If you want to find gold, do some gold prospecting or at least learn how to find gold or other precious metals, read on.
Although most junior mining companies that we have listed on the site here are public companies, there are a lot of mining companies that are private owned. You can see from our page that has mining claims for sale that most of these claims are owned by private individuals or small companies. These claims are owned people that went out and either bought mining and mineral claims or staked these mining claims to be explored and worked. Whether you stake a claim or buy a claim the choice is up to you. Both have pro's and con's. In today's environment it's something that almost anyone can do.
During the depression of the 1930's many families who were out of work took to the creeks to mine for gold. If it wasn't for gold a lot more people would have gone hungry. Today in 2010 with the economy in a wreck, a lot of people are starting to look at gold mining as an alternative way to make money or as a way to kind up top up the account. With gold prices at all time highs it seems like not idea.
So what does one need to buy or stake a claim? Well first of all it depends on whether you are buying or staking. In both cases it depends on the area (as in state or province) as too what legal requirements you need. In some places a mining certificate or license is required. These are just short formalities and they are ones that a lot of people figure are just a small tax grab. Some places even require you to take a small exam or quiz.
Once you have gone through any processes that are required by government you will be ready to stake a claim. Now the first thing to know is what kind of claim are going to stake. In most areas there is "hard rock" claims also known as mineral claims and "placer claims" or sometimes referred to as just "placer gold" or "alluvial gold" claims. Most times when you pictures or videos of people out panning or sluicing this is referred to "placer or alluvial mining". Placer mining is by far the easiest way to mine. Once you have have your claims staked it is just a matter of going out and sampling using simple tools as a shovel, pan and maybe a pick.
So now that you have your certificate or license and you know what sort of claims you are interested in, now what? Well in most provinces or states there is a mines and mineral branch department. That would be the next step. finding out what areas are "open" for staking. Most of these departments will have maps showing the province or state and in a lot of cases the map is broken down into sub areas also. You will notice below our menu on the felt hand side that we have links to a few map viewers. When the map first opens it shows the entire province. There is an assortment of tools that allow you to zoom in and select different areas. It will show you ares that are open along with other claims that are already staked in that area. It will also show you who owns which claims along with lot of other information. For those wishing to stake claims in British Columbia Canada, all staking is now done with the click of a mouse.
There are still places like Canada's Yukon still require that you to go out and physically put stakes in the ground marking your area. This is where the term "staking your claim" came into being. Before staking your claim you have to look for other stakes which are posts in the area and run your boundaries from those posts. This is where a GPS comes in very handy. Remember, just because is says on the map that such and such post is here, it does not always mean that the post is where they say. Be sure to find the other posts first, then stake your claims accordingly. It will save you the grief of having to re-stake your claims especially if you are out of bounds.
Years ago when staking claims in British Columbia we had to put physical stakes in the ground marking our boundaries. Using just a hip-chain and compass is what most prospectors used so one can well imagine just how accurate some boundaries were. This is where boundary disputes arose especially if the ground was quite rich. So make sure that post are planted in the right spots. Also finding the corners is a good idea. Some ares requires 4 post claims while other require just 2 post claims stating the distances right and left of each post along with directions. Like we mentioned earlier, each province or state will have it's own set of guidelines.
Ok, now that you have staked your claims it is time to record them. In most cases it's back to the mining office at the government where you will file your claim so that it shows up on the map as being staked. And in most cases there will be some kind of fee known as a recording fee. Once that has been paid you are now ready to start exploring for gold.
But first ... of course anything government, there is "PAPER". Be sure to keep all your paper work in a folder along with any other information such as receipts, fees, documents etc. Also keep in mind that most claims come due within a year along with your mining license. you do not want to loose any as it may cause you to loose your claims.
Next on the list is in most cases you will have to apply for a work permit of some kind. In a lot of cases if you are just going to do hand mining without equipment you really don't need a permit. But by getting a work permit it allows you to record your work and have that applied to your costs of keeping your claims. Work or money?! Of course most people will opt to due the work. Each area will have a set of guidelines that state if you dig X amount of ground it is worth X amount of dollar value. Each jurisdiction will have it's specific forms that you will need to fill out detailing the work you did. This work will have a dollar value that will be applied towards your claims as a credit. In some cases even though you do work there is still a fee attached.