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

Master Mucker!

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Posts: 4,149
Joined: 7-October 03
From: Colorado
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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, 05:41 PM



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Olog the Ogre
post Mar 16 2017, 12:30 PM
Post #2

Diggin' In!

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Joined: 3-March 17
From: Salida CO
Member No.: 127,759

I'm late to the conversation, but based upon another thread or two out there, I figured I'd better read this one.

I have a couple questions.

" While information gathered by prospecting
concerning mineral resources within National Forest Wilderness
may be utilized in connection with the location of valuable
mineral deposits which may be discovered through such activity
and which may be open to such location, attention is directed
to the fact that no claim may be located after midnight,
December 31, 1983, and no valid discovery may be made after
that time on any location purportedly made before that time.

What does that mean?

And then we have this one:

"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.

The last one would suggest that under the definition of casual, a small dredge does not require a permit. That's confusing because the BLM specifically requires a permit for any dredge work at all.

Also, all of this seems to revolve around the concept of "A significant amount of surface" changes. Well, has anyone been to Cripple Creek and viewed the mine up there? THAT is significant land damage. In one persons entire lifetime, even with an operation like the Hoffman's on "Gold Rush", that much damage could not be caused very easily. That mine took a century to get that big.

So my question would be, who sets these "standards" on what is significant? Some ecologist's would scream over a shovel full, others who are a little more industrial minded wouldn't consider "significant" damage until tree's fall down.

Almost the entire of Southern Colorado is built on prior gold mining efforts. Garfield, Monarch, Breckenridge, Maysville, Granite... all these towns are literally built on tailings. And there are a lot more. The Arkansas River is just one long tailings all the way from North Fork all the way down to Pueblo. How can we damage anything with small dredge's when those giant dredge's already destroyed the natural landscape over a hundred years ago?

Further, there are no "natural wildlife" in the Arkansas. We destroyed the natural ecology at the same time frame and all the trout that are in that river is bred in Salida. They can't even claim that small dredge work will disturb them because they don't belong here either! Plus it doesn't matter - if we accidentally kill a few fish, well a lot more will replace them by next breeding season. The river is too fast now for catfish because when they dredged it, they also straightened it - the damage is done and now they "mitigate" it, and yet they are clamoring over us? OMG.

As an individual, when I leave a site I always back fill, but I dig one heck of a hole. I try to move about ten yards a day by hand. By some people's definition, I am worse than a beaver but I just use a shovel and a pick - I have seem claims with less damage than I do in a day and they have machines. This whole thing is very confusing and there are no specific definitions.

Michael D. Shelest
"Fallen but not Forgotten"
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