First Class Miners, Inc.


Mission Statement

“The Corporation’s purpose is to provide education for its members, local community and others regarding placer gold prospecting and mining, and the laws and regulations governing such activities, as well as teach the rich history of mining in the west. This corporation was established as a 501c(3) non-profit public benefit charitable organization and resides in San Bernardino County, California.”

Our Story

The First Class Miners, Inc., (FCM, Inc) a family orientated organization, was founded in March of 1993. It was created by twenty students of the first prospecting class held at Copper Mountain College in 1992, hence the name, First Class Miners. The organization started as a gold prospecting club for the original twenty, but it has grown over the years until today, we average over 150 family memberships, with well over 250 total members.

In 2005 the club incorporated and became a 501(c)3 educational non-profit.  As FCM, Inc., we began to provide educational mining and gold panning demonstrations at local events around the Morongo basin.  Soon local elementary schools were requesting our educational demonstrations in prospecting, panning and mining history as part of their 4th grade programs on California history.  These demonstrations are held several times a year and have grown with the addition of a mobile historical mining museum.  Any gold found during a panning event is kept by the finder.

General Membership meetings are held six times a year, those being in Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sept, Nov.  The meetings are held at various locations around the Morongo Basin with the directions and a map published within the newsletter, website and by email. Our annual Membership Appreciation and Awards Banquet is held December.

The FCM, Inc. holds eight unpatented gold claims in and around the high desert, totaling 620 acres. There are eight FCM sponsored campouts held each year at or near our various claims. The campouts are held over weekends, usually starting on Friday and going through to Sunday. But members are welcome to come earlier and stay as late as they wish.  Gold is usually found by members drywashing and metal detecting.  Some members just like exploring the area. Saturday evenings there is a potluck dinner with a bon fire (When and where legal) after.  All family members are welcome and are encouraged to attend.  These FCM, Inc. sponsored campouts are an excellent time for new members learn how it is done so they can go out and find their gold.

If this sounds like something you might like, member information can be found here.  Come to one of our meetings we’d love to have you.

First Class Miners
P.O. Box 2127
Yucca Valley, 92286


A 501C (3) Non-Profit Educational Corporation.

Dedicated to the advancement of education in placer gold prospecting and mining.