Here is a copy of my comunications with the BLM reguarding these changes.
"This change was just brought to my attention by a fellow prospector.
I can't seem to find any info showing the new fees.
Can you provide an actual cost per 20 acres?
Please find an excerp below.
Sec. 430. Section 10101 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (30 U.S.C. 28f)
`(2) PLACER MINING CLAIMS- The holder of each unpatented placer mining claim located pursuant to the mining laws of the United States located before, on, or after August 10, 1993, shall pay to the Secretary of the Interior, on or before September 1 of each year, the claim maintenance fee described in subsection (a), for each 20 acres of the placer claim or portion thereof.'; and
(2) in subsection (b), by striking the first sentence and inserting the following: `The claim main tenance fee under subsection (a) shall be paid for the year in which the location is made, at the time the location notice is recorded with the Bureau of Land Management.'."
"The fee will still be $140 but will be required for every 20 acres or portion thereof of a placer mining claim. The fees remain the same for lodes, mill sites and tunnel sites…$140 per claim. For example, if a claimant locates and records a 40-acre placer claim, the initial and annual maintenance fee will be $280 for that claim. If a claimant locates and records a 66-acre placer claim, the initial and annual maintenance fee will be $560.00 ($140 for each 20-acres and $140 for the remaining 6 acres). As soon as the new regulations are published in the Federal Register, we will begin collecting the fees based on the acreage in a placer claim.
The BLM will be publishing regulations soon which explains the new fee. I’m sorry I don’t have a specific date when they will be published. We have the new regulations prepared and hopefully they will be published soon."
My follow up question,
"Am I to assume that the new fee schedual will come into effect on the normal filing dates, at the end of the 2012 mining season?
Will there be any provision for a "Small Minor's Waiver"?"
"The new fee schedule will be effective upon publication of the Federal Register notice announcing the fee rate for placer claims. If we are successful in getting the notice published in May, then any new claims recorded after the publication will require payment of the new fees. In addition, the annual maintenance fee payments due on or before September 1, will have to be paid according to the new fee schedule. The BLM will give claimants a chance to cure their payments should they not be paid according to the new schedule. We understand there will be claimants that don’t know about the new schedule, so they will be notified and give a 30-day period in which to cure their payment."
My follow up question,
".....and reguarding the "Small Minor's Waiver"?"
"The maintenance fee waiver (small miner’s waiver) is not affected by the new fee schedule."
Its $189.00 first time fee. 20 acres max per claim. you can have additional unlimited 20 acre parcels but must pay the same yearly for each so if they just sit its pretty costly.
Max claim size is 160 acres, providing there are at least 8 co-claimants. Each co-claimant is entitled to a 20 acre parcel.
The annual maintenace fee per 20 acre parcel is now $140, or $1120 per 160 acre claim, UNLESS you file a "Small Minor's Wailver" ( $10 ) which will cover an entire claim up to 160 acres.
No matter what size the claim is, it will count as one claim under a waiver.