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Managing Unpatented Mining Claims in the United States

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Managing Unpatented Mining Claims in the United States

OVERVIEW

The small size and large numbers of unpatented land held by mining companies operating in the United States provides a unique challenge to land management in this jurisdiction. The submission of an annual affidavit on all actively held claims is required to both the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Counties in which the claims are located. Claims in each of these Affidavit Groups can number in the thousands, and individual claims can fall into one or more counties. Failure to correctly file on each individual claim will result in the loss of that claim, without warning or notification from either the BLM or County.  Furthermore, while the cost of filing on each claim is standardized at a Federal level, fees typically vary by County, even within the same State. The volume of claims and severity of the implication for missing a filing represents significant risk to mining companies.

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MANAGING CLAIM FILING USING FLEXICADASTRE

Challenge

How to manage large volumes of claims and ensure the correct fees and Exhibits are filed with the appropriate BLM office and County in a timely fashion.

Objectives

  • Input and manage large numbers of unpatented claims.
  • Automate the calculation of the annual claim filing fees at the BLM and Counties on large groups of claims while maintaining the accuracy and integrity of the individual claim data.
  • Facilitate the generation of automated cover letters and affidavits and Exhibits to accompany the filings.
  • Ensure that the filings are submitted to the correct BLM Offices and County Recorders.
  • Automate the approval process for keeping and dropping groups of claims, regardless of their size.

 Approach

  • With the Bulk Productivity Module installed, FlexiCadastre facilitates the bulk loading and editing of claims and their associated spatial information.
  • Configurable “Groups” allow for the establishment of relevant Affidavit Groups as containers for the lists of claims that are filed together.
  • FlexiCadastre’s Map Reference functionality tags claims to the County or Counties that they fall within, and the Affidavit Groups inherit these Map References from the related claims within that group.
  • The Parameter Value functionality facilitates the capturing of the claim filing fees for both the BLM and the individual Counties. The sophisticated business rule engine then uses a combination of the Map References and  associated Parameter value to calculate the total fees, on a per Affidavit Group basis, that need to be filed with the BLM and each individual County. These Parameter Values hold the various fee components of the filing such as the first page fees, additional page fees, map fees and group fees, amongst others.
  • Should the BLM or County fees change, modifying the Parameter Values themselves can automatically update the calculated fees, regardless of how close to the filing deadline the fees are changed.
  • Map References and Parameter Values can also be used to select the correct BLM and County addresses for the annual filings. These addresses can be further used in document templates for the accompanying Cover Letters and Signed Affidavits.
  • The Custom Report capability of FlexiCadastre is used to create client specific Exhibits that conform to the County filing rules in terms of font sizes and margins.
  • The Approval function used in conjunction with the Bulk Productivity module can optionally be used to obtain digital Approval for the retention or disposal of large numbers of claims in bulk. The selection of individual claims and their associated Actions and Approvals can all be done from the configurable map interface.
  • Alerts for the Actions involved in the annual claim filing are setup via either configurable Action Notifications or Distributed Open Action reports sent out at user configurable time intervals.
  • A full Audit trail of the claim filing process.

OUTCOME

A fully managed Annual Claim filing process complete from planning through to execution and including all relevant documentation and approvals. 

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