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BLM 2017 Budget and Changes to MIning Claims

I've read proposals for both the 2016 and 2017 BLM budget, which would do away with the small-miner exemption, and shift new hard-rock claims to a system where royalties must be paid. Obviously it didn't go through for 2016, but they're trying again. Does anyone have any more information on this? If we have to pay the $165 (or more) per claim, I'd have to let some of my claims go, which is obviously their objective.
  However I think this would conflict with the mining law, which requires us to do the annual labor. Also, when would it start the new rules? Established claims would be exempted, so I'd need to go stake a few I've been eyeing before then. Thoughts? One of these links should get you to a PDF copy of the proposal.

Small miner exemption change applied to placer claims and is based on 20 acre allotments per waiver exemption if you have more than 10 claims!  Under 10 and the waiver is still applicable.   As an example would be claimants who have more than 10 and large acreage claims....then the annual fee is per every 20 acres they hold...not merely per claim!

Something I learned this year when I sold a 40 acre placer is that a single person cannot own an association claim. It must be (in my case)broken into two or more 20 acre claims, and treated as two claims.

That is true; and has gone unchanged for a long time. However the BLM was allowed to change the maintenance collection fees. They made each fee apply to 20 acres (when a claimant has more than 10 claims) as opposed to allowing a larger acreage claim to be counted as one claim. Thus GPAA, LDMA and other major mining clubs, with huge acre-aged claims, were forced to let them the maintenance fees were in the many many thousands of dollars.

I figure that was exactly the point. To do away with the mining clubs, small mining businesses, and what they call "claim-flippers".

Here are the facts:
The BLM made it clear up front in their Federal Register recording regarding the fee increase.
"The law precludes the BLM from exercising discretion as to the level of fees or when they are due"
Partial Maintenance Fee payments must be corrected within 30 days of notice:
"43 CFR 3830.94
(a) (1) When BLM determines that you have filed any document that is defective or underpaid a fee or service charge, BLM will send a notice to you by certified mail-return receipt requested at the address you gave on:
(i) Your notice or certificate of location;
(ii) An address correction you have filed with BLM; or
(iii) A valid transfer document filed with BLM.

(2) The notice provided for in paragraph (a)(1) of this section constitutes legal service even if you do not actually receive the notice or decision. See 1810.2 of this chapter.
(b) If you have filed any defective document other than a defective fee waiver request, you must cure the defects within 30 days of receiving BLM's notification of the defects.
(c) If you have submitted a defective fee waiver request, you must cure the defects or pay the annual maintenance fees within 60 days of receiving BLM's notification of the defects.
(d) If BLM does not receive the requested information in the time allowed, or if the matter is statutorily not curable, you will receive a final decision from BLM that you forfeited the affected mining claims or sites."

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