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Non-Prospectors, (The people who think we are dunderheads playing in the dirt)
Auger
post Jan 1 2016, 08:59 AM
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As a consultant, I get around and see a lot of people. As a jabberjaw, I get to converse with loads of people and get to hear many perspectives of many different subjects.

I do a lot of work in the cannabis industry and as such I see a ton of people from other states coming in and though most are pretty hard core dead set on a cannabis lifestyle only, there are those who are classified as "interested in rocks," "self-proclaimed rockhounds," and other "prospectors."

A couple of points:
(These are not defined in stone or legal terms that I know of and so I am asking for your individual opinions.)

1) At what point is someone established as a rockhound in this hobby rather than just a hiker picking up rocks?
2) As a rockhound, at what point does one become a "prospector?" Is rockhounding more or less the attainment of enough information to allow you to identify and pick up certain rocks for your own collection, thus separating you from clueless picking up of shinies?
3) Does the regular visiting and working at a claim or mine determine that you are a prospector? Or would one have to pay at least a $155 maintenance fee somewhere and have their own claim to be considered a prospector? Or is this now termed "Mining/Miner" because you have "prospected" that there are indeed retrievable minerals in the location and summarily did the due diligence, paperwork, and else necessary to have it in your name?
4) Once you begin to sell rocks of any type or collect in excess of 5 gallon bucket you need to get a mining permit right? Selling definitely defines that if so.

5) There are a lot of people who are interested in rocks but when I bring in pieces to show off most people really have just a disinterest it seems. Then I get annoyed that I packed in a bunch of nice but heavy and sometimes fragile minerals I don't want to damage and no one really gives a crushed talc. Have any of you found better ways to engage the mildly interested? Should I do show and tell at elementary schools if I want to feel good and tingly about mining?

6) Those people who want to prospect or have more experience than others but are either not inclined or too lazy to go to coloradoprospector.com how should I get them to be engaged more to help further themselves?


I am asking these questions mostly for the information of the others who ask me these types of weird questions and I don't really know how to answer that. I am pretty much a solo artist and I do immense research of the areas I go to because I don't want to waste my time which is thin and valuable. When I find a successful spot I have a few hands I can call on especially to roll boulders. It took me a long time to realize I should scout the internet for forums to meet other people and learn that way in lieu of field work. I kind of had the perspective that prospectors and miners were the same thing. They rode donkeys and had a hat with a bent up Yosemite Sam style to em. Those who'll shoot you on sight near their mine and are always trying to keep the gold ball sized gold nugget from Dastardly Dan clad in all-black chewing on a cigar stump. I figure if I had ignorant thoughts like these then others might too. I didn't even know about the Prospector TV show until the end of last year. (Like many others, I do not watch TV) One of the claims im on I can see the Dorris Family's claims. I even remember remarking about how quiet it was and that it was great, serene, and peaceful. Then a whole mess of vehicles came up the mountain across the way and started up the diggers and all hell broke loose noise-wise and I started complaining to the rest of the folks with me. I could see em across the way and I was jealous because I was using a sledgehammer and collapsible military shovel while they were using all these noisy, polluting machines. It took me only one show to realize who exactly they were then I PLSS and LR2000 to confirm.

After that, i realized that prospectors and miners (not entities) are not Yosemite Sams though there are still Dastardly Dans. Big giant multinational mining corporations are the evil mining conglomerates that ruin it for the rest of us, while being completely and absolutely necessary and vital to the industries which use these resources to grow and expand our experience here on the planet. What is pulled out of the ground anywhere in the world is eventually used somewhere on the planet. My hope is that these go to better the world we live in. I ask these questions attempting to engage some dialogue not only to increase interest in the national security that goes along with protecting and utilizing national natural resources, but to increase interest in what we can do as stewards or our national resources.

I would estimate there are really only 20,000 true prospecting individuals in Colorado. Miners working for a corporation in a mine I am not counting. You have to go out and individually or in small non-corporate groups. Of those 20,000 I really feel like there are about 1,500 or so that own claims or regularly visit claims and know how to prospect and locate minerals the hard way without sonar and other specialty equipment. Then when you draw down even further to the forums and boards across the board, it feels like there are only... 500 or so people in Colorado who really know whats up.

Sorry this post is a mish-mash of weird questions but I wanted to engage dialogue and increase internet traffic to the site if at all possible. =)


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swizz
post Jan 1 2016, 09:24 AM
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"Hobby" - Not a friendly term to be used when referring to legal prospecting/mining on public lands.
The threshold between "hobby" and legal prospecting/mining is crossed when someone enters public lands (Nat Forest or BLM typically). They are then subject to ALL Federal and State mining laws and should know where they are stepping and what they can/cannot do.
If they are solely "prospecting or rockhounding" on established designated "recreational areas" (such as Clear Creek, Cache Creek, etc)... they can call themselves "hobbyist, recreational prospector" or whatever they want. They are essentially on private property and only subject to the rockhounding/prospecting rules established by the property owner. That owner could be a city, town, county, park, state, etc. They stay in playpens. They are "prospecting" someone else's discovery.
Enter public lands, start poking around, attempting to make discoveries, collecting, etc.... and a person is the real deal whether they like it or not. Subject to Federal mining laws instantly. Words like "hobby" and "recreation" can and have been used against them in the court of law. Ignorance to the law is rarely a good defense on public lands, especially when pertaining to mineral rights.
Does that make sense?

Add: In my opinion the term "miner" should be reserved for those who own or work at an actual "mine". order.gif info_grin.gif 2c.gif


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MikeS
post Jan 1 2016, 12:32 PM
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QUOTE (Auger @ Jan 1 2016, 08:59 AM) *
A couple of points:
(These are not defined in stone or legal terms that I know of and so I am asking for your individual opinions.)

1) At what point is someone established as a rockhound in this hobby rather than just a hiker picking up rocks?
2) As a rockhound, at what point does one become a "prospector?" Is rockhounding more or less the attainment of enough information to allow you to identify and pick up certain rocks for your own collection, thus separating you from clueless picking up of shinies?
3) Does the regular visiting and working at a claim or mine determine that you are a prospector? Or would one have to pay at least a $155 maintenance fee somewhere and have their own claim to be considered a prospector? Or is this now termed "Mining/Miner" because you have "prospected" that there are indeed retrievable minerals in the location and summarily did the due diligence, paperwork, and else necessary to have it in your name?
4) Once you begin to sell rocks of any type or collect in excess of 5 gallon bucket you need to get a mining permit right? Selling definitely defines that if so.

5) There are a lot of people who are interested in rocks but when I bring in pieces to show off most people really have just a disinterest it seems. Then I get annoyed that I packed in a bunch of nice but heavy and sometimes fragile minerals I don't want to damage and no one really gives a crushed talc. Have any of you found better ways to engage the mildly interested? Should I do show and tell at elementary schools if I want to feel good and tingly about mining?

6) Those people who want to prospect or have more experience than others but are either not inclined or too lazy to go to coloradoprospector.com how should I get them to be engaged more to help further themselves?



Here is my opinion for your questions Auger
(1,2 &3)
Rock collector = Hiker picking up rocks they stumbled across or a collector buying on the market
Rockhound = Going out with the purpose of finding Rocks/minerals for personal use.
Prospector = Searching for rocks or minerals that may be able to brought to market for a profit.
Miner = They have found the desired mineral source and now mining it to extract desired mineral.
Even on my mine claim when I am searching for a new source or mineral I consider it prospecting. When I dig in one of my workings that has produced already then I consider myself mining the claim.
On Federal Public Lands, most the regulations and laws apply to all of the above.

(4) I believe this is incorrect. I have seen several similar "guidelines" on Gov. sites but I can't find any actual law or reg. that supports a 5 gallon bucket limit. Federal PUBLIC Lands is our lands and it our right to prospect our lands that are open for mineral entry, within legal bounds. You don't need permission or a permit.

(5&6) Not everyone is into rocks or minerals. Implying that it may have a dollar value can bring some interest from the disinterested. Showing your finds off in places like this site is a good way to reach people who can appreciate natural beauty of mineral specimens. I want to see your finds. thumbsupsmileyanim.gif Showing off your success by doing it right is the main angle I am trying to go with to get people more involved and interested in the site and the great info here. Everyone from the casual rock collector to the large scale miners can benefit from the info here.


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swizz
post Jan 1 2016, 12:49 PM
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QUOTE (MikeS @ Jan 1 2016, 12:32 PM) *
... and it's our right to prospect our lands that are open for mineral entry....

.... if I may add a qualifier footnote to this: It is also our right to prospect lands that are not open to mineral entry (unless otherwise specified). However, you may not stake a claim on Federally managed public lands which have been withdrawn from mineral entry.
Good answers Mike! happy088.gif


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CP
post Jan 4 2016, 05:42 PM
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Good line up of questions Auger answers thus far Swizz and Mike. This is a great discussion thread! thumbsupsmileyanim.gif
I moved this thread up to the club's own forum section since the club's mentioned and it really is linked to our main club theme/goal!

I'll add in another opinion or two along as well......Swizz and Mike both being claim owners can give excellent views from that standpoint. I also have been a claim owner but am also giving an opinion as club founder having worked with so many prospectors of their own levels over the years.
Really it comes down to (IMHO) one's own perception/interpretation of actual ownership. Once one understands they are already "owners" of our lands then the real definition of ones own choice/level of prospecting can be pinned down.

Some folks are happy to say they are recreational prospectors or rockhounds etc......what definitely matters in the field is plain and simple....be responsible for ones activities or actions while prospecting/sampling. At what ever level one chooses to make their "prospecting" plans/field trips.
For those who wish to only be "recreational" literally, there are places they can go without ever having to worry about research but may have to get a special permit.....bummer but it works for many.

On the other hand, many folks learn they are not bound to these few "recreational areas" with special rules and can then venture out on their own in any places of interest to them. At that point it does not matter if you are a claim owner or just calling yourself a rockhound or recreational prospector. There is a level of responsibility to each person, they must know where they are digging....on or off of a mining claim depending on the given persons situation....some folks may have permission to work a claim and others may just be trying to test open grounds next to existing claims.

At anytime someone wants to pick up a mineral sample or specimen, they are prospecting at the basic level and have responsibility to act appropriately in the field concerning this sampling or collecting of minerals. Hope that makes sense..... chin.gif

Like I said, Swizz and Mike gave great answers also, that's just another view point from a stand point of non claim ownership, but you still have the right to prospect!

Just an FYI for commercial extraction definitions, I believe the given threshold in the CFR's is 50,000 tons of ore extracted or more. smiley-cool14.gif


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swizz
post Jan 6 2016, 06:41 AM
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Online dictionary says: Definition of Miner
(not that it matters...)


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