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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Anyone own a mine?
bigdavevw

Joined: 28/10/2010
Location: S/W Scotland

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Anyone own a mine?
Posted: 17/05/2011 18:39:51
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Hi guys, just wondering if anyone owns a mine? Or has tried to buy a mine. How does it work? Would you just have to buy a small bit of surface area around the mine and access rights?

Dave
IP: 92.18.24.58
staffordshirechina

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Joined: 15/11/2009
Location: North Staffordshire

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Anyone own a mine?
Posted: 17/05/2011 19:30:12
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If you want a lead mine in Derbyshire you can obtain one by the process of 'nicking'.
If a mine is currently unworked (like most of them!) you ask the Crown official (Barmaster) to transfer title to you. He posts notices and if the mine is not worked by it's current or last owner, then it can be awarded to you.
You get access rights and land allocated for spoil and a hut.
PDMHS have taken title to mines that way. Also that was how Goodluck Mine first came to be owned again.
Beware though, once you have the title, you have the liability as well and you cannot just give the title back. It is yours until someone else wants it........
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toppo_69

Joined: 29/06/2008
Location: Nottingham

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Anyone own a mine?
Posted: 17/05/2011 20:13:59
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what can you be liability for?

paul
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jagman

Joined: 11/03/2007

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Anyone own a mine?
Posted: 17/05/2011 20:45:21
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toppo_69 wrote:

what can you be liability for?

paul


Nasty waste water, big holes appearing in peoples gardens, subsiding buildings.....
IP: 94.1.22.77
toppo_69

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Anyone own a mine?
Posted: 17/05/2011 20:49:25
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thanks for that, i didnt think of things like that IP: 82.19.22.59
Graigfawr

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Anyone own a mine?
Posted: 17/05/2011 20:57:31
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bigdavevw wrote:

Hi guys, just wondering if anyone owns a mine? Or has tried to buy a mine. How does it work? Would you just have to buy a small bit of surface area around the mine and access rights?

Dave


Depends what is offered for sdale: might be surface only, might be mineral rights only with no surface access. The extent of the surface or the underground might vary considerably and might include access through other surface lands or access. through other underground workings - for people / vehicles / remobval of mined products / for drainage / for ventilation. The details depend entirely on what is specified in the lease or freehold (either might be sold). The mine might be sold subject to similar rights in favour of other land / mineral owners. There might be obligations of maintenance of surface or underground featurers. The variety is almost infinite. Precisely what was owned would affect the liabilities for pollution, for flooding, for subsidence, for public safety. Details tend to differ significantly depending upon what minerals the mine worked with coal differing in detail compared to metalliferous minerals for example. The details have long been fertile ground for the legal profession....
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Ty Gwyn

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Location: Lampeter

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Anyone own a mine?
Posted: 17/05/2011 21:47:50
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staffordshirechina wrote:

If you want a lead mine in Derbyshire you can obtain one by the process of 'nicking'.
If a mine is currently unworked (like most of them!) you ask the Crown official (Barmaster) to transfer title to you. He posts notices and if the mine is not worked by it's current or last owner, then it can be awarded to you.
You get access rights and land allocated for spoil and a hut.
PDMHS have taken title to mines that way. Also that was how Goodluck Mine first came to be owned again.
Beware though, once you have the title, you have the liability as well and you cannot just give the title back. It is yours until someone else wants it........



When you mention ,you get access rights and land allocated.
I presume this would only be on Common land,even though ,that is usually owned by some Duke or Lord,as surely if the land was Privately owned,then a deal for access would have to be made with the land owner.?
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bigdavevw

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Posted: 17/05/2011 22:39:08
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Hmmmm there is a lot to it then, i dont like the idea of being liable for subsidence!!!! Oh My God Cursing Shocked

Might look into this more, how cool would it be to have your own mine, running abseiling courses down it or something Cool
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Graigfawr

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Posted: 17/05/2011 22:39:20
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"When you mention ,you get access rights and land allocated. I presume this would only be on Common land,even though ,that is usually owned by some Duke or Lord,as surely if the land was Privately owned,then a deal for access would have to be made with the land owner.?"

I'm not very familiar with historic details of mines on common lands but with regard to mines on non-common land:

If the surface lands of a mine did not have direct access to a road or to a railway, the mine might be sold with the right to use a roadway or to lay a tramway across the intervening land, often along a specified route; there might be a levy based on tonnages of materials moved across the intervening land ('wayleave'). Such pre-existing rights would usually have been obtained by the previous owners of the mine and be assigned to the new owners. In the absence of such rights being sold with the mine, it would be necessary for the new owner to negotiate rights - and the adjoining landowers might charge relatively high prices for such rights and levey high wayleaves if the only viable access routes lay across their land. Mines could also possess rights of underground access or drainage through adjoining mineral owner's land or through adjoining mines; again a wayleave might be levied; also there would usually be a defined apportionment of maintenance costs. In areas of fragmented mineral ownership this could become complex.
IP: 92.26.148.78
derrickman

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Joined: 18/02/2009

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Posted: 18/05/2011 00:05:32
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there was much discussion of this at Combe Down, where the workings lay under the village.

One central issue was who owned the mines under the specific plots, given that there was no equivalent of the Bar Master and the original owners were long lost.

The conclusion was that as they formed a continuous series of workings with various accesses, the individual plot owners could not be the mine owners in any meaningful sense. The local authorities were deemed to be the owners on the basis that SOMEONE must be, and there were no other credible options.

However once the workings were stabilised ( backfilled ) the ownership was transferred to the plot holders. A few householders thereby found themselves the nominal owners of short sections of working in the boundaries of their gardens. The remaining open sections, plus sections stabilised by shotcrete and remaining in use as bat habitats, remained with the local authority, subject to abandonment procedures.

There were no known pollution issues since there was no actual ore, they being quarries for building stone




--

He knew the magic monotony of existence between sky and water: the criticism of men, the exactions of the sea, the prosaic severity of the daily task, because there is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea.
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staffordshirechina

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Anyone own a mine?
Posted: 18/05/2011 07:51:58
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Under the Derbyshire laws, it doesn't matter who owns the land, you have a right of access once the mine has been awarded to you.
There are some exceptions about where you can mine eg.
orchards, churchyards.
These laws do not apply outside Derbyshire though.
As has been said, the lawyers always have a field day with mining rights.
IP: 95.148.27.165
AR

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Joined: 07/11/2007
Location: Knot far from Knotlow in the middle of the Peak District

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Posted: 18/05/2011 08:25:29
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There's a small mineshaft on the land we rent to keep our ponies on, it's only 20' deep and doesn't go though! I did briefly consider nicking the title just for the fun of it, but as Les points out there are a lot of strings attached, not least of which is that to nick a Derbyshire mine you have to at least make a show of working it, which then means the Mines Inspectorate will take an interest....

--

I sold my soul to Satan, but he brought it back and demanded a refund....
IP: 194.159.145.70
Ty Gwyn

Joined: 30/10/2009
Location: Lampeter

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Posted: 18/05/2011 10:03:07
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Thanks Staffordshire,
So being unique to Derbyshire,this guaranteed access, i would imagine has caused many a bust-up over the years,with landowners.

Was there a set Wayleafe payment for this access?

Also did this Guaranteed access work for Coal as well as other Minerals?
IP: 86.146.166.229
AR

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Posted: 18/05/2011 10:58:40
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Ty Gwyn wrote:

Thanks Staffordshire,
So being unique to Derbyshire,this guaranteed access, i would imagine has caused many a bust-up over the years,with landowners.

Was there a set Wayleafe payment for this access?

Also did this Guaranteed access work for Coal as well as other Minerals?


No on both counts - the right of access to the mine required no payment to the landowner, although it only applied to the miner(s) and lapsed if the title fell into abeyance. This only applied to mining lead and does not apply to coal or other minerals, although mining gangue minerals usually involes mining lead so you'd normally need the title to mine lead on a vein in order to get the gangue out, plus you have to negotiate with the landowner to remove any gangue minerals as they are explicitly set out in the Derbyshire mining acts as belonging to the landowner.

--

I sold my soul to Satan, but he brought it back and demanded a refund....
IP: 194.159.145.70
ttxela

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Anyone own a mine?
Posted: 18/05/2011 11:49:10
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AR wrote:

There's a small mineshaft on the land we rent to keep our ponies on, it's only 20' deep and doesn't go though! I did briefly consider nicking the title just for the fun of it, but as Les points out there are a lot of strings attached, not least of which is that to nick a Derbyshire mine you have to at least make a show of working it, which then means the Mines Inspectorate will take an interest....


I recall this being discussed at some length elsewhere. Is it not the case that you would also need planning consent particularly within the national park if you were going to actively mine your mine?

Also a few are SSSI's which would prevent active mining?

If you just wanted to use it as an activity provider I guess some of these would not be relevant.

Mind you I can't think of any mines owned outright by activities providers, there's probably a good reason for that.
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sougher

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Posted: 18/05/2011 11:59:48
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For further reading about the complicated laws of the Derbyshire Barmote Court relating to the lead mining area of the Peak District, called the King's/Queen's Field (depending upon which monarch is on the throne) which lies in northern Derbyshire, and to save repeating what has previously been written, please go to the Forum Topic "The Derbyshire Barmote Court - the leadmining court, it's laws and customs" which appeared on the Forum on 16/04/2009.

A excellent book to read about the Barmote Court and Derbyshire Lead Mining customs and laws is:- "Lead and Lead Mining in Derbyshire by Arthur H. Stokes, F.G.S. which was reprinted by the Peak District Mines Historical Society (my copy is 1973, but there is a later edition). It also includes the well known poem composed by Edward Manlove who was the Steward of the Barmote Court, which was printed in 1653, he set down the laws of the Court in rhyme, so that the miners most of whom were illiterate, could memorise it and thus be acquainted with the laws. An extract from it is:-

"By custom old, in Wirksworth Wapentake
If any of this nation find a Rake,
Or Sign, or leading to the same; may set
In any Ground, and there Lead-oar may get;
They may make crosses, holes, and set their Stowes,
Sink Shafts, build Lodges, Cottages or Coes.
But Churches, houses, gardens, all are free
From this strange custome of the minery."

The poem is about six foolscape pages long, so too long to include all of it here. Another interesting extract from it describes the punishment dealt out to thieving miners:-

"For stealing oar twice from the minery,
The Thief that's taken fined twice shall be,
But the third time, that he commits such theft,
Shall have a knife stuck through his hand to th' Haft
Into the Stow, and there till death shall stand,
Or loose himself by cutting loose his hand;
And shall forswear the franchise of the mine,
And always lose his freedom from that time".

I had three caving friends in the mid 1950's who thought it would be a great adventure to go commercial, and duly "nicked" an old lead mine (the name of which will remain anonymous) under the laws of the Barmote Court. After putting up a stow, the Barmaster carried out his customary visits in the required three weeks, no objections were received, a "dish" of lead ore (n.b. a "dish" is the equivalent of 14 pints of water in Wirksworth Wapentake where the mine is situated) was produced from the mine, ownership was granted, and the Barmaster nailed a notice to a tree by the shaft giving them ownership of the mine by authority of the Barmote Court. They commenced mining, looked after the shaft and kept it safe (we lidded it in the late 1970's) but lost interest - I don't think they made any profit. Alas the years rolled by, we all grew a lot older and our days of going below ground diminished, but I kept in touch with two of the trio, then in 1998, the eldest of them visited me, and as he was retiring abroad he'd decided to dump the remains of his caving books and records on me, and I discovered later the Barmote Court's Notice of Ownership of this mine amongst these records. I phoned the third member of the trio, and he immediately collected the Notice from me, because under the Barmote Court laws (many of which were legalised under two Acts of Parliament passed by Parliament in the early 1850's) the three of them (and their descendants) - unless anyone else in the meantime "nicks" the mine - are still fifty five years later, legally responsible for all claims that could be made against them, i.e. such as from the landowner for subsidence; anyone falling down the shaft and injuring themselves; claims from farmers for animals falling down the shaft, etc., etc., the legal implications are unending and frightening (the mind boggles!). Of the trio, one moved away and his whereabouts is unknown, the second one died, and the third is now in his late 80's and hoping that he and his descendants are never found. So please beware there can be very serious implications and legal responsibilities involved in owning a mine!

p.s. I ommitted to say that the two Acts of Parliament have never been repealed, so are still law. The Barmote Court used to sit bi-annually but now only convenes annually in April each year at the Moot Hall at Wirksworth, it is an industrial court dating back to the 13th century, it must be unique and the only one of it's kind left in England. It would be interesting to learn of any others - if they exist.
IP: 94.8.103.121 Edited: 18/05/2011 12:43:48 by sougher
AR

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Posted: 18/05/2011 12:58:11
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Both of the Derbyshire acts are online, the 1851 High Peak act can be seen at http://www.opsi.gov.uk/RevisedStatutes/Acts/ukpga/1851/cukpga_18510094_en_1, the 1852 Low Peak act is also online but the link I had to it seems to have broken. The important stuff is actually in the schedules, much of the first part of the act is the dull stuff about defining the powers and procedures of the court and its officials. It is still technically possible to establish a mine anywhere where lead ore occurs or claim an abandoned mine with the intention of working but the provisions of the town and country planning act still apply, so before actually working the mine you'd need to get planning permission.

As for SSSIs being excluded, that's an untested point of law to the best of my knowledge, not that I have any intention of becoming the test case.....

--

I sold my soul to Satan, but he brought it back and demanded a refund....
IP: 194.159.145.70
ttxela

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Posted: 18/05/2011 13:30:10
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Notwithstanding any of the above, I agree with the OP that as a "daydream" the idea of owning a mine has a certain appeal.

Presumably land changes hands all the time in places like the Peak which happens to have mine entrances on it and so the liabilities must be known, accepted and dealt with.

If one purchased a field or piece of woodland that just happened to have an entrance without making any claim to mineral rights or rights to work the mine, then to all practical purposes you would own the entrance and thus be able to explore your "own" mine. I guess you'd still have liability for the entrance but perhaps none for things like subsidence on adjacent land that the workings extended under?

(Sorry, the above reads like a statement of fact, it is just speculation)
IP: 91.143.75.2 Edited: 18/05/2011 13:32:37 by ttxela
ttxela

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Anyone own a mine?
Posted: 18/05/2011 13:37:11
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AR wrote:



As for SSSIs being excluded, that's an untested point of law to the best of my knowledge, not that I have any intention of becoming the test case.....


I was going by the simplistic interpretation of the notices in places like the Wapping/Cumberland entrance which imply that the removal of material from a SSSI is an offence.
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AR

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Posted: 18/05/2011 14:54:46
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If you own the ground the entrance is on then you have a certain amount of responsibility for anyone on your land (see discussions of volenti non fit injuriam passim) but I can't see how you could be held liable for a collapse on someone else's land as having the entrance on your land does not confer ownership of the mine as a whole.

I have sometimes wondered what the legal position is with respect to someone coming to grief under one person's land having entered with permission through an entrance on another person's land...

As for SSSIs, I don't want to go into too much detail as I've never run my thoughts past mining law experts like Jim Rieuwerts, but I can see a potential clash between the Derbyshire mining acts and the Wildlife and Countryside Act. It's never been tested in a court and I doubt it's ever occurred to English Nature that this could happen. However, it's such a fine point of law it would need resolving in one of the higher courts if it ever did come about, hence why I'm not about to test it. Ask me over a beer some time and I'll explain.....

--

I sold my soul to Satan, but he brought it back and demanded a refund....
IP: 194.159.145.70
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