How to File Annual Maintenance

In order to keep your claim valid each year you will either need to pay an Annual Maintenance Fee to the BLM, or file a Small Miners Waiver. You must complete this by September 1st of each year, one day late and you lose your claim. Our goal is to make this process as smooth as possible, so that you can submit your payment/ paperwork on time and keep your claim(s). Below are some general guidelines for maintaining your claim. However, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call us. Just don’t wait until the last minute! We can’t help you if you wait too long. Some forms will have to be signed in the presence of a notary. Most banks offer this service to their customers free of charge.

For those who would like us to handle their Annual Maintenance paperwork, we charge a fee of $495. We will need to receive all information by July 31st. After that date, there will be a $100 rush fee. We will not grant any requests to file Annual Maintenance paperwork after August 15th. For those who would like to file their own Annual Assessment Fee we have outlined the steps below.

Disclaimer: These are general guidelines we’ve put together to help you. It’s a good idea to double check with the state BLM and County Recorders office to make sure you are paying the appropriate fees and filing the paperwork correctly.

To retain your claim(s) for another year you can pay an Annual Maintenance Fee to the BLM or file a Small Miners Waiver with the BLM. A Maintenance Fee Waiver, aka a Small Miners Waiver, can be sent instead of paying the $155 fee to the BLM if you meet the following qualifications:
1. you and all *related parties have a legal interest in 10 or fewer mining claims nationwide, (if anytime before September 1st of the next year you acquire 10 or more mining claims you don’t qualify for a Small Miners Waiver).
2. The other requirement is that you have performed assessment work since last September 1st worth $100 for each mining claim held. Assessment work is work or labor that you perform that develops your claim for production.

1. Paying the Maintenance Fee

BLMThis fee is $155 per claim.

The first step is to pay the state BLM. The easiest way to do this is to pay online at – The BLM Payment Portal. If paying online, there is no need to send any notification to the BLM State Office. The other option is to fill out the Maintenance Fee form and send it to the state BLM office where your mining claim is located. You may put all of your claims on one Maintenance Fee Form and also pay all of the fees at once via check, money order, cash or Visa/ Mastercard. The paperwork must be received by the BLM by close of business on September 1st. We recommend you take care of the paperwork and pay your fee by the end of July. It’s always better to be early.

How to Record a Notice of Intent to Hold with the County Recorder

The next step is to record a Notice of Intent to Hold with the county recorder, where your claim is located. There will be a filing fee, typically between $5 – $20 dollars; this will vary county to county. Call the county recorder’s office for pricing and then include your payment with your paperwork and include a copy of your BLM Maintenance Fee receipt. Some counties require the Notice of Intent to Hold to be notarized.

Maintenance Fee Forms

Maintenance Fee Payment Form For Placer Mining Claims
Maintenance Fee Payment Form For Lode Claims, Mill Sites, and Tunnel Sites
Notice of Intent to Hold (Note: the Notice of Intent to Hold form can vary from county to county, it’s always best to get a form from the county recorder where you claim is located)
(If you pay online you will end up filling your information in online and there is no need to use the Maintenance Fee Payment forms. For those who own claims in Idaho and who are not filing online be aware that your state has a unique form).

2. Maintenance Fee Waiver aka Small Miners Waiver

BLMIf you file the small miners waiver, you are certifying you have performed assessment work on your mining claim during the current assessment year (Sept 1st – Sept 1st), unless you staked your claim this year, in which case no assessment work is required.

Your Small Miners Waiver needs to be received on or before September 1st for BLM to exempt your claims or sites from the Annual Maintenance Fee requirement that is due on the same date. The BLM recommends that your Proof of Labor and/ or Notice of Intent to Hold, along with your processing fee, be submitted at the same time your waiver is filed.

How to Record a Notice of Intent to Hold and Affidavit of Assessment work with the County Recorder

You may have an agent submit a waiver form on your behalf, if you file or have filed with BLM a power of attorney or other legal documentation which shows that the agent is acting on your behalf.

Did you stake your claim this year?

Yes
If you staked your claim this year the next steps would be to submit a Notice of Intent to Hold with the County Recorder (some counties require the Notice of Intent to Hold to be notarized), and include a copy of your BLM Maintenance Fee Waiver receipt. Some states require that you record your Affidavit of Assessment Work and Notice of Intent to Hold to the county recorder within 30 days from the date you filed your Small Miners Waiver.

BLMNext send the stamped copy of your Notice of Intent to Hold that you received back from the County Recorder to the BLM before December 30th; No assessment work is required, because the initial Maintenance Fee was paid when the mining claim/site was located.

No
If you didn’t stake your claim this year, in addition to submitting your Small Miners Waiver paperwork to the BLM before September 1st, you must also submit an Affidavit of Assessment Work along with a Notice of Intent to Hold to the County Recorder (Some counties require the Notice of Intent to Hold to be notarized). Each state Recorder’s office has its own deadline for filing an Affidavit of Assessment Work and Notice of Intent to Hold. Most States require filing within 30 to 90 days after the end of the assessment year (September 1). We recommend you file it at the same time you file your Small Miners Waiver, so you don’t forget. In any case you need to plan ahead, because the Affidavit of Assessment Work and Notice of Intent to Hold must be sent to the county recorder and then to the BLM before December 30th. Counties can take as long as two months (Montana takes even longer sometimes!). There will be a filing fee, typically between $5 – $20 dollars; this will vary county to county. Call the county recorder’s office for pricing, and then include your payment with your paperwork.

BLMWhen you receive a stamped copy back of your Affidavit of Assessment Work and Notice of Intent to Hold from the County Recorder, send a notarized copy to the BLM before December 30th. You will need to include a processing fee of $10.00 per claim/ site listed on your Affidavit of Assessment Work. If this is your first year filing a Small Miners Waiver you must explain why no assessment work was done in previous years. For those of you who are filing your first Waiver on a new claim the reason is simply “My claim was located during the previous assessment year”. If you have been paying your yearly maintenance fee and are for the first time taking advantage of the Small Miners Waiver the reason would be “I paid a maintenance fee to maintain my claim(s) during previous assessment years”.

For all mill or tunnel site owners, there is no requirement for assessment work, but you need to file a notice of intention to hold the site(s) with the BLM. State law will dictate if you also need to file with the county or borough recorder’s office, (It’s probably a good idea to do anyway).

 

Maintenance Fee Waiver Forms

Maintenance Fee Waiver Certification
Affidavit of Annual Assessment Work
Notice of Intent to Hold (Your state might have a unique form).

Annual Maintenance Fees


Alaska BLM


Alaska BLM:
Alaska BLM State Office
222 West 7th Avenue #13
Anchorage, AK 99513-7599
Phone: 907-271-5960

Directory of Alaska District Recorders

Affidavit of Annual Assessment Work


Arizona BLM


Arizona BLM:
Arizona BLM State Office
One North Central Avenue Suite 800
Phoenix, AZ 85004-4427
Phone: 602-417-9200

Directory of Arizona County Recorders


California BLM


California BLM:
California BLM State Office
2800 Cottage Way, W-1834
Sacramento, CA 95825-1886
Phone: 916-978-4400

Directory of California County Recorders


Colorado BLM


Colorado BLM:
Colorado BLM State Office
2850 Youngfield Street
Lakewood, CO 80215-7093
Phone: 303-239-3600

Directory of Colorado County Recorders


Idaho BLM


Idaho BLM:
Idaho BLM State Office
1387 S. Vinnell Way
Boise, ID 83709-1657
Phone: 208-373-4000

Directory of Idaho County Recorders. (Although we couldn’t find an official link to a directory of all Idaho County recorders, this Idaho Passport website should have some of the contact information. A quick Google search by county is your best bet to pull up specific recorder’s offices).

**(Idaho – If you own a claim in Idaho, your maintenance fee form will be slightly different than the standard form.)


Montana BLM


Montana BLM:
Montana BLM State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: 406-896-5000

Directory of Montana County Recorders. (Although we couldn’t find an official link to a directory of all Montana County recorders, this Montana Association of Professional Landmen website should do the trick. A quick Google search by county will also pull up specific recorder’s offices).


Nevada BLM


Nevada BLM:
Nevada BLM State Office
P.O. Box 12000 (89520-0006) 1340 Financial Blvd.
Reno, NV 89502-7147
Phone: 775-861-6400

Directory of Nevada County Recorders


New Mexico BLM


New Mexico BLM:
New Mexico BLM State Office
P.O. Box 27115 (87502-0115) 1474 Rodeo Road
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Phone: 505-438-7400

Directory of New Mexico County Recorders


North Dakota BLM


North Dakota BLM:
North Dakota BLM State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, MT 59101

(Montana, North Dakota & South Dakota are all managed under the same state office)

Directory of North Dakota County Recorders


Oregon BLM


Oregon BLM:
Oregon BLM State Office
P.O. Box 2965 (97208-2965) 1220 SW. 3rd Avenue,
Portland, OR 97204
Phone: 503-808-6001

Directory of Oregon County Recorders


South Dakota BLM


South Dakota BLM:
South Dakota BLM State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, MT 59101

(Montana, North Dakota & South Dakota are all managed under the same state office)

Searching Google by specific county will show contact information for South Dakota Recorders.


Utah BLM


Utah BLM:
Utah BLM State Office
P.O. Box 45155 (84145-0155) 440 West 200 South, Suite 500
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Phone: 801-539-4001

Directory of Utah County Recorders.


Washington BLM


Washington BLM:
Washington BLM State Office
P.O. Box 2965 (97208-2965) 1220 SW. 3rd Avenue,
Portland, OR 97204
Phone: 503-808-6001

(Washington & Oregon are managed under the same state office)

Searching Google by specific county will show contact information for Washington Counties recorders offices.


Wyoming BLM


Wyoming BLM:
Wyoming BLM State Office
P.O. Box 1828 5353 Yellowstone Road
Cheyenne, WY 82003
Phone: 307-775-6256

Searching Google by specific county will show contact information for Washington Counties recorders offices.


A few more notes:
Annual Assessment Work
Geological, geophysical, and geochemical surveys may qualify as assessment work for a limited period.
Use of these surveys requires the filing of a detailed report, including basic findings.

If you transfer ownership of a mining claim that is under a waiver for the current assessment year be sure to inform the new owner of the requirement to file the Affidavit of Labor for that assessment year. This requirement does not go away because you transferred the claim.

Notice of Intention to Hold
A “notice of intention to hold” a mining claim or site is a letter or notice signed by you or your agent. It satisfies the recording requirement in those circumstances where an affidavit of labor cannot be filed, but an annual statement is required under State or Federal law. It must include the name and BLM serial number assigned to each claim or site and any change in mailing address of the claimant(s).

Temporary Deferment of Assessment Work
The BLM may grant a “temporary deferment of assessment work” to owners of 10 claims or less under certain conditions. These are conditions that restrict or deny legal access to a mining claim. You must begin action to regain access. There is no particular form for a petition for deferment of assessment work. Your petition can be a letter to the BLM signed by at least one of the owners of the claim. It must fully explain the legal obstacles preventing access and the actions you have taken to obtain access.

Your petition must include the name(s) and BLM mining claim serial number(s) and the assessment year to be deferred. A copy of the notice to the public recorded with the county or borough must accompany the petition. A non-refundable service charge must accompany your petition for deferment of assessment work. A deferment may not exceed one assessment year, but may be renewed for one additional year upon your request and upon approval by BLM if the legal impediment still exists. A notice of intent to hold must be filed with the BLM and the county or borough by December 30, which refers back to the granted deferment by the BLM serial number and date granted. When the deferment expires, all back assessment work or fees are due.


*”Related parties” means:
a) the spouse and dependent children of the claimant or
b) a person who controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with the claimant


This site includes information that is intended to help the public find legal assistance and learn about the law and legal system as it relates to mining. This site and any information provided, however, does not constitute legal advice and must not be used as a substitute for the counsel and services that may be required from an attorney.

Share