notice of intent to operate shall

provide information sufficient to identify the area involved, the nature

of the proposed operations, the route of access to the area of

operations, and the method of transport.

    (1) A notice of intent to operate is not required for:

    (i) Operations which will be limited to the use of vehicles on

existing public roads or roads used and maintained for National Forest

System purposes;

    (ii) Prospecting and sampling which will not cause significant

surface resource disturbance and will not involve removal of more than a

reasonable amount of mineral deposit for analysis and study which

generally might include searching for and occasionally removing small

mineral samples or specimens, gold panning, metal detecting, non-

motorized hand sluicing, using battery operated dry washers, and

collecting of mineral specimens using hand tools;

    (iii) Marking and monumenting a mining claim;

    (iv) Underground operations which will not cause significant surface

resource disturbance;

    (v) Operations, which in their totality, will not cause surface

resource disturbance which is substantially different than that caused

by other users of the National Forest System who are not required to

obtain a Forest Service special use authorization, contract, or other

written authorization;

    (vi) Operations which will not involve the use of mechanized

earthmoving equipment, such as bulldozers or backhoes, or the cutting of

trees, unless those operations otherwise might cause a significant

disturbance of surface resources;

No wonder some folks call it the forest "circus" laugh.gif wacko.gif

Okay the next 3 were pulled out of the 43CFR's (BLM)........


    Subpart 3802_Exploration and Mining, Wilderness Review Program

Sec.  3802.1-2  When not required.

    A plan of operations under this subpart is not required for--

    (a) Searching for and occasionally removing mineral samples or


    (b) Operating motorized vehicles over open use areas and trails as

defined in 43 CFR part 8340 so long as the vehicles conform to the

operating regulations and vehicle standards contained in that subpart;

    © Maintaining or making minor improvements of existing access

routes, bridges, landing areas for aircraft, or other facilities for

access where such improvements or maintenance shall not alter the

alignment, width, gradient, size or character of such facilities; or

    (d) Making geological, radiometric, geochemical, geophysical or

other tests and measurements using instruments, devices, or drilling

equipment which are transported without using mechanized earth moving

equipment or tracked vehicles.


  Subpart 6302_Use of Wilderness Areas, Prohibited Acts, and Penalties

Sec.  6302.15  When and how may I collect or disturb natural resources such as rocks and plants in wilderness areas?

    (a) You may remove or disturb natural resources for non-commercial

purposes in wilderness areas, including prospecting, provided--

    (1) You do it in a manner that preserves the wilderness environment,

using no more than non-motorized hand tools and causing minimal surface

disturbance; and

    (2)(i) Your proposed activity conforms to the applicable management

plan; or

    (ii) You have a BLM authorization if one is required by statute or


    (b) Where BLM allows campfires in a wilderness, you may gather a

reasonable amount of wood for use in your campfire.

Subpart 3809_Surface Management

Sec.  3809.5  How does BLM define certain terms used in this subpart?

    As used in this subpart, the term:

    Casual use means activities ordinarily resulting in no or negligible

disturbance of the public lands or resources. For example--

    (1) Casual use generally includes the collection of geochemical,

rock, soil, or mineral specimens using hand tools; hand panning; or non-

motorized sluicing. It may include use of small portable suction

dredges. It also generally includes use of metal detectors, gold spears

and other battery-operated devices for sensing the presence of minerals,

and hand and battery-operated drywashers. Operators may use motorized

vehicles for casual use activities provided the use is consistent with

the regulations governing such use (part 8340 of this title), off-road

vehicle use designations contained in BLM land-use plans, and the terms

of temporary closures ordered by BLM.

    (2) Casual use does not include use of mechanized earth-moving

equipment, truck-mounted drilling equipment, motorized vehicles in areas

when designated as closed to ``off-road vehicles'' as defined in Sec. 

8340.0-5 of this title, chemicals, or explosives. It also does not

include ``occupancy'' as defined in Sec.  3715.0-5 of this title or

operations in areas where the cumulative effects of the activities

result in more than negligible disturbance.

    Exploration means creating surface disturbance greater than casual

use that includes sampling, drilling, or developing surface or

underground workings to evaluate the type, extent, quantity, or quality

of mineral values present. Exploration does not include activities where

material is extracted for commercial use or sale.

Operations means all functions, work, facilities, and activities on

public lands in connection with prospecting, exploration, discovery and

assessment work, development, extraction, and processing of mineral

deposits locatable under the mining laws; reclamation of disturbed

areas; and all other reasonably incident uses, whether on a mining claim

or not, including the construction of roads, transmission lines,

pipelines, and other means of access across public lands for support


Sorry if the cabin fever is gettin worse guys....... happy.gif




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Posts in this topic
- ColoradoProspector   Prospecting   Jan 3 2007, 12:01 PM
- - ColoradoProspector   Hey All! I just edited the title of this thr...   Jan 4 2007, 05:11 PM
- - jmann   Well I think Im in bussiness. Joe   Jan 4 2007, 05:44 PM
- - russau   reading this didnt help my cabin fever one bit...   Jan 5 2007, 05:09 AM
- - ColoradoProspector   Glad you guys like this thread....I just happened ...   Jan 5 2007, 12:36 PM
- - ColoradoProspector   No more comments/questions yet?! Okay, I...   Jan 27 2007, 11:28 AM
|- - faaus   CP, you ,ake some very interesting points in this ...   Nov 22 2008, 09:22 PM
- - ColoradoProspector   Thought there would be more discussions on this th...   Nov 13 2008, 09:09 AM
- - ColoradoProspector   Thanks Faaus, Seemed like all those quotes kinda ...   Nov 25 2008, 01:14 PM
- - Mrs.CP   Great information Dan! How about that it woul...   Oct 15 2009, 07:13 AM
- - nm jack   Ok here is a question. If I'm dredging on my c...   Oct 16 2009, 06:45 AM
- - russau   QUOTE (nm jack @ Oct 16 2009, 07:45 AM) ...   Oct 16 2009, 06:59 AM
|- - Scratch60   QUOTE (russau @ Oct 16 2009, 08:59 AM) th...   Aug 12 2012, 12:03 PM
- - nm jack   Thanks Russ. I very seldom ask a question here I d...   Oct 16 2009, 08:37 AM
|- - russau   search the 1866 and the 1872 mining laws. or over ...   Oct 17 2009, 04:53 AM
- - Mrs.CP   No reason to send them to another site Russ. We ha...   Oct 17 2009, 05:12 AM
- - ColoradoProspector   Thank you Denise, you are correct too. Most the in...   Oct 17 2009, 10:20 AM
- - bottledigger   Great info, Thanks to   Feb 21 2010, 10:56 AM
|- - ColoradoProspector   QUOTE (bottledigger @ Feb 21 2010, 10:56 ...   Feb 23 2010, 02:23 PM
- - bottledigger   This is old, but I kept it in my computer. CP,If i...   Feb 21 2010, 11:03 AM
- - russau   before you attempt ot throw the 1866/1872 mining l...   Aug 12 2012, 05:31 PM
- - ColoradoProspector   Hi Scratch, The FS is not even authorized to regu...   Aug 13 2012, 06:34 PM
- - Crusty   Today's thread posted to the Facebook page...   Feb 1 2015, 08:53 AM
- - Olog the Ogre   I'm late to the conversation, but based upon a...   Mar 16 2017, 11:30 AM
|- - MikeS   I would argue the first clause Olog mentioned abou...   Mar 17 2017, 12:57 PM
- - johnnybravo300   The fast answers..... You can't file a claim o...   Mar 16 2017, 01:37 PM
- - johnnybravo300   The casual use term is a strange one.   Mar 16 2017, 04:25 PM
- - johnnybravo300   I've only seen written approval needed for som...   Mar 17 2017, 08:35 PM

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