Filing a mining claim under any circumstances can be a convoluted
affair, and it's probably made even a bit more complex by your
Your first step in the process should probably be a review of the
procedures for recording a claim, followed by a simple phone call to
the BLM office in Roseburg/Douglas County, as they are obviously in
the best position to guide you through the process:
US Bureau of Land Management
ROSEBURG DISTRICT OFFICE
777 N. W. Garden Valley Blvd.
Roseburg, OR 97470
Phone: (541) 440-4930
FYI, the contact information for the state office is:
US Bureau of Land Management
333 SW First Ave.
Portland, OR 97204
The procedures for filing a claim can be found in this manual made
available by the Oregon BLM:
From the information in brochure -- along with my own familiarity with
federal regulations -- I can address some of your questions, though
there's no substitute for speaking directly with the experts at BLM.
The September 1 deadline information is a bit ambiguous. The annual
maintenance fees on a claim are generally due by September 1, and fees
not paid in time can result in the abandonment of a claim. However,
there is a "small miner exemption" for which you may qualify, and if
so, the filing date is extended to December 30th.
"Small miners" are generally under 5 1/2 feet tall...Haha! Actually,
"small miners" generally refer to miners holding fewer than ten
claims, though there may be particular provisions in effect in Oregon.
Again, it seems you would be best off discussing this with the BLM
directly to help clarify your status, and the steps you should take at
The language regarding filing deadlines is on page 4 of the brochure:
If you do not file a notice of location, and pay the recordation
fee, location fee and maintenance fee, within the 90 days after
discovery; or do not update the mining claim record by
September 1st; and/or December 30th of each year (if you
qualify for small miner exemption), your claim is considered
Also note on page 12 of the brochure that there has been a change in
the fees as of September 1, 2004, and that there are different fee
schedules in effect depending both on when the claim was identified,
and when the claim is filed (note that there are also waiver
provisions for certain fees, again, these are especially for small
In sum, there is a possibility that your claim is considered
"abandoned" due to non-filing by September 1, but there is also a
strong possibility that you can make use of the December 30th filing
date for small miners (assuming you fit in that category). Only BLM
can provide a definitive answer to this.
I'd be more than happy to provide any additional information on this
topic, if there's something in particular you want to know. However,
I really do think your best bet is just to call BLM in Roseburg and
run your situation by the mining specialists on the staff there.
But before rating this answer, let me know if there's anything else
you need. Just post a Request for Clarification, and I'll be happy to
assist you further.
Thanks...and best of luck in your prospecting.
search strategy -- Google search on: [ blm "mining claim" oregon site:gov ]