Locating and developing any mineral resources on public lands requires a substantial investment of capital, time and labor. Contrary to the current popular perception, owning and operating a mining claim is not cheap, easy or frivolous in any regard. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Virtually every valuable mineral resource we enjoy in the U.S. today is the result of costly private exploration, research and development. Therefore it is the private sector, not the government, that assumes the overwhelming risk that accompanies all mining enterprises. It is the miner, not the public, who suffers when a claim cannot 'prove up' to yeild even the amount of his/her initial investment and effort.
One who contemplates prospecting for gold should realize that a successful venture does not necessarily mean large profits even if the discovery is developed into a producing mine. Although the price of gold has increased significantly since 1967 when the fixed price of $35 an ounce was terminated, the increases in the cost of virtually every supply and service item needed in prospecting and mining ventures have kept profit margins at moderate levels, particularly for the small mine operator. In general, wide fluctuations in the price of gold are not uncommon, whereas inflationary pressures are more persistent. The producer of gold, therefore, faces uncertain economic problems and should be aware of their effects on his/her operation.
Until we have an opportunity to publish all the legal documents and procedures required to initiate and sustain a viable mining claim on this site, please use the links below to find some of the information you need:
OREGON/WASHINGTON BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT (BLM)
OREGON DEPARTMENT OF GEOLOGY AND MINERAL INDUSTRIES (DOGAMI)
OREGON REVISED STATUTES