careful miners

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At one time it was fairly easy to get access to miners claims to look for gold if you were known and had a solid reputation. However, it is getting increasing difficult in the Yukon as miners are concerned about individuals pocketing what they find (as usual) but are now increasing becoming concerned about the liability they are assuming allowing people on their claims.

The liability aspect is new to me as miners did not concern themselves overly with liability in the past. althou I do understand and appreciate their point I'm loosing access to some sweet patches.

For me he case in point was a miner who had given me access to his claim for years. I took a "newbe" prospector up with me to Dawson City and althou keen, the individual was not used to heavy equipment and the need to stay well away from areas the miner did not want us near. After a couple of hours I lost track of my buddy as I was working in an area where I could not see him. Within a short time he came over to me and explained that he had just been in an area where a loader (988) had just about buried him! WHAT!!!! I exclaimed - as he told the tale of becoming disoriented and wondering in an area we had asked to keep out of - for good reason.

The upshot of that was the next year when I approached the miner to access his claim again - he said no - he had given the incident a lot of thought and he realized that if he had injured my buddy - or anyone - or if anyone had just broken a leg on his claim - he could be exposed to unwanted liability.

I really did'nt have a talking point around that one and accepted his position and have never been back on his claim. Any other folks run into this?

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Hey Yukon,

You have two points, prospectors/miners being honest about what they find and then the liability factor. I personally own a bunch of claims, so know a bit about both. For the most part, I like to believe all prospectors/miners are just looking for places to work and would be honest about what they found on some type of terms (hopefully discussed prior to prospecting). That would mean terms on find whatever you keep, but show to owner(s), or what you find is on some type of percentage split (such as 10, 15 or whatever %).

Secondly, the liability is a huge factor. For the most part, if someone would happen to get hurt on your claims, then for the most part the owner(s) could be at fault. This could mean paying for medical expenses or even a lawsuit. Lastly, this could also mean the owner(s) could loose permits and a OSHA investigation could take place shutting down the mine or claim.

I like to think all prospectors/miners are honest and if they got injured they wouldn't try to file a lawsuit since the owners would good enough to give them permission. However, this is easy to say .....

Just my thoughts quickly.

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Insiteful comments as usual Rob.

The one other aspect of the story that has changed my behavour somewhat is now an increased accountability on my part on keeping an eye on new folks I take out in the bush. Both for their sakes and mine!

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