Arizona State Laws for proper Staking, Recording and Maintaining
of Federal Mineral Estate Grant Claims
Another MinerDiggins Adventure
What follows are all the Arizona laws about making and maintaining mining claims. Each of the eleven Western mining States has it's own laws about how to stake and record a mining claim (Location and Entry).
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) Public Law 94-579 created an additional set of filing requirements for Federal Mining Claims. Those filings are informational only and must be filed with your State BLM office in addition to the State Requirements made at your County Recorders Office.
Title 27 of Arizona Revised Statutes
Section 201 - 222
MINING RIGHTS IN LAND
27-201. Location of mining claim upon discovery of mineral in place
Upon discovery of mineral in place on the public domain of the United States the mineral may be located as a lode mining claim by the discoverer for himself, or for himself and others, or for others.
Method of locating a lode claim; monument; location notice; amendments
A. Location of a lode claim shall be made by erecting on the surface on the centerline within the boundaries of the claim a conspicuous monument of stones not less than three feet in height, or an upright post securely fixed and projecting at least four feet above the ground, in or on which there shall be posted a location notice, signed by the name of the locator. The location notice shall contain:
1. The name of the claim located.
2. The name and address of the locator.
3. The date of the location.
4. The length and width of the claim in feet, and the distance in feet from the location monument to each end of the claim.
5. The general course of the claim.
6. The locality of the claim with reference to some natural object or permanent monument whereby the claim can be identified and, if known to the locator, the identification of the section, township and range in which the notice of location of the claim is posted.
B. Until the requirements of subsection A are complied with, no right of location is acquired.
C. The notice may be amended at any time and the monument changed to correspond with the amended location, but no change shall be made which will interfere with the rights of others. If such amendment changes the exterior boundaries of the claim, a new or amended map, plat or sketch shall be recorded pursuant to section 27-203 showing such change.
Completing lode, placer or millsite locations; recording location notice;
monumenting; map, plat or sketch requirements; abandonment of claims; recorder
duties and fees
A. The locator of a lode, placer or millsite claim shall:
1. Cause to be recorded in the office of the county recorder of the county in which the claim is located an executed copy of the location notice to which notice shall be attached a map, plat or sketch of the claim, within ninety days from the time of the location. If the posted notice of location does not contain the section, township and range in which the notice is posted such information shall be added to the notice prior to recording pursuant to this section if the land has been surveyed. If the land has not been surveyed, the locator shall identify to the best of his ability the projected, protracted or extended section, township and range in which the notice of location of the claim is posted.
2. Monument the claim on the ground within ninety days from the time of the location so that its boundaries can be readily traced.
B. The map, plat or sketch required by subsection A shall be:
1. In legible form and not more than eight and one-half inches by fourteen inches.
2. On a scale of one inch equals not more than two thousand feet.
3. Based upon the performance of a survey performed commensurate with the abilities of the locator. It shall set forth the boundaries and position of the claim with such accuracy as would permit a reasonably knowledgeable person to find and identify the claim on the ground. The locator may show contiguous claims on the map, plat or sketch if the claim being located is clearly identified. Nothing contained in this section shall require a locator to employ a professional surveyor or engineer for the preparation of the map, plat or sketch required by this section.
C. The plat or map of any claim shall contain the following information:
1. The name of the claim.
2. Whether the claim is a lode, placer or millsite claim.
3. The locality of the claim with reference to the section, township and range in which the claim is located with a course and distance tie from a corner of the claim or contiguous group of claims to a monument of the public land survey if the land has been surveyed. If the land has not been surveyed, a corner of the claim or claim group shall be tied by course and distance to an established survey monument of a United States government agency or United States mineral monument. If no such monument can be found through the exercise of reasonable diligence, the map shall show the course and distance from one corner of the claim or claim group to some prominent natural objects or other permanent monuments described on such map.
4. The scale of the map.
5. The county in which the claim is situated.
6. A north arrow.
7. The type of corner and location monuments used.
8. Bearing and distance between corners.
D. If the claim is a placer or millsite claim with exterior limits conforming to legal subdivisions of the public survey, the map, plat or sketch shall give the legal description of the claim instead of the requirements of paragraphs 3 and 8 of subsection C.
E. Failure to do all the things within the times and at the places specified in subsections A, B, C and D shall be an abandonment of the claim, and all right and claim of the locator shall be forfeited.
F. The county recorder shall keep proper indices of mine location notices and maps by the cadastral subdivisions of the United States bureau of land management or general land office. The county recorder shall receive the fees prescribed in section 11-475 for recording a mine location notice and map, plat or sketch appended to such notice.
Monumenting lode claims
The boundaries of a lode claim shall be monumented by six substantial posts projecting at least four feet above the surface of the ground, or by substantial stone monuments at least three feet high, one at each corner of the claim and one at the center of each end line of a lode claim. Substantial posts may be of any material as may be readily distinguished as monuments and shall be not less than one and one-half inches in cross section. Each monument erected by the locator shall be marked to identify the corner or end center of the claim or claims for which it was erected.
Locating and monumenting placer and millsite claims
The locator of a placer mining or millsite claim shall locate the claim in the same manner as prescribed for a lode claim, except that:
1. The location notice shall be posted on a separate monument at one corner of the claim within the boundaries of the claim.
2. Only the corners or angle points of the claim must be monumented.
The relocation of a claim shall be made in the same manner as other locations. If the original location work of the claim being relocated included the recording of a map or plat pursuant to section 27-203, the locator may perform relocation work by resurveying or by verifying the accuracy of the boundaries and positions of the claim as shown on the map, plat or sketch of the claims and by recording a map, plat or sketch in the manner prescribed by section 27-203.
Affidavit of performance of annual work; fees
A. Before December 31 of any year in which the performance of annual labor or making improvements upon a mining claim is required, the person on whose behalf such work or improvement was made, or some person for him, knowing the facts, may make and record in the office of the county recorder of the county in which the claim is located an affidavit in substance as follows:
State of Arizona, county of ____________________ ss: _________________________________, being duly sworn, deposes and says that he is a citizen of the United States and more than eighteen years of age, resides at ____________________, in ___________________ county, Arizona, is personally acquainted with the mining claim known as ______________________ mining claim, situated in __________________ mining district, ______________ county, Arizona, the location notice of which is recorded in the office of the county recorder of said county, in book ________________________ of records of mines, at page _________. That between the _______________ day of ________________, A.D. _______________________, and the _______________ day of ______________________, A.D. ___________________________, at least _____________________________ dollars worth of work and improvements were done and performed upon said claim, not including the location work of said claim. Such work and improvements were made by and at the expense of ___________________________, owners of said claim, for the purpose of complying with the laws of the United States pertaining to assessment or annual work, and _________________________________________ (here name the miners or persons who worked upon the claim in doing the work) were the persons employed by said owner and who labored upon said claim, did said work and improvements, the same being as follows, to wit: (Here describe the work done and add signature and verification.)
B. The affidavit when recorded shall be prima facie evidence of the performance of the labor or improvements. Any affidavit shall include, if known to the locator, the identification of the section, township and range in which the notice of location of the claim is posted.
C. When annual work is done upon one or more of a contiguous group of claims for the benefit of all, or wholly or partly outside of a contiguous group of claims for the benefit of all, all claims may be included in a single affidavit.
D. In addition to the fees required under section 11-475 for recording of documents, the county recorder shall, prior to recording the affidavit of performance, collect from the person recording the affidavit a fee in the sum of five dollars for each separate affidavit of performance recorded. The county recorder shall by the tenth day of each month forward to the state treasurer for deposit in the state general fund, eighty per cent of the monies collected pursuant to this subsection during the previous month.
Sufficiency of description of mining claims
In all actions, judgments, grants, or conveyances it shall be a sufficient description of a mining claim if the name of the claim, the district, county and state where it is located, and the book and page where the location notice thereof is recorded can be understood therefrom.
A. The owner of an unpatented lode, placer or millsite claim existing on the effective date of this section may on or before October 21, 1980, file a map, plat or sketch of such claim conforming to the requirements of section 27-203, subsections B and C which shall also recite the book and page of recording of the location notice and any amendments to the location notice. The owner of a group of claims may file a single plat or map for any claims having the point of posting of the location notice within the same section of the public land survey system.
B. The county recorder shall receive as fees fifty cents per claim for recording such a map, plat or sketch under this section and shall index such claims by the name of the claim in the index of claims by cadastral subdivisions of the United States bureau of land management or general land office.
C. The recording of a claim in compliance with this section shall constitute constructive notice to the public of the position of such claim after the date of recording and shall constitute a rebuttable presumption that the claim was monumented on the ground so that its boundaries could be readily traced.
Notice to delinquent co-owner to contribute share of annual labor expense
A. When a co-owner gives a delinquent co-owner notice in writing or notice by publication to contribute his proportion of the expense of annual labor as provided by the laws of the United States, an affidavit of the person giving the notice, stating the time, place, manner of service and by whom and upon whom the service was made, shall be attached to a true copy of the notice, and the notice and affidavit shall be recorded ninety days after giving the notice, or if the notice is given by publication in a newspaper, there shall be attached to a printed copy of the notice an affidavit of the editor or publisher of the paper, stating the date of each insertion of the notice therein, and when and where the newspaper was published during that time, and the affidavit and notice shall be recorded one hundred and eighty days after the first publication.
B. A true copy of the original notice and affidavit of service, or the records thereof, shall be prima facie evidence that the delinquent co-owner has failed or refused to contribute his proportion of the expenditure, and shall be prima facie evidence of service or publication of the notice, unless the writing or affidavit provided for in section 27-222 is of record.
Acknowledgment of contribution by delinquent co-owner
A. If the delinquent co-owner, within the time required by the laws of the United States, contributes his proportion of the expenditures, the co-owner, who demanded contribution shall sign and deliver to the delinquent co-owner a written statement that the delinquent, naming him, has, within the time required, contributed his share of the expense for the year upon the claim, and further stating the district, county and state wherein the claim is located and the book and page where the location notice is recorded. The statement shall be recorded.
B. If the co-owner who demanded contribution fails to sign and deliver the statement to the delinquent co-owner within twenty days after contribution is made, he shall be liable to the delinquent for a penalty of one hundred dollars. The delinquent, with two disinterested persons having personal knowledge of the contribution, may make an affidavit setting forth the manner, amount, to whom and upon what mine the contribution was made. The affidavit may be recorded, and shall be prima facie evidence of the contribution.