I read Alan's reply about an hour ago, and have been trying ever since, to form a response that would let him down as gently as possible. Since you already Told him the "Bare Truth",
I will fill him in on some of the details that the eBay Auction probably did not include.
There is no doubt in my mind that Terry hit the nail right on the head.
If you review the eBay Auction very closely, I think you will find that there is no guarantee
that there is actually any "Minable Mineral" (meaning enough precious metal of any kind to make it worth mining) anywhere on the mining claim.
First... Mining claims are always 20 acres... So if you have 40 acres, you have two separate mining claims, that both have to be refiled on (and fees paid for) every year to keep them.
Second... There does not have to be any minable mineral in an area for the BLM to grant a mining claim on it. They will take your money and grant you (or anyone else) a mining claim in any area under their jurisdiction, that is not closed for mining, or already claimed by someone else.
My guess is that the eBay auction promised you only... that it would be a beautiful area for camping out and enjoying the scenery, whether you found any gold/silver/copper etc. or not..
My recommendation would be that you resell it on eBay ASAP before everyone else get's wise to the game they are playing.
Since you are already a GPAA Member, you already have access to hundreds of their already proven mining claims, where you can actually go and recover some gold for your time and effort invested.
On the other hand, if you are only interested in having 40 acres where you can go and "Hang-out" and claim "bragging rights" to owning a mining claim, hold on to the claims and enjoy the scenery and "Bragging rights".
A word of caution... Although you are the registered owner of that 40 acres of mining claims. You do not have any surface rights to the land. It is still open for public recreation purposes. You only own the rights to any mineral that may (or may not) exist on the property.
This means that anyone can come in, and set up a camp right beside you, and you have no right to ask them to leave. The land is till open for all forms of public recreation.
Additionally... If someone (who you have no right to expel from the property) sets up camp on it and totally trashes it, and leaves all kinds of rubbish behind, or digs holes all over it. The BLM can hold you responsible for the clean-up, and restoration costs, since you are the registered owner of the claims.