I have an old mining stock certificate. How do I
find out if it is worth anything?
A: Most old mining stock certificates no longer have any
'stock' value but may be of some value to museums or
those who collect stock certificates. Our
Stock Certificate webpage lists what books and
agencies to use for Nevada mining stock certificate
research. The page also contains additional links
to other 'web' research articles and contact information
for a Nevada museum which collects Nevada stock
Q: Is it possible to purchase an abandoned mine site from
the Nevada BLM or the Nevada Division of Minerals?
A: Abandoned mine sites are generally not available
for sale. These old mines are features that are the
results of mining operations that occurred in the past –
some are nearly 150 years old.
One does not simply go out and buy an abandoned mine
unless you purchase a mining claim or a piece of private
land that has abandoned mines sites on it. One example
is a “patented” mining claim. A patented mining claim is
property where the owner has both surface and mineral
rights. The owner pays property taxes in the same way as
a homeowner. Many patented mining claims in Nevada date
back to the late 1800s and early 1900s and many of these
claims have underground mine workings on them. The best
way to locate patented mining claims for sale is through
a real estate agent.
The other alternative is to stake and file unpatented
mining claims. These are claims staked on public lands (BLM,
Forest Service) for the intent and purpose of locating
mineable mineral resources. A person staking such claims
needs to determine if the land of interest is under held
under prior claims. If there is no prior claimant, a
claim of 600’ by 1500’ (20.66 acres) may be located on
the ground and must be properly surveyed. Mining claim
paperwork and a location map must be filed with the BLM
and the county recorder in the county where the claim is
situated. Fees must be paid to the BLM and county
totaling approximately $200 per claim (check with the
BLM for current filing fees) for the initial filing and
must be renewed every year to keep the claim active.
The above is general information.
As always, we encourage people to avoid abandoned
mines. They are dangerous under the best of conditions.
Old timbers, cave-ins, old explosives, bad air, bats,
rattlesnakes, spiders, rodents that may carry
hantavirus, and falling are among the dangers. Our motto
regarding abandoned Mines is: “STAY OUT AND STAY ALIVE”.
Q: I own a piece of property. How do I determine if
I own the oil and mineral rights?
A: A separation of the mineral estate should have
been noted in a title search. Title records can be
examined at the county courthouse.
Q: How do I determine the valuation of mineral potential
on my property?
A: A valuation of the mineral potential can be done
by a qualified geologist, preferably a CPG (certified
professional geologist). A list of qualified geologists
in Las Vegas can be obtained from the Geological Society
of Nevada (775-323-3500).
Q: I will be visiting Las Vegas in the next couple of
months and I would like to know of any locations in or
around Las Vegas where I can go rock hunting/collecting.
A: Unfortunately, there are no designated
collection sites in the Las Vegas area.
You may want to get a copy of the publication,
“Rocks, Gemstones, Minerals, and Fossils in Nevada.” The
publication is available through the Nevada Bureau of
Mines and Geology at
http://www.nbmg.unr.edu/ or through local libraries.
The previous version of this map was called the
“Rockhound’s Map of Nevada.” Please note that the map
only notes “a sampling of occurrences of gemstones,
minerals, fossils, and other rocks in Nevada. The
inclusion of a locality on this map does not constitute
permission to collect.”
Collecting on your own would require finding a
suitable site and then performing land status research.
Afterward, if the area you are interested in is: 1)
Private or patented land - You must have the owner's
permission; 2) State land – In Nevada, the area is most
likely a park or historical site. You normally can not
collect on these types of land; and 3) Federal land –
First, check that the area is free of any Federal
restrictions (Military Use for example). Once this is
determined, you will need to research for mineral rights
reservations and whether the site has any currently
staked mining claims. If the area has current rights
reservations or mining claims, you must have the
You may wish to visit our 'Exhibits and Tours'
for information on collecting areas in Nevada as well as
other activities available. Please check with the
appropriate listed entity on availability and cost (if
any) of the facilities or activities you are interested
in. Some examples in the listing are: 1) Gem/mineral
clubs which you might try contacting. These clubs
sometimes have standing arrangements with
owners/claimants giving them permission to collection in
certain areas; and 2) The 'Nevada Museums, Parks,
Exhibits and Areas of Geologic Interest' section which
lists different activities available by city (location).
The areas closest to Las Vegas are: Boulder City,
Henderson, Las Vegas, Nelson, Overton, and Searchlight.
The closest rockhounding area to Las Vegas is in Ely at
the Garnet Hill Rockhounding Area which is about 5 hours
northeast of Las Vegas.
DISCLAIMER OF ENDORSEMENT: Any reference obtained from this site to a specific
product, process or service does not constitute or imply and endorsement
by the Nevada Division of Minerals, the Nevada Commission on Mineral
Resources, or the State of Nevada of the product, process, or service,
or its producer or provider. The views and opinions expressed in any
referenced document do not necessarily state or reflect those of the
Nevada Division of Minerals, the Nevada Commission on Mineral Resources,
or the State of Nevada.