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INDIA AND THE COLONIES. Notes on Mining Laws by Mr Walmesley.
In owner of surface (but The exclusive right of digging for and raising coal
subject to payment of and other minerals is vested in the owner of the royalties to Crowri except, surface, but (except in cases where the owner in respect of surface veins). has a right to mine without payment of royalty)
he must obtain a license from the Crown before digging, to be granted subject to the payment of such royalties as the Governor in Council may think fit (surface mines not exceeding 2 ft. thick not subject to royalties*). (Consolidated Statutes of New Brunswick, 1877, ch. 18, ss. 4
to 7.) In surface owner
The same remarks apply as in the case of Manitoba.
With certain exceptions, Surface owner or tenant entitled to compensation
referred to below, the mines for land and easements.
The history of Nova Scotia coal-mining is stated to be as follows, viz. :-In the early part of the present century all the minerals of the Province were granted to the Duke of York, who transferred them to the London jeweliers. Messrs. Rundle and Bridge, who sold them to the General Mining Association of London in 1827. The Company worked the mines extensively until 1857, when arrangements were made with the Government whereby the General Mining Association surrendered their claims except to certain large tracts in the various coal districts, and the public were allowed to open inines under leases from the Government.
The grants of land to the early settlers in the province of Nova Scotia contained no regular reservation of minerals. In some instances gold, silver, and precious stones only
were reserved ; in other cases gold, silver, copper, lead, &c.
As to gold, in free miners, under Under the Mineral Act (of British Columbia)
certificates granted by Gold of 1888, c. 82, relating to gold or other Commissioners.
minerals except coal. As to coal, in surface owners (sub- Acts (of British Columbia) of 1888, cc. 66 ject to reservation of 5 cents per and 97. ton of merchantable coal raised or gotten. No royalty on dross
or fine slack). In Crown
Any person may search for minerals on
any lands in the Colony, and if he finds them, may ubtain a lease from the Crown; but if he does not bonâ fide lay out certain sums in developing the mines in each of the first five years of the lease mines to revert to the Crown. Owner to be compensated for damage to surface and for easements. (47 Vict. c. 2. and 48 Vict. c. 3, 1884 and 1885.)
• The only productive seam of coal worked at present is a surface one, 22 inches thick, said to produce an excellent steam coal and is believed to extend over an area of at least 600 square miles.--(“Canada,” 1889.)
t în 1886 the sales of Nova Scotia coal amounted to 1,373,666 (long) tons.
AND THI COLONIES.
to persons to work gold, silver, or any by Mr. Wal.
Guiana, No. 4 of 1887.)
in fee simple and by public auction only,
have not been permanently purchased, such districts are
N.B.—Previous to 1884 (since 1861) minerals were reserved from sales of agricultural land, but could be acquired by paying
Under “ the Mining Act, 1874" (37 Vict. No. 13, s. 56), the Governor may grant leases of Crown lands for the purpose oi
By the “ Crown Lands Act, 1884” (41 Vict., No. 18, s. 91), the Governor is empowered to impose a royalty of not less than 6d.
By the " Mining Act of 1889” (52 Vict., No. 20, s. 2), power is given for the Government to resume possession of land sold
N.B.— The Crown may grant leases of coal mines in Crown lands, reserving a royalty of 6d. per acre and 3d. per ton of coal
As to gild and silver, in Crown ; | Mining on Private Property Act, 1884
but owner of land before 1885 (Victoria), 48 Vict., 796.
a royalty of two per cent, on the value
N.B.—The owner of private land is entitled to compensation for damage by mining for gold and silver, such compensation, if not agreed, being determined by a warden of or in a ('ourt of Mines (established under the Mining Act of 1865). Leases of easements over private lands may be obtained, in which case the compensation is to be ascertained if not agreed upon as before.
INDIA AND THE COLONIES. Notes on Mining Laws by Mr. Walmesley.
The laws of New Zealand relating to mines (other than coal mines) are consolidated and amended by the abovementioned Act. By the provisions of this Act land in proclaimed mining districts is only to be sold by the Government, subject to special conditions. The Coal Mines Act, 1886 (New Zealand), 50 Vict., No. 31, provides for the leasing of coal mines (under Crown lands) by the Land Boards, and for the regulation and inspection of coal mines. By this Act it is provided (amongst other
things) that where, for the purpose of working any mine, it is required to carry any work on or over or under any private land, or to take any such land, the Government, on the application and at the cost of the person working the mine, may take and vest in him such land as for a public work under The Public Works Act, 1882. The last-mentioned Act provides for compensation to be made to the owner of the land taken.
Correspond ence with the Foreign Office.
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if his Lordship
would cause them to be furnished with certain information 1.
which it is desirable they should obtain for the purpose
of completing this inquiry. The Commissioners have had CORRESPONDENCE with FOREIGN OFFICE. before them the reports by Her Majesty's representatives
abroad on Mining Rents and Royalties and the laws 6, Old Palace Yard, S.W., relating thereto (Cominercial No. 7, 1887, presented to SIR,
April 24, 1891. Parliament in April 1887), but they wish to obtain if I am directed by Lord Northbrook, on behalf of possible either viva voce evidence from witnesses, or, in this Commission, to inform you that the Royal Commis- case that is out of the question, replies from experts upon sioners bave been appointed to inquire inter alia“ into the the several heads which are enumerated in the accom
terms and conditions under which mining enterprise is panying memorandum. The countries as to which the “ conducted in foreign countries by the system of con- Commissioners are particularly desirous of obtaining “ cession or otherwise and the economical operation further information are Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, thereof,” and they would feel much indebted to the
* Act of 1876, principal nearly all alluvial tin.
If any competent witnesses would be prepared to com- The Commission understand that, as a rule, on the Cono Appendia to England to be examined by the Cominissioners, they tinent of Europe the right of mining is vested in, and is C. I. would be glad to know the nature of the evidence which granted by, the State, and that the State, when granting a they could give, and to have an estimate of their expenses concession to work a mine, imposes a certain tax.
Correspondand of the honorarium, if any, which it would be proper As regards (name of country) the Commissioner have had ence with the to offer them, so that application may be addressed to the the enclosed papers placed before them, but they are anxious Foreign Office. Lords of the Treasury for sanction to the expenditure. to have the information contained therein confirmed and
I have been instructed to take to the Foreign Office the supplemented.* The points on which it appears desirable particulars of papers relating to the different countries to obtain evidence as regards coal and iron mines are as referred to in the accompanying memorandum and to give follows: any further explanation which may be required.
1. The steps to be taken by a concessionnaire in order
to obtain a concession, and an estimate of the lega)
2. The terms and conditions on which the concession is The Under Secretary of State
granted; more especiallyfor Foreign Affairs.
(a.) The amount of tax payable to the State,
including the methods by which the
amount is calculated.
(o.) The terms and conditions as to working out MEMORANDUM for the InforMATION of FOREIGN
(d.) The right to a renewal of the concession on WITNESSES.
the expiration of the term. In the year 1889 a Royal Commission was appointed by
3. The power of a concessionnaire to assign or sublet his Her Majesty to inquire into “ the amounts paid as royalties,
concession: the conditions and terms on which any “ dead-rents, and wayleaves on coal, ironstone, iron ore,
such Jease or assignment is granted. “ shale, and other metals worked in the United Kingdom, 4. The powers of the concessionnaire as regards the ~ and the terms and conditions under which those
surface. payments are made, and into the economic operation
5. The powers of a concessionnaire of a mine on land “ thereof upon the mining industries of the country; and
belonging to A to send the mineral over land “ further, to inquire into the terms and conditions under
belonging to B, so as to reach a railway or water“ which mining enterprise is conducted in foreign coun
way. “ tries by the system of concession or otherwise, and the “ economical operation thereof." The Commission has 6. The powers of one concessionnaire as regards a for some time been engaged in taking evidence as to the
concessionnaire of an adjoining mine in respect of amount of royalties in the British Isles and the conditions
drainage and ventilation or underground passage. on which the same are paid. The evidence so obtained
7. To what extent are concessions commonly parted with tends to show that, speaking generally, the chief charac- by the original concessionnaires to other parties, and teristics of the English system appear to be as follows :
on what terms ? 1. The minerals (gold and silver not allied with lead or
8. The incidence of taxes levied on mines for local or other base metal excepted) do not belong to the
communal purposes. State, but to persons or corporations, who, in the majority of cases, are also the proprietors of the 9. The usual hours of working and the wages of miners, surface.
and the normal daily output reckoned for a day's 2. The proprietor does not in most cases work the
wages. minerals himself, but leases the right of taking the 10. The wages and economic position of the miner in minerals to a lessee for a term of years varying mines worked by the State as compared with his from 21 to 42 years.
wages and economic position in mines worked by a 3. The lessee finds all the capital necessary for working
concessionnaire. the minerals. 4. The lessee pays a "royalty” on the mineral extracted,
11. The constitution and powers of the council of mines generally in the shape of so much per ton. The
or of any State department controlling mining
industry. royalties on coal vary from 2d. to ls. 4d. per ton, on ironstone from 3d. to 10d., and on hematite iron 12. Generally the effect of the system in retarding or ore, from 7d. to 3s. 9d. per ton.
developing the mining industry. 5. The lessee undertakes to pay a fixed minimum rent,
whether he works the mine or not. 6. The lessee is bound either to leave sufficient support
for the surface, or to make compensation to the proprietor of the surface for the damage done thereto. He has no power to compel the proprietor or occu
2. pier of the surface to sell the surface to him. 7. If the lessee, who holds from one proprietor (A) takes a coalfield from another proprietor (B), he has no
CIRCULAR TO H.M. REPRESENTATIVES, &c., BERLIN power to bring the coal from under B's land through
Paris, VIENNA, BRUSSELS, AND ROME. the shaft that he has sunk in A's land. As a rule,
MY LORD, A makes him a charge of one penny or more per ton for every ton of coal he brings up through the
Foreign Office, April 30, 1891.
I ENCLOSE a copy of a letter from the Royal Com. Commercial, shaft on his land. 8. The lessee of a mine has no power to secure a right
mission on Mining Rents and Royalties; it will be per. April 24th.
ceived from this communication that the Commission wish of-way from his mine to a railway or port of shipment. He has to bargain with the proprietors of
to obtain oral evidence on the points mentioned in the the land that has to be crossed over. The payment printed memorandum; such evidence might be given for this right-of-way is called an overground or
either by Government officials, thoroughly cognizant of surface wayleave.”
the questions, or by private persons whether proprietors, 9. On the termination of a lease, the lessee has no legal
lessees, managers, partners, correspondents or agents in right of renewal, and the mine reverts to the pro
London, or other persons interested in mines. It is essential prietor or lessor, but in general, there is in England
that the witnesses should be quite able to give their a tacit understanding that leases are to be renewed
evidence in English. Should no oral evidence be obtainito tenants of good standing.
able, the Royal Commission wishes to receive written 10. There is no permanent council of mines to decide dis
replies to the several questions; these should be prepared putes that may arise between lessees or proprietors
by experts and not by mere compilations drawn from laws of minerals and the proprietors of the surface.
on mining or other documents. I have to request your 11. The miners in general are paid so much per ton, and
to make inquiries in any way that may appear are expected to put out a specified quantity as Lordship
representing the average result of a day's work. to you most advisable, and to report to me to what extent 12. The wages of coal miners usually rise and fall with the price of coal, but not strictly in proportion to
* These Notes, prepared by Mr. Oswald Walmesley, are printed, for
greater convenience, at the beginning of the collection of papers relating such rise or fall.
to each country.
the wishes of the Royal Commission can be met as regards C. I.
adding as far as possible an estimate of the Correspond
expenses that would be incurred, both for travelling and ence with the
maintenance and for the fees or honoraria which should Foreign Office. be paid to the witnesses or to the experts who may prepare
written replies to the questions.
It would be preferable that any written replies should be prepared in English, but if this cannot be done they
should be sent home in the language in which they are written.
The most convenient time for the witnesses to be heard vould be between the 17th of June and the end of July next; any written replies should be sent in before the end of July next.
I have, &c. (Signed) SalisBURY.
II. C. II.
Notes as to the MINING Laws in France, prepared and FRANCE.
handed in by Mr. WalMesley, and forwarded to Mr. Walmes. the FRENCH GOVERNMENT in accordance with the ley's Notes.
request of the Royal COMMISSION. History of law as to ownership of
Previously to 1791 the law as to the ownership of mines ruines.
in France appears to hare varied in character at different periods. M. Etienne Dupont, Inspector-General of Mines and Professor of the School of Mines at Paris, is of opinion that originally the French law was based upon the Roman law, under which permission to work mines was granted to explorers on payment of one-tenth part of the produce to the Imperial Treasury, and one-tenth part to the owner of the soil; that in the feudal times the rights of the Crown were split up, and, so far as concerīs the mines, passed to the feudal lords; but that the kings gradually repossessed themselves of their regal rights in respect of mines, so much so that in the 15th century a chief superintendent of mines was appointed (by Louis XI.), having power to work mines or give others permission to work them, saving the indemnity payable to, and the right of preference given to, the owners of the soil. Other variations of the law succeeded, and under a decision of the Privy Council of 13th May 1698, Louis XIV., notwithstanding his previous edicts, conferred on the owners of the soil the free right of working coal mines—a right which was withdrawn under Louis XV. in 1744, when coal mines were placed, like other mines, under the system of concessions or permissions. The concessions were not, bowerer, previously to 1791, well defined nor well respected by the power which had created them, and the need of a general law of mines made itself felt. In 1781 four inspectors of inines and quarries were appointed, and in 1783 the School of Mines was established in Paris.
The law of 28th July 1791 (passed by the National Assembly of 1789) declared that mines, both metallic and non-metallic, also bituminous substances, coals and pyrites, were subject to the disposition of the nation, in this sense only—that such substances could not be worked but by the consent of the nation, and under inspection. By this law the right of preference in obtaining concessions was given to the owners of the soil, who were also authorised to work mines in their own grounds to the depth of 100 feet without concessions. It also limited the term and areas for which concessions were to be granted to 50 years and 120 square kilometres respectively,
By the Civil Code of France (Art. 552) the owner of the soii ivas declared to be the owner of everything above and below, but subject to the laws and regulations relating to mines
On the 21st April 1810 the French Assembly, under the Emperor Napoleon I., after careful preparation and full discussion, passed the law which (with some modifications) still regulates the ownership and management of mines in France.
The preferential rights to concessions given to the owners of the soil by the law of 1791 no longer exist; but the law of 1910 (Art. 6) recognises a claim by the owner of the soil upon the produce of the mines to be regulated by the Act of Concession, and (by Art. 7) the concession confers a perpetual right which is capable of disposition and transmission like all other property, except that it must not be sold in lots or partitioned without a previous authorisation of the Government to be given in the same form as the concession.
By Art. 8 the mines and plant, &c. are declared to be immovable (corresponding with English real) property, whilst the exiracied minerals, &c. are declared to be movable, corresponding with English personal property.
It must not, however, be supposed that all the substances which in England are held to be included within the meaning of the word “minerals ” are in France the subject of concession, and so practically reserved from the estate of the surface owner.
The law of 21st April 1810 was supplemented by the three following decrees, viz. :
Decree of 18th November 1810, organising and regulating the duties of the corps of mining engineers.
Decree of the 6th May 1811, regulating the process of collection of taxes on mines (Ag. § 488, &c.). This was afterwards modified by two decrees of the 30th May 1860 and the 11th February 1874, having reference to the system of compounding for such taxes.
Decree of the 3rd January 1830, regulating the police of mines and the steps to be taken for the prevention of, or in cases of, accidents,
A law of the 27th April 1838 provided for a general system of contribution amongst concessionnaries in the event of the tlooding of their mining district, and established the right of the administration to withdraw concessions under certain circumstances and subject to certain restrictions.
A law of the 17th June 1810 has reference to salt mines, which had not previously been brought within the provisions of the law of 1810.
A decree of the 23rd October 1852 forbade the union of different concessions without the consent of the administration.
A law of the 9th of May 1866 abrogated the provisions of the law of 1810 (Arts. 73 to 78), which had rendered it obligatory to ohtain the previous permission of the administration to the establishment of furnaces, forges, or manufactories of iron, and also the corresponding provisions of the same law (Arts. 59 to 67, 70, 79, an:1 80), which had made it obligatory upon the owners of minières and the concessionnaires of iron mines to keep the owners of furnaces (maîtres des forges) in their neighbourhood supplied with iron ore, and which had authorised the latter to work the minières in their neighbourhood if not sufficiently worked by the proprietors. Manufactories of iron were in fact before 1866 specially protected industries; the law of that year made them free and brought them within the sphere of the ordinary economic law of supply and demand (Dupont, 440).
The law of 1810 was again modified by the law of 27th July 1880, which substituted a new text for certain Arts. (11, 23, 25, 42, 43, 44, 50, 70, 81, and 82), leaving intact the numerical division and the principal features of the old law. The modifications made by the law of 1880 in effect bear upon the following points, viz. : reduction of the right of protection for dwelling-houses against the opening of new works ; diminution of the length of inquiries relative to the institution of concessions ; declaration of the mode in which the royalty payable to the owners of the surface is to be ascertained (Ag. § 282); regulation of procedure for occupation of land within the areas of concessions; the power of opening works for safety or communication outside the areas of concessions; extension of the power of official supervision over mines ; regulation of the relations between parties simultaneously working mines and minières on the same bed of iron ore; and amplification of the provisions relative to the power of the administration in reference to carrières.
Further legislation on the subject of mines which is now in contemplation is referred to more fully hereafter.
The following table is intended to illustrate the classifi. cation of such mineral substances according to the existing French law, with the rules as to ownership, &c. of the different classes :