As a prospector in Nevada, you will want to take advantage of the state’s wealth of mineral deposits. Nevada is one of the few states with reserves of lithium, which is a hot commodity because of its use in batteries. Nevada also has deposits of gold, silver and tungsten that you may want to stake claim on. But the process for doing so is painstaking and you must go by the book to make yours.

Claim types

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recognizes two different types of mining claims. Lode claims apply to areas of hard rock – its veins – which you will extract the mineral from. Under federal law, your claim can be no larger than 1500 feet by 600 feet in size. Placer claims, though, apply to deposits comprised of loose material. These can be as large as 20 acres per individual parcel. And you can stake a claim on up to 160 acres in total parcels, unless you are a corporation working independently of other enterprises.

Proper procedures

To stake your mining claim correctly, you must make sure its boundaries are clear. Before doing so, you must consult Nevada’s map of active mining claims to make sure you are not staking your claim on top of someone else’s. You will also want to check the BLM’s records to further ensure the accuracy of this information. And you will need to make sure there are no stakes in the location, no matter what records show. Nevada law requires you to stake your claim within 60 days of locating it. In doing so, you must use clear markers – like a blazed tree trunk, a pile of stones on a rock or a post or pipe – that rise at least three feet above the ground.

Prospecting can lead to prosperity, but only if you abide by the claims process. Ignoring state and federal claims laws can lead to challenges from other prospectors. If you’re facing these, an attorney with knowledge of mineral rights can help you work through them.