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Character of the Labor or Improvements

Terry Noble Fiske, Annual Assessment Work (1970)

The basis of the subject of this institute is a federal statute, section 28 of Title 30, United States Code. Consequently, its wording must be examined first in the search for an understanding of what will satisfy its requirements. With regard to each located, unpatented mining claim upon the public domain, the statute specifies that: not less than $100 worth of labor shall be performed or improvements made during each year. Although from the wording of the entire section it clearly applies to lode claims, it is equally applicable to placer claims. In considering the character of labor and improvements which are acceptable for annual assessment work, the precise scope of this topic should be stated. What is involved here is an analysis of the type of labor or improvements which may satisfy the requirement for annual work for maintenance of a validly located, perfected, unpatented mining claim. This excludes consideration of the entirely different factors of exploration or other work, and possession, prior to discovery and the completed location of a valid mining claim. Furthermore, because the requirement for $500.00 worth of labor or improvements as a prerequisite to patent and the issue of the situs of improvements or performance of labor are considered in separate topics, they are disregarded in this discussion. The federal statute contains no express criteria for determi