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MINING LAWS OF THE WORLD
OF LINCOLN'S INX, BARRISTER-AT-LAW
SWEET & MAXWELL, LIMITED, 3 CHANCERY LANE, LONDON, E.C.
A LOVE for mining enterprise seems to be associated with the English language, as in nearly every part of the world where mining is carried on Englishmen, or English-speaking Americans, are to be found taking an active part in the work as mining engineers or otherwise, whilst a still larger number at home or abroad are interested financially in mining undertakings or concessions. To such persons it must often be a matter of importance as well as of interest to have an opportunity of inquiring for themselves into the laws regulating the acquisition, holding, or carrying-on of their undertakings or concessions. It is therefore somewhat strange that, although one or two authors have glanced at the subject, no work appears to have been hitherto published in the English language dealing comprehensively with the mining laws of different countries. Some information in relation to such laws has been recently supplied in the “Reports of Her Majesty's Representatives abroad on Mining Rents and Royalties and the Laws relating thereto," published as a Blue-book in 1887 (Commercial No. 7), which were obtained by the Government at the request of Mr. Stanhope, M.P., and further information was furnished in the reports of the Royal Commission on Mining Royalties, which was appointed in 1889, and which has recently issued its final report, and to which Commission some of the following notes were rendered as evidence.
The purposes for which the Blue-book was obtained, and the Commission was appointed, however, were limited, and did not admit of the subject being then dealt with in a manner at all proportionate to its vast and complicated nature. It could not indeed be dealt with here in complete detail within a reasonable space; but I have endeavoured in the following pages to supply a sort of index at least to the mining laws of the chief countries of the world, and to furnish an abstract or analysis of the law relating to mines in each particular country in which the mining industry is of any positive importance. Thus, whilst I trust that these notes will not be found altogether unworthy of the notice of my own profession, I may say that they have been principally designed as a guide to persons who may be engaged in or proceeding to take part in mining enterprises in foreign countries and the colonies, or who, for other reasons, wish to enquire for themselves into the laws relating to concessions of mines, and other mining undertakings abroad. Incidentally I have endeavoured to assist in the study of what must undoubtedly prove an interesting subject to the student of comparative jurisprudence, and with this view I have endeavoured to supply complete and accurate materials for the purpose, and to frame the abstracts of laws in such a shape as will permit of their sub-divisions being conveniently compared with each other.
In the preparation of the following notes, I have been greatly assisted by Mr. Thomas Emerson Forster, mining engineer, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, who has collected on the spot much of the information contained in them, relating to the Australasian Colonies, and whose considerable experience of
of colonia] mining has qualified him to collect and to assist me in arranging,
in a suitable manner, such of the information at my command as is likely to be of practical use to readers of these pages.
I also desire to express my grateful acknowledgment of the great kindness shown to me by numerous gentlemen officially or practically connected with mining matters in different countries, who have generously assisted me by furnishing information or revising portions of the following pages; and I can only regret that, having regard to the manner in which they are scattered over the world, time does not permit of my communicating with them all for the purpose of obtaining permission to mention their names in making this acknowledgment.
It remains to add that, in attempting to analyse the mass of mining legislation existing in the various countries dealt with, it is hardly possible that all errors or inaccuracies should have been avoided. It can only be said that every possible effort has been made to ensure complete accuracy, and it is at least trusted that the errors which may be found to have occurred will be few in number and unimportant. Any notification of an error or inaccuracy would, however, be gladly received by me, with the view to possible correction at some future time.
Much of the information given in the following notes has been collected from the French and Belgian text-writers, whose names and works (referred to by abbreviations as below) are as follows, viz. :DUPONT.—Cours de Législation des Mines, par M. Etienne
Dupont, Inspecteur Général des Mines et
Professeur à l'Ecole des Mines, Paris.
Giraud, conseiller à la Cour de Cassation, Paris.