My closest neighbor works in our local Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office. He told me that the lady in the cubical next to his handles mining claims. She has told him that there has been a significant increase in new mining claims. What she is confused about is that where many of the claims have been made, there is no evidence of any minerals. She told my neighbor that she researched to law and there is no requirement to prove that there are minerals to be mined at a claim site.
My neighbor feels that people who are filing these claims, are getting locations set up where they can go to if the Schumer Hits the Fan (SHTF). It is very cheap to file a claim and the fees have not gone up in decades. Living here in the west ,there are plenty of old mines that are not being worked, that have gated roads and no trespassing signs. It is my understanding that the owners of the claim just need to do the yearly assessment work to keep it.
I am sure there are readers with a lot more knowledge of mining law than me that may be able to verify that this might be a viable way to obtain an inexpensive retreat.
Here is some more information on mining claims. It looks pretty good for those getting started on a small budget.
From eHow: How to File a Mining Claim
Regards, – P.D.