general mining act of 1872 by adam wirtz brandy stubbs n.
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General Mining Act of 1872 By Adam Wirtz & Brandy Stubbs

General Mining Act of 1872 By Adam Wirtz & Brandy Stubbs

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General Mining Act of 1872 By Adam Wirtz & Brandy Stubbs

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  1. General Mining Act of 1872 By Adam Wirtz & Brandy Stubbs

  2. Overview

  3. What does the General Mining Act of 1872 do? • The Act governs the use of Federal lands useable for mining. • The Act allow generally held public lands to be claimed by private citizens for mining purposes. • Private citizens claim a “Patent” on the land.

  4. How to obtain a mining claim. • Find Federal land that has not been claimed by someone else, withdrawn, or designated for other use that also contains a valuable mineral. • Claim the land.

  5. Patented vs. Unpatented Mining Claims • Patented-through the patenting process, the claim becomes privately owned. • Unpatented – the claim remains federal land, the miner has exclusive use rights of mining.

  6. Maintaining An Un-Patented Mining Claim • Federal Land Policy and Management Act gives 2 requirements for maintaining an unpatented mining claim. • Federal Recording System – Notices of location for the claims have to be recorded with the bureau of Land Management. • Each year miners must file a notice of intention to hold the claim with the BLM and state officials & an annual assessment of work.

  7. Annual Assessment of Work • Miners have to show that they put $100 worth of work each year – or pay $100 to the BLM (FLPMA) or you lose your claim. • Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 1993 allowed for the $100 rental fee in lieu of the yearly work requirement. • If a miner fails to provide the annual assessment of work by the deadline set by the BLM, you lose your right to the claim.

  8. How To Obtain A Patent? • There are 7 steps to obtaining a patent… • Locate Land • Survey • File Application • Notification • Qualifications • Patent • Record

  9. How To Obtain A Patent? • Locate Land • The miner must find a piece of land that is under Federal control. • The Land must contain some type of mineable mineral. • Survey The Land • The miner must obtain a plat and corresponding field notes made under the direction of the Surveyor General of the U.S. • Must Show accurate boundaries of the claim. • File An Application • The miner must file an application for the land patent with the local land office. • Given under oath, and includes the plat and field notes. • Must describe the claim, including land marks.

  10. How To Obtain A Patent? • Notification • The application and plat have to be posted on the land. • Notification must also be placed in local newspaper and local land office. • Qualifications • 60 days to submit certification to Surveyor General that a minimum amount of work has been done and that the plat is correct. • In addition, the miner must be able to show a specified investment per year until the patent is issued.

  11. How To Obtain A Patent? • Patent • After 60 days, if no adverse claim is filed, and the miner is in compliance with other regulations, the patent can be issued. • The patent is issued in return for the miner purchasing the land from the Federal Government for a set price per acre. • Record • Records of the miner’s claim must include: • Name of locator • Date of location • Description of claim including natural landmarks.

  12. Determining the Size of a Claim • At the time the General Mining Act was passed, it created very specific boundaries for claims. • Surface mines – miners may claim up to 1,500 feet along the vein or lode and 300 feet on either side of the vein. • Underground Mines - miners may claim any previously undiscovered veins within 3,000 ft. from the opening of the tunnel • Adjacent Land – Miners may claim land not used for mining but to assist in the mining process.

  13. What Rights Are Obtained? • Miners have the right to form rules and regulations for their territory, if the boundaries are clearly marked and do not conflict with U.S. laws. • Miners gain the right to possesion of their claim as well as use and enjoyment of all surface area.

  14. How To Use Your Claim • Surface Occupancy Permits • A permit given by the BLM which allows miners to actually mine for the minerals they discovered on their claim. • The BLM can determine what the terms of the permit are and can require an Environmental Impact Statement

  15. Types of Mining • Surface Mining • Open-Pit/Quarry • Strip Mining • Placer Mining • Sub-Surface Mining • Drift Mining – Horizontal Tunnel • Slope Mining – Sloping Tunnel • Shaft Mining – Vertical Tunnel

  16. Types of Mining • Open-Pit Copper Mine

  17. Types of Mining • Coal Strip Mine

  18. Types of Mining • Gold Placer Mine

  19. Coverage

  20. Land Limitations • The Mining Act only applies to Federal lands, or lands in the public domain. • The Mining Act only applies to Federal lands on which mineable minerals have been located.

  21. Persons Limitations • The Mining Act only applies to those who have established themselves as miners by profession. • The miner has to have found mineable minerals on federal land that is not claimed by another miner.

  22. Law Limitations • The Mining Act only applies as long as the claims of miners or the mining of minerals does not violate any laws of the United States. • The Act cannot impair the existing rights of miners and their already existing mining claims. • However, the Mining Act is considered to repeal all inconsistent acts.

  23. What is a Valuable Mineral? • In order to have a claim, the miner has to find a valuable mineral on the land. • A valuable mineral has been described as • “where minerals have been found and the evidence is of such character that a person of ordinary prudence would be justified in the further expenditure of his labor and means, with a reasonable prospect of success, in developing a valuable mine.” • Marketability Test – Recent Court Test • - The miner needs to show they can extract, remove, and market the mineral and still make a profit.

  24. What Is Not A valuable Mineral? • The Mineral Leasing Act (1920) removed some mineral resources from consideration for mining claims. • - coal, oil, gas, shale oil, and some fertilizer minerals • Courts have ruled that congress did not intend to include anything valuable within the mining act and have excluded certain resources. • Water, peat, stalagmites, fossils, sand, pumice, gravel and building stone.

  25. Withdrawn Lands • Not all federal lands are available for mining. • The BLM has the ability to withdraw certain lands from the Mining Act, making them unavailable for individual claims. • This power is granted by the FLPMA • In addition, lands used as national parks, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges, and other types of land that have been withdrawn or designated as unavailable cannot be claimed.

  26. Administration

  27. Administration Consists of… • Territorial Rules • Bureau of Land Management • Public Land Offices • United States Surveyor General • Courts

  28. Territorial • Miners can form specific territories, as long as the territories are marked by clear and distinct boundaries. • Within those territories, miners can create rules and regulations to govern mining as long as they do not conflict with any U.S. laws.

  29. Bureau of Land Management. • The BLM is the administrative agency that has authority over unpatented mining claims. • Miners first have to file paperwork regarding the location of their claim with the BLM and have to send the BLM their annual work assessment. • BLM’s authority comes from the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA). • Mining activities can only be carried out pursuant to receipt of a permit from the BLM. • The BLM can require an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) & require the miners to take or cease actions, in order to protect an environmental interest.

  30. Public Land Offices • To obtain a “patent”, miners have to file paperwork with the Public Land Office which oversees the application process and granting of patents. • In addition, they help ensure proper notification is given to the local community and deal with any adverse claims.

  31. United States Surveyor General • Miners are required to go through the U.S. Surveyor General in order to obtain necessary paperwork to be able to file an application with the Public Land Office.

  32. Courts • In the case of an adverse claim, the issue is settled by a court with competent jurisdiciton.

  33. Principal Elements

  34. Land Requirements • The principle land requirement is that it be Federal land, or land in the public domain. • Must be land which there is no adverse claim. • A claim by another miner for the same land.

  35. Miner Requirements • The person making the claim must be a miner by profession. • The person making the claim must have found mineable minerals on the land in question. • The person making the claim must file an application for patent.

  36. Unpatented Claim Requirements • The miner must file first file a notice of the location of their claim with the BLM. • Every year the miner must submit an annual assessment of work showing that at least $100 of work was performed , or submit $100 as a sort of rent in lieu of the work assessment. • If the miners do not meet these requirements, they lose their claim to mine the land. The BLM follows strict adherence to these regulations, even paying a few days late can lead to the miner losing their claims.

  37. Patent Requirements • An application must be filed with the Public Land Office. • Proper notification to the local community including posting on the land in question as well as publication in the local newspaper and notification placed in the Public Land Office. • Plat and field notes obtained under direction of the U.S. Surveyor General. • Certification by Surveyor General that all necessary inputs and improvements were made to the land in question by the miner including compliance with yearly input requirements.

  38. Patent Requirements • Documentation from miner that plat is correct along with a detailed description of the land in question. • Absence of any adverse claim to the land in question. • Proof of citizenship, made either by personal affidavit of the claimant or by an agent of the claimant.

  39. Key Definitions

  40. Key Definitions • Mine - An excavation made in the earth for the purpose of extracting ores, coal, precious stones, etc. • Vein – A regularly shaped and lengthy occurrence of an ore. • Claim – Something that is claimed, esp. a piece of public land for which formal request is made for mining or other purposes. • Plat – A plot of ground, a plan or map, as of land. • Survey – to determine the exact form, boundaries, position, extent of a tract of land.

  41. Links with Other Laws

  42. Previous Laws • The Mining Act specifically states that it repeals any existing inconsistent laws, but does not impair previously existent mining claims. • There is a bit of discontinuity in that the Mining Act because it overrides all previous laws, but upholds prior mining rights.

  43. Current Laws • The Mining Act provides for a lot of freedom to miners to create their own regulations and rules with regard to their mining territory, as long as they don’t violate U.S. laws. • Miners acting under the Mining Act must also act in compliance with Federal law regarding property ownership or use of Federal lands. • Miners must also act in compliance with any Federal laws regarding mining and applicable industries. • Federal law governing pollution-control and disposal of waste both on federal land and waterways also applies . • Laws regarding conservation of public lands and wildlife protection areas apply as well.

  44. Current Laws • Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) – among other things, this act allows for environmental concerns to be addressed. • It allows the BLM to require an EIS and to place conditions on land use permits to mitigate environmental damage. • The act also sets out the 2 requirements for maintaining an unpatented mining claim

  45. Current Laws • Mineral Leasing Act • This act removed some minerals from the list of valuable resources up for grabs. • - coal, gas, oil, shale.

  46. Citizen Involvement and Remedies

  47. Ways To Get Involved • Citizens can file their own claims for mineable land. • Citizens can file adverse claims to any claim that is undergoing the patent process. • Individuals can participate in the EIS process that can be required by the BLM. • A court can issue injunctions until proper a proper EIS is formed.

  48. Effects on Aquatic Natural Resources

  49. Effects of Surface Mining • Placer Mining involves sifting through gravel and sand, often along waterways. • This has an effect n the makeup and shape of riverbeds. • Strip mining along waterways leaves mineral and soil deposits in the waterways.

  50. Effects of Sub-Surface Mining • Sub-surface mining usually takes place below the water table, meaning water is constantly being diverted out of the mines and therefore diverted out of the water table. • The water table is connected to rivers and streams