Several statistical compilations of mining claim activity on Federal land derived from the Bureau of Land Management's LR2000 database have previously been published by the U.S Geological Survey (USGS). The work in the 1990s did not include Arkansas or Florida. None of the previous reports included Alaska because it is stored in a separate database (Alaska Land Information System) and is in a different format. This report includes data for all states for which there are Federal mining claim records, beginning in 1976 and continuing to the present. The intent is to update the spatial and statistical data associated with this report on an annual basis, beginning with 2005 data.
The statistics compiled from the databases are counts of the number of active mining claims in a section of land each year from 1976 to the present for all states within the United States. Claim statistics are subset by lode and placer types, as well as a dataset summarizing all claims including mill site and tunnel site claims. One table presents data by case type, case status, and number of claims in a section. This report includes a spatial database for each state in which mining claims were recorded, except North Dakota, which only has had two claims. A field is present that allows the statistical data to be joined to the spatial databases so that spatial displays and analysis can be done by using appropriate geographic information system (GIS) software.
The data show how mining claim activity has changed in intensity, space, and time. Variations can be examined on a state, as well as a national level. The data are tied to a section of land, approximately 640 acres, which allows it to be used at regional, as well as local scale. The data only pertain to Federal land and mineral estate that was open to mining claim location at the time the claims were staked.