43 CFR § 3832.12 - When I record a mining claim or site, how do I describe the lands I have claimed?
(a) General requirements.
(1) All claims and sites. You must describe the land by state, meridian, township, range, section and by aliquot part to the quarter section. To obtain the land description, you must use an official survey plat or other U.S. Government map that is based on the surveyed or protracted U.S. Public Land Survey System. If you cannot describe the land by aliquot part (e.g., the land is unsurveyed), you must provide a metes and bounds description that fixes the position of the claim corners with respect to a specified claim corner, discovery monument, or official survey monument. In all cases, your description of the land must be as compact and regular in form as reasonably possible and should conform to the U.S. Public Land Survey System and its rectangular subdivisions as much as possible; and
(i) You must file either -
(A) A topographical map published by the U.S. Geological Survey with a depiction of the claim or site; or
(B) A narrative or sketch describing the claim or site and tying the description to a natural object, permanent monument or topographic, hydrographic, or man-made feature.
(ii) You must show on a map or sketch the boundaries and position of the individual claim or site by aliquot part within the quarter section accurately enough for BLM to identify the mining claims or sites on the ground.
(iii) You may show more than one claim or site on a single map or describe more than one claim or site in a single sketch -
(A) If they are located in the same general area; and
(B) If the individual mining claims or sites are clearly identified.
(iv) You are not required to employ a professional surveyor or engineer to establish the location's position on the ground.
(b) Lode claims. You must describe lode claims by metes and bounds beginning at the discovery point on the claim and include a tie to natural objects or permanent monuments including:
(1) Township and section survey monuments;
(2) Official U.S. mineral survey monuments;
(3) Monuments of the National Geodetic Reference System;
(4) The confluence of streams or point of intersection of well-known gulches, ravines, or roads, prominent buttes, and hills; or
(5) Adjoining claims or sites.
(c) Placer claims.
(1) You must describe placer claims by aliquot part and complete lots using the U.S. Public Land Survey System and its rectangular subdivisions except when placer claims are -
(i) On unsurveyed Federal lands;
(ii) Gulch or bench placer claims; or
(iii) Bounded by other mining claims or nonmineral lands.
(2) For placer mining claims that are on unsurveyed Federal lands or are gulch or bench placer claims:
(i) You must describe the lands by protracted survey if the BLM has a protracted survey of record; or
(ii) You may describe the lands by metes and bounds, if a protracted survey is not available or if the land is not amenable to protraction.
(3) If you are describing an association placer claim by metes and bounds, you must meet the following requirements, according to the number of persons in your association, as described in Snow Flake Fraction Placer, 37 Pub. Lands Dec. 250 (1908), in order to keep your claim in compact form and not split Federal lands into narrow, long or irregular shapes:
(i) A location by 1 or 2 persons must fit within the exterior boundaries of a square 40-acre parcel;
(ii) A location by 3 or 4 persons must fit within the exterior boundaries of 2 square 40-acre contiguous parcels;
(iii) A location by 5 or 6 persons must fit within the exterior boundaries of 3 square contiguous 40-acre parcels; and
(iv) A location by 7 or 8 persons must fit within the exterior boundaries of 4 square contiguous 40-acre parcels.