Historical Mining Claims and Active Exploration Claims

The Maine Geological Survey (MGS) assumed stewardship of the Maine Mining Bureau's mining claims maps and files after the Bureau ceased to exist by order of the Maine Legislature. These data were compiled and digitized with the assistance of a USGS Digital Data Preservation grant in 2021. The maps were scanned and georeferenced so that the claim areas and stake locations could be digitized into the MGS geodatabase. The Bureau's files, permits, and correspondence were scanned and saved as PDFs. The physical location(s) referenced in those files were digitized into the MGS database. This historical data is presented below in the web map alongside active exploration claims recorded by MGS. It is important to point out that MGS is responsible for exploration claims on State-owned lands only. Mineral exploration activities on private land will not be represented in the dataset presented below.

For more information on regulation of mineral exploration and mining, please see the History of Metal Mining in Maine, Mining in Maine: Past, Present, and Future, the Mining and Quarrying Frequently Asked Questions, Mineral Exploration and Mining on State Lands, and Mining and Quarrying in Maine.

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The claim area polygons drawn on the map above don’t mean necessarily that the claimant is allowed access to explore everything within the outlined area, only that it is allowed to explore State-owned land within the outlined area, according to the Mining on State Lands statute, 12 MRS Chapter 201-A, Subchapter 3, or laws that existed at the time.

Last updated on April 5, 2023