The prices established for mining claims is typically based on a number of attributes. Each of these attributes carry certain weight with regards to the characteristics of the mining claim being sold. An attribute that is common to all should be the ability to locate and recover precious minerals. When shopping around for mining claims just keep in mind that you most certainly get what you pay for. Recovery expectations must be considered and based on the price you pay.
Prices will vary based on many things, but some of the most critical (and often overlooked) is accessability and water. Most gold recovery equipment requires the use of water, so you probably need a source on the claim or nearby. Access to the claim is very critical. Can it be accessed with a vehicle? If so, do you need 4WD? How far away is the claim from local establishments or a town with needed ammenities? All these must be considered, and a mining claim with good access and nearby to ammenities will typically cost more than a mining claim with poor access and far from town or other desired creature comforts like cell phone reception.
"Recreation" or "Mining" prices
There is no such thing as "recreational mining claims". All mining claims are "mining claims", typically public lands on which a mineral discovery is made and those minerals can be recovered for a profit. You will see many people selling "recreational" claims, meaning that gold can be found on them using gold recovery equipment typically designed for recreational use. This means that those types of claims may not be suited for a mining operation. Mining claims like this are typically cheaper than those claims which contain a resource that can be commercially mined using larger mining equipment. Physical characteristics of mining claims play an important part of determining "how" the mineral can be mined for a profit.
Sale or Lease
Mining claims can be sold or leased, depending on the desires of the claim owner(s). Mining claims offered for lease typically involve a fixed period of time and a fixed price. Some owners may require a recovery royalty, so be sure to discuss all the terms of a lease with the owner. Claims being sold involve the offical transfer of the claim with both the County and with the Bureau of Land Management. Both steps must be completed before the transfer of the claim is complete. When discussing the purchase of a claim, make sure you address these critical steps with the owner before you agree to the purchase. Make sure you know who is completing the steps of ownership transfer and verify (with the County and BLM) that those steps have been completed.