Maintaining Your Mining Claim

Now that you are armed with the knowledge on staking a mining claim, filing the important documents and paying the necessary fees, it’s now time to learn what you can do with the land and how to maintain your claim. 

Once you have been given the permission, you have the right to remove materials for your land. You might also choose to build houses for full-time mining employees, erect fences, and use available timber on your land. 

To maintain your claim, you have to pay an annual fee of $25 per claim, then this amount doubles every 5 years, or whenever the agencies decide to increase them. You also have to file a document called Affidavit of Annual Labor (available for download at http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/forms/mining/alf.pdf) which details all the work done on the property, and should be filed out for each claim you have. It is required for both state and federal law for you to be able to keep the claim. You will spend at least $100 per claim per year. 

Make sure that you file this form at the recorder’s office with the filing fee before the end of November each year.

Failure to meet this requirement will result in the loss of the claim, which is called “abandonment”. You cannot re-stake an abandoned claim for one year, in which case it is open for others to claim. 

Tip: To reduce your expenses, you can apply to waive the maintenance fee as long as you meet a few requirements. Those requirements are as follows: you own less than ten mining claims (apply for a small scale miner waiver) and you can show that you have made improvements to the land such as performing sampling, land surveying, drilling, or road construction.