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Mine Exploration Forum

Author Mineral rights in todays world
DougCornwall

Joined: 05/08/2009
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Mineral rights in todays world
Posted: 20/09/2009 18:51:33
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If you own the mineral rights to a little old disused mine in west cornwall what does that mean in practise, can you go in and explore and have a dig around or does it mean more or less squat...anybody have any ideas?

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Vanoord

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Joined: 28/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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Mineral rights in todays world
Posted: 20/09/2009 20:51:54
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I guess it depends who owns the land itself?

It certainly gives you rights to be in there, but getting in there may be a different kettle of fishes.

What mineral are we talking?

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Knocker

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Mineral rights in todays world
Posted: 21/09/2009 01:16:42
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Well it depends, certainly if you were a mineral rights owner in the camborne area (In which case your name is probably Western United Mines), you have the most crazy rights you have ever seen! You can pretty much walk onto anyones land and dig it up.

basically when the big landowners down here sold their land on, they put a covenant in the land transfers that they (As mineral owners) and succesors (i.e. future mineral owners) could dig up, pass over or otherwise utilise the land they had sold in order to work the minerals.
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derrickman

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Mineral rights in todays world
Posted: 21/09/2009 09:57:16
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good question. 'Mineral rights' depend on the form of contract.

They are, for example, pretty much worthless per se in East Anglia, because the predominant extractive industry is shallow open-pit sand and gravel quarrying and so there is no effective difference between land ownership and mineral rights. You can't lease or rent land, quarry it and then pass it back to the land-owner in that state, and if you try to use it for landfill you will be constrained in various ways that put most of the profit in the landowners' pocket.
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Vanoord

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Mineral rights in todays world
Posted: 21/09/2009 10:09:19
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As you say, it depends on the original contract.

I know of a case locally where a stone quarry was leased for 50 years with a clause that the land should be "returned to its original condition" if the lease was handed back before its end.

The lease was handed back after 46 years and by the time the mining company realised they should have held on for another 4 years, it was too late.

After some protracted negotiations, the site had 16' bunds around the perimeter (about a mile) and the quarry floor was flattened and surfaced with gravel especially crushed for the purpose. The cost to the quarry company was enormous - and entirely caused by their inability to reads the original contract before they surrendered the lease.

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AR

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Location: Knot far from Knotlow in the middle of the Peak District

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Mineral rights in todays world
Posted: 21/09/2009 10:30:35
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Knocker wrote:

Well it depends, certainly if you were a mineral rights owner in the camborne area (In which case your name is probably Western United Mines), you have the most crazy rights you have ever seen! You can pretty much walk onto anyones land and dig it up.


The Derbyshire mineral laws still in theory allow you a great deal of liberty if you're wanting to mine lead - anyone can still prospect on any land except for highways, churchyards, and gardens, provided they make good any disturbed ground afterwards. However.... if you did indeed want to start/reopen a mine then you'd need planning permission to do so (cue environmental impact studies, etc. etc.), and of course the mines inspectorate would take an interest too!


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Knocker

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Mineral rights in todays world
Posted: 21/09/2009 10:59:03
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I'll have to dig out the deeds for my house, and give the actual wording, but it is quite scary what theoretically the mineral rights owner can do - of course what happens in practice is entirely different.

I've been dealing with a land sale at work, the solicitors were not happy with the conditions to say the least!, especially as the land contains half a dozen mine shafts that the mine can reopen any time they want - again in theory.
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derrickman

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Mineral rights in todays world
Posted: 21/09/2009 11:36:56
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re Derbyshire, the key wording is 'mine for lead'. It simply isn't possible to do this.

there is no credible business case, because there isn't any worthwhile amount of ore, and the 'barites boom' so abused the provisions, that the NP people responded in kind.

the mine companies mentioned in any of the documents are in most cases, long gone with no credible successor companies.
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stuey

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Mineral rights in todays world
Posted: 21/09/2009 12:22:10
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Am I right that one of those shafts is Trevenson Engine Shaft, which is on Cornwall's "got to have a 50m radius around it" list? I wonder why that is on the list and buried......hmmmm. There are a lot on that list which have gone, Willoughbys, Cherry Garden, etc, etc.

I can see that being a spanner in RDA works.

Cornwall is about due an updated minerals plan/protected shafts list IIRC.

My birds family have got some of the Wh Falmouth rights and Jane offered them a comedy amount of money for them in the 60's. Very odd indeed how a repeat offer was not made, as Jane was getting tricky at depth, whilst the relatively shallow Falmouth workings contain a fairly big elvan/associated mineralisation. Might be worth a crack at when pumping resumes in Gwennap. I'd be interested in seeing the core data from Falmouth......they must have drilled it.

If a lot of metals are unrecyclable in the future, in order to benefit from their presence, small mines could be made to pay if the big stuff dries up. Think about the evolution of Cornish mining and why the smaller mines and ultimately the bigger ones dried up. At some point in the far future, we are likely to need these reserves, assuming they can be worked by modern technology, perhaps around a central mill.
IP: 87.114.90.78 Edited: 21/09/2009 12:31:34 by stuey
wheal

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Location: Hampton United Engine House (East Wheal Rodney) Marazion

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Mineral rights in todays world
Posted: 21/09/2009 19:17:00
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Interesting one this. Whe I bought an converted into a dwelling the old Wheal Rodney Engine House around 10 years ago ( no listed status and the owner contemplating pulling it down and selling the granite!) we had all sorts of fun with covenants etc etc.

Included are:
excepted and reserved: .............."all mines minerals and mineral sustances including (but without prejudice to the generallity of the foregoing words) all quarries of granite, spar, silica, china clay and elvan within or under the hereditaments hereby assured together with full power for any person to for the time being and from time to time entitled to such mines minerals substances to search for win work dig and get the same"
and:
reserved rights:....."all the sites of mining shafts and all dump heaps if any within under or upon the hereditaments".......... "to use occupy and enjoy the same and also for the person to use occupy and enjoy any mining shafts dumps or dump heaps" and so on etc etc.

Interesting as we had to put 21 cubic metres of concrete in as a plug in (the filled) engine shaft before we were allowed to start work. No access there then.
However suspect if price of tin exploded then a new shaft would be strted further south and levels put out under this place. Incidentally adit level here at 10 fathoms and connected to Tregurther Downs etc. There is an open wood lined shaft next to us in good condition. Not sure if anyone ever been down there.

Wheal.
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stuey

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Mineral rights in todays world
Posted: 21/09/2009 19:49:43
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I'm up for a look if you want to know what's down there.

10F is an easy abseil. I wonder if it is a kibble shaft (boarded) or whether the ground is appaling, necessitating close timbering.
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agricola

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Mineral rights in todays world
Posted: 21/09/2009 20:28:53
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This is quite an interesting thread. A brief (very) history lesson. At some stage in the past all the surface and the land underneath it would appear was owned by the same person. Then as the surface land was sold off (severed) from the mineral rights, much of the surface was now owned by different owners, however the mineral rights were still owned by the original owner. Hopefully I have not lost anyone. This is the situation that exists in many parts of Devon and Cornwall.

When the severence took place, the owner of the surface and the minerals rights ensured that if they required access to work their minerals they kept it. Thus the owner of the minerals (legal) has still has rights to access it. To ensure that they (Mineral Right owner) can still get access for what ever reason various clauses etc have been placed in the deeds of all the surface land that was sold.

For most people, this has no effect on them whatsoever. However the luck folk who happen to live in areas where much or current mining has/is taking place, the story is a little different. My friend owns a property in Barncoose upon land which the Basset family used to own. The successors to the Bassets own the mineral rights underneath.

From what has been said by others, the agents etc of the mineral right owner do have the legal right to enter the land etc etc.

In a modern work, the legal rights for all parties exist. As I can't remember an occassion where the mineral right owner has exersised the right to park a drill rig or scooptram in someones garden I don't think that these rights have either been challenged (legally) or exercised. I do think that a modern mining company would have an interesting time trying to exercise their right without good cause.

The builder of a few homes on the edge of Camborne, sits upon land that was once part of Dolcoath Mine. Before the builder constructed the homes, he was told that the mineral owner had the right to mine underneath the area of land and that there was also the right to mine from the surface too. The homes were built. Now it should be the job of every solicitor to inform the potential owners of homes everywhere that there are mining related clauses relating to the home in question. Some might say that its buyer beware, and you should have access to this information before you buy. Happy reading.

From the information that has already been posted - has anyone checked to see what relates to their property and were they made aware beforehand. This is not the mineral owners responsibility.

As a direct result of minerals rights not being recorded, it can be difficult to find out who the owner is. One does not see they waving flags as its not in their interest to do so.

For reopening mines, well the rights are still there all depends upon price, reserves etc etc before this would happen. So unlikely in many places.
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agricola

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Mineral rights in todays world
Posted: 21/09/2009 20:31:51
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Back to the original comment / question. I would say that as the owner of the mineral rights, you would have a valid reason for entered the mine. You are checking on the minerals that belong to you. You would also have the right to extract minerals from the same. I have been underground on several occasions with the agent for a large mineral owner not WUM. We carried out a legal inspection, had the agent not being there we would have no right to be there. Hope this goes someway to answer the question. IP: 91.108.71.52
wheal

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Mineral rights in todays world
Posted: 21/09/2009 20:58:39
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The boarded shaft is a bit deeper - probably nearer 100ft with water in the bottom.
I'll ask the neighbour if we might have acces - said ok last time I mentioned it. Used to be a small windmill and pump attached.

Hands Lode of Wheal Prosper very near to the North. No access there as far as I am aware. However several open shafts on main prosper lode. St Aubyns estate I think.
Wheal
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Dolcoathguy

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Mineral rights in todays world
Posted: 22/09/2009 07:31:48
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I recall that Lord Falmouth and the Duchy of Cornwall hold quite a few mineral rights (as well as land). At the back of my mind I recall someone telling me that not all the rights to China clay belong to the current companies and so payments are made to the holders of those rights.
I guess this means that holders of the rights can elect to receive an annual payment rather than sell their rights, should another concern wish to mine in the area the rights apply to.
I presume the owner of the land associated with the rights, although he cannot stop mining, maybe to charge a rent for use of the land?
..then there are the mineral planning consents or whatever they are called which I think relate to basically planning permissions to expand any surface workings.

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Is it safe to come out of the bunker yet?
IP: 194.126.226.253 Edited: 22/09/2009 07:37:31 by Dolcoathguy
Alasdair Neill

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Mineral rights in todays world
Posted: 22/09/2009 09:30:29
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Regarding agents of mineral owners, the latter could appoint who ever they wish as their agent or agents. I believe this happened in North Wales where the mineral owners had given a caving club permission for access to a site, but the surface occupier was not playing ball. That caving club was then made the mineral owner's agent so there was nothing the surface occupier could do. Unfortunately I guess most mineral owners will not be so obliging.

Regarding surface owners/occupiers rights, I think it was/is normal that in the event of access or use of land for mining purposes coming up, they are due to fair compensation. Any mining company would of course only use surface owner's land where this compensation would be as low as possible, therefore avoid gardens etc wherever possible, & there could be covenants strictly preventing the use of such land. You sometimes come across mine reports stating surface prospecting would wait till crops had been brought in, thereby reducing any compensation as well as maintaining good will.

Many years ago I had dealings with someone who owned a property which gypsum mining operations were heading under, in the Midlands. He was adamant that as he owned the land they couldn't do this, but of course as BPB either owned or leased the minerals he couldn't, all he could ask for was fair recompense for any damages.
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