I know your having issues with the BLM over the gravel, that’s what they consider a leasable product and they have discretion to allow that sort of activity or not. But a mine they pretty much have to allow in almost all cases. If this is an old river bead there may be placer deposits of gold and such. If you stake a mining claim on it for gold harvesting you can collect the tailings as a byproduct. It doesn’t take that much more effort to collect a little gold out of most gravel, and there is no law saying the mine has to actually turn a profit.
Also the little boy in me just wants to do some real mining. All the blue are areas where people have tried mining in the past, the black triangles are where mines are that were commercially successful to some extent in the past. From what I’m seeing the mines near us collected Zinc, Silver, Copper and Lead. Prices for metals are going up and what was not commercially viable before is becoming profitable again.
Any citizen can stake mining claims, each one can be up to 20 acres. The cost to file a claim is $160 and you can renew the claims each year for free if you have less than 10 claims (200 acres).
I’m not 100% certain if a the farming coop can get into mining itself but if not we as individuals can, and we can all form a mining coop with the same people as the farming coop too, if this is the case we would just have to keep the books separate.