In Adam Smith’s work called “The Wealth of Nations”, he states that the definition of wealth is “the annual produce of the land and labour of the society". This definition basically describes that the needs of any given nation must be satisfied to generate wealth for its citizens. Much of this “wealth” is provided by the natural resources owned by each country.
North America has been blessed with an abundance of natural resources. For 400 years, these same resources have provided the internal support needed to support the most powerful nation on the planet (which) continues to grow at an amazing rate.
Unlike other continents, North America has an incredibly vast range of natural resources, climates, and geologic features. The continent is the third largest on the planet in size and the supports the fourth largest population of people. Every environment on the earth can be found within the boundaries of North America. The richness of the land within the United States is mind boggling, and the value of the country’s natural resources places it among the top countries in the world.
In the early 1800's, the country began to pour over the initial borders established east of the Mississippi River. Tens of thousands of pioneers, adventurers, and explorers made their way past the great river and into the rich interior of the country seemingly overnight. Land was won with treaties or purchased, and other land was claimed with the spoils of war or hostilities. This “Expansion Era” into the early 1900's paved the way for a new nation which was rapidly spreading from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Multiple expansion laws, such as the Homestead Act, created provisions for citizens to move westward to settle federally owned lands. Hundreds of thousands of Americans went west to claim and work land, raise their families, and live the American dream.
It was during this incredible expansion that leaders of the growing country realized the richness of the land in agriculture, timber, cattle, and mineral values. Prior to 1872, much of the mineral law recognized by miners was that law by Mexican and Central American miners. The discovery of gold in California in 1848 sparked an unprecedented wave of migration to the west coast. Leaders of the new western states, with demands from the miners, found themselves in need a formal law established by the government. In 1872, President Grant signed into law the General Mining Act of 1872. This law was a combination of the Chaffee law of 1866 and the placer law of 1870. The mining law of 1866 had given discoverers rights to stake mining claims to extract gold, silver, cinnabar, and copper. When Congress passed the General Mining Act of 1872, the wording was changed to "or other valuable deposits," giving greater scope to the law.
The law has been revised and expanded multiple times since then:
The Timber and Stone Act of 1878, allowed private purchase of minable government land.
The Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, made certain nonmetallic minerals, such as petroleum and oil shale, not open to claim staking.
The Mineral Materials Act of 1947, provides for the sale or public giveaway of certain minerals, such as sand or gravel.
The Multiple Mineral Use Act of 1954, provides for the development of multiple minerals on the same tracts of public land.
The Multiple Surface Use Mining Act of 1955, withdrew common varieties from mineral entry.
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, redefines claim recording procedures and abandonment procedures.
Budget Restrictions of the 1994 Congress, Imposed budget restrictions which have prevented the Bureau of Land Management from accepting new applications for patents on mining claims.
The mineral richness of the United States is still being discovered. Most larger countries have been discovering and recovering minerals for thousands of years, but our country has a relatively short period of mineral discovery (just over 160 years). In that short time span, trillions of dollars of mineral wealth has been discovered, and historians and geologists agree that a great majority of the mineral deposits remain untouched.
Miners of past generations fueled the economy and the massive economic and financial growth this country experienced with primitive tools, imagination, and sheer determination. They did not have the ability to utilize the technology we have today, and look what they found! Furthermore, the laws passed by our government were put into place to ensure this dynamic catalyst is not only protected by law, but supported by law. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
This mineral wealth, in unimaginable value, still remains available for discovery, ownership, and recovery by US Citizens. The public lands owned by the federal government were specifically reserved for this reason. The same wealth discovered by miners 160 years ago remains on (and in) the ground. What are you waiting for? Have you not seen the value of these minerals?
”That all valuable mineral deposits in lands belonging to the United States, both surveyed and unsurveyed, are hereby declared to be free and open to exploration and purchase, and the lands in which they are found to occupation and purchase, by citizens of the United States and those who have declared their intention to become such, under regulations prescribed by law, and according to the local customs or rules of miners, in the several mining-districts, so far as the same are applicable and not inconsistent with the laws of the United States.”
It is your right to discover, claim, and profit from valuable minerals on federal lands.
It is your right to retain ownership of these mineral rights, indefinitely, as long as you maintain the claim according to the law.
Mining operations from past generations on these same lands were abandoned due to the cost and inability to acquire raw goods. Mining operations were also suspended to support war efforts. These lands and the mineral wealth they contain were simply forgotten. At least, that’s what the big mining companies want you to think.
You should be including this very distinct and valuable right within your investment portfolio. Name one other investment that you can make at relatively low cost which your family can retain, at absolutely no risk, for generations of use and profit?
You have the ability to decide to remove the minerals recreationally, within a small or large mining operation, or sell those rights to someone who has that desire.