Gold Rush Expeditions, Mining Claims, Mines for Sale

Frequently Asked Questions

Have you Been Looking at our Mines for Sale and have Questions? Gold Rush Expeditions is here to answer all your questions about buying mining claims. If you don’t see the answer to the question you are asking, feel free to contact us.

General Questions

Why does Gold Rush Expeditions have mines for sale instead of working the claims themselves?
Our mission is to preserve mining history and to reestablish the glory days of mining. That has been our goal from the very beginning. Thousands of mine sites are destroyed across the West each year by the BLM, Forest Service and other land managers. Every mine we claim and sell can be moved off of that list of “Abandoned Mines” and thus preserved. We seek to document and preserve the work that made the West what it is today and then we sale those mines to you. If Gold Rush stopped to “work” these mines, we would not be able to document and procure new sites. We would become strictly a mining company. That’s not who we are, and not what we do. We sell mines with visible veins of gold or gems every day. The mission of Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc is not to mine these sites. To coin a phrase, “We find ’em, You mine ’em!” 
Can I look at a mine you have for sale and test some samples before I buy?
Absolutely, but we do require a signed non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement prior to disclosing the location of sites. We do this because we spend a lot of time locating these sites and believe they have value, and often times the new claimant does not want a lot of people wandering around their claim after purchase.   In the case of claims listed on our website, we require a nonrefundable deposit of $500.00 in order to visit the claim. This does not hold the claim off the market. If you decide to purchase the claim, the $500.00 can then be used towards your purchase. If you choose not to buy the claim, or the claim is sold before you purchase, the deposit can be used towards the purchase of another claim. We can also provide you with authorization to remove up to 100 lbs of sample.  
How does Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. determine the price for each claim?
There are a variety of elements that determine the price of our mines for sale. For your information, here are some of the elements that are taken into consideration:   Mineral Content: The surveyors themselves look through any available tailings to find evidence of precious metals. They inspect the ores and veins personally, and report the visible presences of any valuable minerals. It doesn’t get any more direct than that! The surveyors are looking for minerals that can be taken by hand in many cases. They bypass many mines with “microscopic gold” or “sulphide minerals” because they are difficult to extract value from. That is the reason you see Gold Rush mines stating “free milling gold” or visible gems and deposits. While our historical research is extensive and painstaking, we don’t solely rely on that second hand information. We validate and verify, right on site. Scarcity/Rarity: Contrary to popular belief, there are many mines out there with substantial mineral reserves and values. With that in mind, Mines are being destroyed by the BLM and Forest Service on a daily basis. 40 years ago, you could find a good producing mine in any variety of districts across the west. Not today. With reclamation becoming a business for the government, closures are more prevalent. Usable, mining claims are becoming more scarce. For instance, in a county or a district with high gold values but very few viable mines, those mines will have increased value. Our goal is to find a mine that is still intact, preferably not reclaimed, that can be worked profitably under casual use with no government interference. There are a lot of factors to take into consideration, we judge them all and pass the information to you. Location: Location in a key mining district or region is vital to pricing of a claim. If the mine is located in a gulch or drainage, it may rank higher. Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc surveyors will often overlook mines that are right off the highway. No one wants to deal with lots of passerby’s unless the mine is completely stunning and secure. Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc’s ideal sites are large, remote and undisturbed with substantial documentation. Even though a more remote mine will rank high, it’s not much good to you if you cannot build a road to it. Another element of the critique is if the claim is easily accessible by road or trail. A mine that is inaccessible, cannot ship out ores, and its thus going to rank low on our scale. Environment: The next element that is addressed are factors in the climate and environment in general. We look at the available resources on the site and make note if there’s any shelter, water, or timber. Having year round water is often pivotal, and shelter is more than necessary when the sun is beating down on you. Some older mines will have remnants of old structures, and that can prove useful to a miner. Whether it’s providing shelter in a cabin, or utilizing an old mill. Sometimes it is easier and cheaper to utilize existing structures than building new. Also as part of environment we consider the aesthetics. Is the mine itself awe inspiring? Does it have a special and unique look to it that you can’t quite find anywhere else? Does it have character? Does it have an interesting story? Market: All of the elements above put together a good picture of the market for specific mines and properties. This market will fluctuate slightly from year to year, but similar to real estate, it always seems to grow. As mining companies and small miners pay more for claims, the values of others will grow. Naturally, history can attest to how valuable a mine is, records of the mine producing gold and/or other precious metals. The general trend is a positive one, where the exact mine claim that sold in 2008 for $50k, today will sell for over $110k in most regions. That’s not a bad trend!
Can I sell my mining claim through Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc.?
Yes! Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. can help you sell your mining claims. We will even do all the work for you if required. There are specific criteria that must be met to meet the Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. standards. For more information, please give us a call at: 385-218-2138 or email us:
Your name is Gold Rush "Expeditions", does this mean you will take me on a mining expedition?
Yes the word “Expeditions” in our name can be deceiving. Back in 2001 when the company owners decided on the  name Gold Rush Expeditions, they had full intentions of taking people on tours to see abandonded mining claims, mine camps and just good old mining history. Unfortunately the permitting, liability and insurance policies to perform those expeditions became unbearable. Gold Rush quickly learned that the “Expeditions” part was a no go. That didn’t slow the company down from exploring abandoned mines and bringing gold mines for sale to everyone.

Questions about Buying a Mining Claim

What sort of payment options does Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. accept?
Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. can accept credit/debit cards for monthly payments, deposits and down payments for a maximum amount of $1000.00. For payment of a purchase, we can only accept Personal Checks, Wire Transfers, Money Orders, Cashier’s Checks Virtual check or other certified funds. Please be aware that mining claims are considered real property, and as such, the payments must be secured. We do take cash if delivered in person to our main office. Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. also accepts certified (stamped) silver and gold bullion for payment. Spot Pricing determines the value given for silver and gold. This fluctuates throughout the normal business day, and can be tracked on websites such as Kitco website. Spot pricing is defined at the time of acceptance at the GRE offices. We do not accept payments through PayPal. PayPal considers mining claims to be real property and their company policies don’t permit them to process transactions regarding real property.
Can I pay for my claim with ore collected from the claim?
No, we do not accept raw ores as a form of payment. Ores must be processed by a reputable source. They are then stamped with a weight and purity. Once the ores have been processed to this point they are referred to as bullion, and can be accepted at spot pricing.
What paperwork will I get after purchasing a mining claim from GRE?
You will receive a Quit Claim deed, showing transfer of ownership of the claim and all of the associated paperwork, images and documentation of the claim.     The Deed transfers the mineral rights from GRE to the new owner. The Deed is created and submitted to the appropriate State and Federal agencies. You can expect to receive a New Claim Owner Welcome packet within 14 days of full payment and all paperwork signed. The welcome packet includes:

  • Land status map of the claim
  • Original copy of the Quit Claim Deed
  • National Bureau of Mines Claim Certificates
  • Digital copies of:
    • Land status map of the claim
    • Map showing GPS coordinates of the claim corner markers
    • All Pictures of the claim and underground images of the mine(s) where applicable
    • Notice of Location/Certificate of Location with BLM and county recorded stamp
    • Copy of the Signed Terms and Conditions of Sale.
    • Guide to permitted mining operations (State Specific)
    • If Financing you will receive a copy of your signed finance contract.
  • A copy of the Quit Claim Deed that has been recorded by the County and BLM will be emailed to you when returned from the County and BLM
Can I change the name of my claim after purchase?
Yes. A  mining claim Name can be modified by submitting an amended NOL/COL to the appropriate county and state BLM. Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. can also provide this service for a nominal cost.
Who can own a mining claim?
Mining Claims are limited in ownership by US Citizenship. Any US Citizen can own a mining company. Additionally, any US based company can take ownership of mining claims. In the case of international companies, those companies must be approved to do business in the United States.

Financing a Mining Claim?

What is the required down payment for financing a claim with GRE?
Mining Claim Financing is offered at a rate of 0% APR (annual percentage rate) for the first 6 months. If the claim is not paid off within 6 months a 9% APR (annual percentage rate) will be applied to the total claim price from the date of contract execution. If you would like to finance a claim, basic terms are a minimum of 20% down for claims listed between $10,000 and $99,999, 10% down for claims listed between $100,000 and $999,999, and 5% down for claims listed over $1,000,000. A documentation fee of $349.00 per claim and $249 for each additional claim is added to this down payment. If buyer is over 30 days late, claim falls into default and reverts back to GRE with no return of any funds paid. We will not file collections, but we will not return funds.  Financing is limited to one (1) buyer for one (1) site (in the case of multiple claims on a single site) at any given time. Buyer will have full access to the claim under casual use guidelines. More details on financing will be sent to those who are approved for financing.
Is a credit check required?
Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. does our own in house financing, we do not require a standard credit check. If you have a source of income, and a verifiable mailing address and phone number, chances are we can get you approved. You can apply for financing here, or give us a call – 385-218-2138. The Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. Accounting department will verify your information. This can take up to 24 hours. Once we have received your information we will contact you via phone or email with the results of your financing request. Payments are due on the 1st day of each month. Payments received after the 1st day of each month will be subject to late fees. Payments made between the 2nd and 11th of each month accrue $50 in late fees. Payments received on or after the 12th of each month will accrue an additional $200 in late fees ($250 total). If payment is more than 30 days late, the contract will fall into default. Per contract agreement, Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. will mail a certified letter to the registered contract holder informing them of the defaulted contract status. All rights and interest in the claim will be terminated. Payments will be considered forfeit and all rights and interests in the property will remain with Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. Please see your contract for full legal description and statements regarding late payments and default status.
Are there any penalties for early payments?
    There are no penalties for making payments early, or paying the claim off early. Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. offers 6 months same as cash. Interest is accrued monthly based on the total balance due for the claim.   Please see your contract for full description and disclosure of all terms and agreements.  
Are there any penalties for late payments?
Payments are due on the 1st day of each month. Payments received after the 1st day of each month will be subject to late fees. Payments made between the 2nd and 11th of each month accrue $50 in late fees. Payments received on or after the 12th of each month will accrue an additional $200 in late fees ($250 total). If payment is more than 30 days late, the contract will fall into default. Per contract agreement, Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. will mail a certified letter to the registered contract holder informing them of the defaulted contract status. All rights and interest in the claim will be terminated. Payments will be considered forfeit and all rights and interests in the property will remain with Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. Please see your contract for full legal description and statements regarding late payments and default status.
Can I make my monthly payments from the gold, silver or gems I find on a claim I am financing?
All financed claims are limited to work under casual use. If you are able to have ore from your mine extracted, processed and poured into stamped bullion under casual use, then yes, you can use that ore to make your monthly payments.

Mining Claim Questions?

What exactly am I getting with an Mineral Claim?
An unpatented lode claim gives the claimant complete ownership of all minerals and gems located within the confines of the mining claim. Lode Mining Claims give ownership of minerals that are located in their original location or amalgamated in a host rock. Placer Mining Claims give ownership of valuable minerals or gems that have been displaced from their original lodes and can be found in gravels or riverbeds. Placer claims usually apply to the topmost 18 inches of gravel or sands. All unpatented mineral claim rights are subject to annual renewal. Plainly put, If you do not renew your claim annually, those rights will revert back to the US Federal Government. Keep your mining claim active and valid by paying your annual assessments before September 1st of each year. Ownership of a mining claim, either placer or lode does not, by default, convey or imply ownership or interest in any BUILDINGS, MACHINERY or other EQUIPMENT that is found within the boundaries of the claim. In the case of many mining claims, it is possible to take control of the buildings, machinery or other items by filing a Notice of Operation and utilizing the  items in conjunction with or to promote your mineral extraction operation.  Use of any implement, building or machine on the mineral claim may not violate the Antiquities Act of 1906. Any items that have been undisturbed (undisturbed means that the item has not been moved or utilized in any manner) for over 50 years are subject to the Antiquities Act and any movement or removal of said items is a violation of federal law. When in doubt, please inquire. Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. has years of experience and we can provide answers to any questions that may arise.
How do I keep my claim active?
All mining claims must be renewed each year with the appropriate county and Bureau of Land Management. This is done in one of two ways:

  1. Pay an annual assessment fee and record and register your claim with the County and Bureau of Land Management before September 1st of each year.
  2. Document improvements made to your claim and submit a waiver to the county and Bureau of Land Management.

Annual assessment fees are the fees paid to the Department of the Interior to maintain ownership of your property. Annual Assessment fees are subject to change. In 2015 and 2016, the cost to renew a single, 20 acre lode or placer claim was $155.00. Please call us for current pricing. Assessment fees or Annual Maintenance for unpatented claims are due by September 1st of every year, no exceptions. Claims that are not renewed by September 1st will revert back to federal ownership. Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. can assist with the Annual Assessment process to ensure that you retain ownership of your claim each year.

Can an unpatented claim be changed to a patented claim?
No, not at this time. There is currently a moratorium on patenting mining claims. This was signed in by President Bill Clinton in 1994 specifically to hinder mining efforts in the United States. Until this moratorium is lifted, it is not currently possible to patent (gain full ownership of the land) an unpatented mining claim.
How many claims can an individual own?
There is no limit to the number of claims you can own. In order to file a small miner waiver for annual assessments, you cannot own over 10 claims.
How long does a mining claim remain active?
Indefinitely, provided that the annual assessment payments are kept current. These annual assessments must be completed by September 1st of each year.
Weren't most mines abandoned because they were all mined out?
It may come as a surprise, but most mines were not abandoned due to lack of production or minerals. There are many reasons that mines were abandoned. The most common are related to regulation and are as follows:

  1. The “Silver Crash” of 1891-3. Federal support for purchase of silver and silver ores was removed in 1891. The value of silver dropped from over $1 per ounce to $0.27 per ounce in 1893, stabilizing at an average of $0.79 by the end of the year. This equated to a cut of more than 30%. (Consider the impact that losing 30% of your income tomorrow would have on your own economy.) As a result, many silver mines were mothballed while waiting for the price to rise to previous levels of $1 per ounce.
  2. During WWI and WWII many left their mines to either fight in the war or help support the war effort by working in other industries.
  3. In 1941, President Roosevelt made it illegal to pursue the mining of any minerals except those considered strategic. This act was known as the War Act, and its intent was to cripple the mining industry, while providing man power for WWII. 418,000 men never returned from WWII. This left their mining operations abandoned. In addition, over 300,000 were wounded, left permanently disabled and were unable to return to their mines.  Many men after WWII never returned to their mines.
  4. In the years after WWII, the federal government bolstered efforts to encourage people to work in the cities and offices of the nation.

Since the repeal of the War Act in 1945, Mining activity decreased over 400%. These mines were left abandoned because people died or were no longer able to work their mines. Many more people held their mining claims while they worked their city jobs from 9-5, all the while promising to return to mining at some point. Most never did, and when they died, or stopped paying on their claims, they were considered abandoned.

Where can I get raw ore processed?
Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. recommends the Paradine Mill in Montana for processing your ore. There are also a good number of mills that can process ores in Nevada and Arizona. A good mine should be able to offset the costs of logistics by producing rich ores. For more information, please call our office at 385-218-2138 during normal business hours.

Working your Claim?

Can I build a cabin or other structure on my claim?
Yes, but only with an approved Notice of Operation. Your building will need to be in direct support of your mining operation. You will likely be assessed a bond that insures that you will remove the cabin when you leave the claim.   You can make improvements to current structures on the claim with an approved notice of intent or notice of operations. The improvements must be in support of mining operations.
How far can I tunnel outside my claim boundaries?
As far as you want, as long as you don’t breach the surface. You have virtually unlimited rights underground provided your workings do not surface at any time outside of your claim boundaries. In the case of your workings surfacing outside your claim boundaries, another party could claim that portion of the workings. The legal owner of those workings would be the claimant which controls the apex of the lode on their claim.
I got a letter/notice from the BLM or FS, what do I do?
You usually have 30 days from receipt of the letter to respond. If you do not respond in that time frame you may lose your rights. What you need to do depends on what the letter says. Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. can assist you in responding to these notices. If you require assistance with a BLM or FS issue, please call our offices at 385-218-2138 to see how we can help.
Can I live on my claim?
The word “live” implies doing things possibly not incident to or reasonably related to mining. You can’t “live” on your claim, but you can prospect and mine it. Residency not reasonably incident to mining is not allowed. If it is reasonable to pack up mining gear and go back to a town or campground, you will be expected to do that, rather than stay more than 14 days straight on your claim. However if it is approved in your Notice of Operations, then yes you can remain on your claim for however many days you listed in your approved Notice of Operations.
Are there public utilities (power, water, etc.) that I can use on the claim?
On rare occasion, there are public utilities near or on the property. If public utilities are present you can contact the utility company for set up requirements.
Can Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. provide help to those new to mining?
There is a lot of information that we can help the beginning miner with. This from permitting to logistics and processing. If you need help, give us a call (385-218-2138 ) or email, let us know what you need and we can help you put it together. There are also volumes of information available on mining basics in the form of old mining books. For a list a recommended books please contact our offices. Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. can answer specific questions regarding mining basics and operations. Email your specific questions to
Where can I buy equipment to mine with?
Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. is very particular about who we work with. For this reason we only make recommendations we can stand behind.   Global Mining Equipment is an all American provider of all your mining equipment or needs. If you need it, Global has it. Global Mining Equipment comes highly recommended by Gold Rush Expeditions Inc.  
I bought a claim from someone else, can Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. verify the validity of that claim?
Yes, we can research and report on the validity of your claim. This is charged per hour based on the current Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. office services rate. Call 385-218-2138 or email for more information.


Why do people attach so much value to Gold?
Gold is one of the rarest elements on the planet earth. It has been used as currency and for trade since the dawn of recorded history. It is a solid, tangible asset that can be used to purchase, barter or trade for most any item.
How does gold differ from pyrite?
Pyrite is a derivative of iron. Pyrite often occurs in gold lodes. Old Spanish prospectors lived by the motto: “Gold rides an iron horse”. Meaning that where you find heavy concentrations of iron, you will find gold.   If you find something that you think is gold. Use the knife method to verify. Gold is malleable, it will feel soft. You can gouge it with a knife but it will not scratch. Pyrite, on the other hand, is a more crystalline formation and is very hard. If you scratch it with a knife, the surface will mar and become defaced. Gold and pyrite differ slightly in color, shape, hardness, odor, and malleability. It’s not difficult to tell the two apart once you have seen them side by side. Gold also forms in and with pyrite, in a form known as auriferous pyrite. For more information please see: Difference Between Gold and Pyrite
What does gold look like in its native form/in the host rock?
The appearance of gold is dependent on how it is formed. Native gold, in a good mine, will look exactly like what it is. Gold. Gold is soft. It can be “dented” with the tip of a knife or other hard object. Gold is also globulus, meaning it is not crystalline, it will not have hard edges, or any crystal formations.     Native Gold is also called “Free Gold”, or “Free Milling Gold”, this  refers to gold that can be crushed and panned out. By crushing the rock, you will break the gold out of it. It can then be panned out with water or other chemicals. Gold can also be microscopic and invisible to the naked eye. Unless you are planning a pit mine processing thousands of tons per day, microscopic gold is as good as no gold. Gold often runs with quartz. Gold also alloys with metals such as copper, iron and silver. An old miner adage is that that you always want to be on the look out for one of the 4 metals, which always occur together, those being: Gold, Silver, Copper and Platinum. The concentrations may vary, but this is a very accurate statement. This is why there are a lot of mines named “The 4 Metals”.
Where can I find the current price on Gold/Silver?
Gold Rush Expeditions, Inc. recommends Kitco website.