Mining Claims By PLSS Section Custom Data

Claim data distributed by the BLM is located by PLSS section. This method of location does not work with mapping tools like Google Earth or GIS applications.

This product is available with Gold level memberships

WMH has resolved this issue by merging the BLM claims data with PLSS section center coordinates. The result is data that can be mapped and visualized with a variety of tools to either do claims research, or to analyze claim data visually to determine density or other trends.

Mining claim distribution as shown by the WMH Mines Explorer Pro
Mining claim distribution as seen in the WMH Mines Explorer Pro. This is just an example of what can be done with the Mining Claims By PLSS Section Custom Index data. The package only contains CSV data.

This is the same data used to visualize mining claims in both the WMH Gold Explorer and Mines Explorer Pro.

This custom claim location data is now available for purchase as a digital package. The package contains 4 files:

  • Placer_Claims_by_PLSS_Section_DATE.csv – only contains active placer claims
  • Lode_Claims_by_PLSS_Section_DATE.csv – only contains active lode claims
  • Lode_Placer_Claims_by_PLSS_Section_Date.csv – contains both placer and lode claims
  • Full_Active_Claims_Index_DATE – this is a csv file with the full index of active claims. It has not been merged with location data and is for use in database applications or text editors.

The date that the data was retrieved from the BLM will be indicated in the file name of the claims data. Placer_Claims_by_PLSS_Section_08-01-20.csv indicates that the data was retrieved on August 1st, 2020.

Claim data is included for the following western states:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

Also included is a six-page guide on doing claims research with the BLM LR2000 application.

Lode and placer claim data visualized in Google Earth Pro.

Custom Index Claim Data Formats

All claim data in this package is in the form of CSV files.

Sample CSV data from the placer and lode claims custom index file

For reference, this is the amount of data in each custom claims index file:

  • Placer_Claims_by_PLSS_Section_DATE.csv – approximately 38,000 lines
  • Lode_Claims_by_PLSS_Section_DATE.csv – approximately 29,000 lines
  • Lode_Placer_Claims_by_PLSS_Section_Date.csv – approximately 12,000 lines

Each line in these files is a unique PLSS section that contains active mining claims.

The claims values in the placer and lode claim files are simply numbers like “5” that represent the number of claims in that PLSS section. The combined placer and lode claim file has a different format for claims numbers:

L2 – a section has 2 lode claims

P11 – a section has 11 placer claims

L2-P11 – a section has both 2 lode and 11 placer claims

In all files, claim numbers with an asterisk next to them indicate that the section is irregular or unsurveyed. Examples are 4*, L2* or L6-P3*.

WMH has manually located most of these sections and while they are generally as accurate as the standard sections, extra care should be done in doing claims research in these areas.

This view from the Mines Explorer Pro provides a broad view of placer and lode claim distribution across Nevada and California. The data used to create this view is from the WMH Mining Claims By PLSS Section Custom Data package

Important note: while the data in this claims package is deemed accurate, it is not guaranteed. The BLM LR2000 should always be used to verify information on claims you are interested in.

Claims Research With the BLM LR2000

The MTRS values in this data are formatted the same way that the BLM LR2000 uses in its search forms. MTRS values can be copied directly into the LR2000, considerably speeding up claims research.

The Claims Research document that is included with this package contains more information on how to use this data with the BLM LR2000 application.

Active Mining Claim Data Full Index

Also included in this package is the full index of active claims from the LR2000. This data is located only by PLSS MTRS value and is not mappable in most applications.

Screenshot of the full active mining claims index file
Sample data from the active mining claim full index file

The csv file contains around 550,000 lines and is intended for use in database applications or text editors. The file is too large for most spreadsheet applications.

If you are doing claims research and are at wit’s end with how slow the LR2000 is, you can open this file and match MTRS values from the custom index files you are viewing in a map application. This will considerably speed up your initial claims research, although you should always check the LR2000 for the latest info on particular claims.

Important Information on WMH Digital Products and Updated Claims Data

While we do not update the claims index files on a regular schedule, it is likely the product will be updated with the latest BLM data at least once during the six month download period, and customers will be notified of the updates if they are eligible to download them.

There are no refunds on digital products, so please contact us before purchasing if you have any questions.

This product is available with Gold level memberships