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Code of ethics for responsible metal detecting

Before beginning metal detecting one must always be aware of the legal requirements for your area, this could involve Federal, State, County and/or Local legislation. It would be very difficult to list, and keep up to date, with all the legislation for each region in one location. Therefore, we recommend that if you are unfamiliar with the legislation in your particular area please talk to your nearest Minelab dealer who should be able to offer you good practical advice, as well as advising how to keep up to date with the latest legal requirements.

Minelab also recommend that you join a metal detecting club or association that encourages responsible metal detecting to ensure you get the maximum enjoyment from this diverse and rewarding activity.

Regardless of the region that you detect, there are a number of best practices that should always be adhered to:

  • Do not trespass; always respect private property and do no metal detecting without the owner's permission.
  • It is advisable to get permission in writing, and to get agreement in writing first to avoid disputes regarding the ownership of any subsequent finds.
  • Never do anything that might contaminate wells, creeks or other water supplies.
  • Respect the country code, leave gates as they are found, do not damage crops, never deliberately disturb wild or domestic animals.
  • Never litter, always gather or collect any trash or debris you create or find.
  • Leave as little sign of your passing as possible.
  • Always use the correct digging or probing equipment to make the least intrusion or marks.
  • Always fill in your holes, including ploughed fields and beaches.
  • Never throw trash finds back in the hole.
  • Report the discovery of any items of possible significant historical value to a local historian or museum in accordance with the latest legislation of your area.
  • Never go metal detecting around archaeological monuments.
  • Report any live ammunition or other potentially lethal or toxic objects you may find to authorities after carefully noting or marking the location. Do not attempt to move or interfere with any such devices.
  • Report all finds to the landowner/occupier.
  • Protect the metal detecting hobby by being a good will ambassador at all times.
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