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Areas of Placer Claims.
Sec. 2330. Legal subdivisions of forty acres may be subdivided into ten-acre tracts, and two or more persons, or associations of persons, having contiguous claims of any size, although such claims may be less than ten acres each, may make joint entry thereof; but no location of a placer claim, made after the ninth day of July, eighteen hundred and seventy, shall exceed one hundred and sixty acres for any one person or association of persons, which location shall conform to the United States surveys; and nothing in this section contained shall defeat or impair any bona fide preemption or homestead claim upon agricultural lands, or authorize the sale of the improvements of any bona fide settler to any purchaser.
Sec. 2331. Where placer claims are upon surveyed lands, and conform to legal subdivisions, no further survey or plat shall be required, and all placer mining claims located after the tenth day of May, eighteen hundred and seventy-two, shall conform as near as practicable with the United States system of public lands surveys, and the rectangular subdivisions of such surveys, and no such location shall include more than twenty acres for each individual claimant; but where placer claims can not be conformed to legal subdivisions, survey and plat shall be made as on unsurveyed lands; and where by the segregation of mineral land in any legal subdivision a quantity of agricultural land less than forty acres remains, such fractional portion of agricultural land may be entered by any party qualified by law, for homestead or preemption purposes. Placer boundaries.
SEC. 2333. Where the same person, association, or corporation is in possession of a placer claim, and also a vein or lode included within the boundaries thereof, application shall be made for a patent for the placer claim, with the statement that it includes such vein or lode, and in such case a patent shall issue for the placer claim, subject to the provisions of this chapter, including such vein or lode upon the payment of five dollars per acre for such vein or lode claim, and twenty-five feet of surface on each side thereof. The remainder of the placer claim, or any placer claim not embracing any vein or lode claim, shall be paid for at the rate of two dollars and fifty cents per acre, together with all costs of proceedings; and where a vein or lode, such as is described in section twenty-three hundred and twenty, is known to exist within the boundaries of a placer claim, an application for a patent for such placer claim which does not include an application for the vein or lode claim shall be construed as a conclusive declaration that the claimant of the placer claim has no right of possession of the vein or lode claim; but where the existence of a vein or lode in a placer claim is not known, a patent for the placer claim shall convey all valuable mineral and other deposits within the boundaries thereof.
Entry of building stone lands under placer laws.
[Act of August 4, 1892, ch. 375, 27 Stat. L. 348.] SECTION 1. Any person authorized to enter lands under the mining laws of the United States may enter lands that are chiefly valuable for building stone under the provisions of the law in relation to placer mineral claims; provided, that lands reserved for the benefit of the public schools or donated to any state shall not be subject to entry under this act. (27 Stat. L. 348.)
Entry of saline lands under placer laws.
[Act of January 31, 1901, ch. 186, 31 Stat. L. 745.] All unoccupied public lands of the United States containing salt springs, or deposits of salt in any form, and chiefly valuable therefor, are hereby declared to be subject to location and purchase under the provisions of the law relating to placer mining claims; provided, that the same person shall not locate or enter more than one claim hereunder. (31 Stat. L. 745.)
Substances locatable as placers.
Lindley on Mines, 3d ed., 1914, Sec. 420, pp. 987, et seq. says: "Among the substances, other than those of a metallic character, which have been classified as mineral, and when occurring in the form of deposits not in place, lands containing
which have been held to be subject to appropriation under the placer laws, we note the following: Alum; asphaltum ; borax; diamonds; guano; gypsum; kaolin china clay; marble; mica ; onyx; soda, carbonate or nitrate; slate for roofing purposes ; umber; building stone.
Other substances require specific mention.” Under these "other substances,” are detailed: Petroleum; natural gas; brick and other classes of clay; phosphates; potash. In addition to the above named the following have also “been held to be mineral by the United States Land Department and the American courts : Amber; stone of special commercial value; cement (see gypsum); coal; gravel ; limestone; salt; sand; sandstone (see building stone); sulphur.” (Id. Sec. 97, pp. 170, et seq.)
Mining claims on stream beds.
Gravel deposits on the beds of watercourses may be appropriated under the placer laws, if the stream is not a navigable one. The beds of navigable "rivers and their banks as far as high-water mark, in some states as far as low-water mark, belong to the state, and not to the federal government.
The state may grant temporary privileges, or perhaps permanent rights, of dredging or carrying on other mining operations in the beds of navigable waters; provided, that such operations do not interfere with the public rights of navigation or the private rights of riparian owners.” (Id. Sec. 428, pp. 1012, 1013.)
Tide Lands—Mining claims can not be located on.
“There is no principle involved in the consideration of the public land system better settled or more clearly enunciated than that lands under tidal waters, and below the line of ordinary high tide, are not ‘public lands”.” Such belong to the state, subject, however, to the public right of navigation. In the cases of the beach placers of Nome, Alaska, and the oil wells below high tide at Summerland, California, the secretary of war issued permits for “operations in the navigable waters of the United States," but such permits did not confer “any rights as against the littoral owner.” (Id. Sec. 429, p. 1017.)
OIL AND GAS CLAIMS. These are located as placer claims. See sections 2329 to 2333 U. S. statutes.
act authorizing entry of petroleum or other mineral oil lands under placer
claim laws. Any person authorized to enter lands under the mining laws of the United States may enter and obtain patents to lands containing petroleum or other mineral oils, and chiefly valuable therefor, under the provisions of the laws relating to placer mineral claims; provided, that lands containing such petroleum or other mineral oils which have heretofore been filed upon, claimed, or improved as mineral, but not yet patented, may be held and patented under the provisions of this act the same as if such filing, claim or improvement were subsequent to the date of the passage hereof. (29 Stat. L. 526.) Approved Feb. 11, 1897.
An act defining what shall constitute assessments on oil mining claims.
[Act of February 12, 1903, ch. 548, 32 Stat. L. 825.) Where oil lands are located under the provisions of title thirty-two, chapter six, Revised Statutes of the United States, as placer mining claims, the annual assessment labor upon such claims may be done upon any one of a group of claims lying contiguous and owned by the same person or corporation, not exceeding five claims in all; provided, that said labor will tend to the development or to determine the oilbearing character of such contiguous claims.
An act to authorize the President of the United States to make withdrawals of public lands in certain cases.
This provides also:
SEC. 2. All lands withdrawn under the provisions of this act shall at all times be open to exploration, discovery, occupation, and purchase, under the mining laws of the United States, so far as the same apply to minerals other than coal, oil, gas, and phosphates.
By the amendment of August 24, 1912, congress limited the right of exploration etc., within the withdrawn areas, to those lands which may be found to contain metalliferous mineral. The scope of withdrawal was thus broadened, with the specific intention of conserving potash in addition to those minerals already mentioned. (37 Stats. at Large.)
However, any of these minerals except potash may be filed upon if found in areas of the public domain not yet withdrawn.
(S. B. No. 2156.)
[Approved by the President, October 2, 1917.] Be it enacted by the senate and house of representatives of the United States of America in congress assembled, That the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized and directed, under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe, to issue to any applicant who is a citizen of the United States, an association of such citizens, or a corporation organized under the laws of any State or Territory thereof, a prospecting permit which shall give the exclusive right, for a period not exceeding two years, to prospect for chlorides, sulphates, carbonates, borates, silicates, or nitrates of potassium on public lands of the United States, except lands in and adjacent to Searles Lake, which would be described if surveyed as townships twentyfour, twenty-five, twenty-six, and twenty-seven south of ranges forty-two, forty-three, and forty-four east, Mount Diablo meridian, California: Provided, That the area to be included in such permit shall not exceed two thousand five hundred and sixty acres of land in reasonably compact form.
SEC. 2. That upon showing to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Interior that valuable deposits of one or more of the substances enumerated in section one hereof have been discovered by the permittee within the area covered by his permit, the permittee shall be entitled to a patent for not to exceed one-fourth of the land embraced in the prospecting permit, to be taken in compact form and described by legal subdivisions of the public-land surveys, or if the land be not surveyed, then in tracts which shall not exceed two miles in length, by survey executed at the cost of the permittee, in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior. All other lands described and embraced in such a prospecting permit from and after the exercise of the right to patent accorded to the discoverer, and not covered by leases, may be leased by the Secretary of the Interior, through advertisement, competitive bidding, or such other methods as he may by general regulations adopt, and in such areas as he shall fix, not exceeding two thousand five hundred and sixty acres, all leases to be conditioned upon the payment by the lessee of such royalty as may be specified in the lease and which shall be fixed by the Secretary of the Interior in advance of offering the same, and which shall not be less than two per centum on the gross value of the output at the point of shipment, which royalty, on demand of the Secretary of the Interior, shall be paid in the product of such lease, and the payment in advance of a rental, which shall be not less than 25 cents per acre for the first year thereafter; not less than 50 cents per acre for the second, third, fourth, and fifth years, respectively ; and not less than $1 per acre for each and every year thereafter during the continuance of the lease, except that such rental for any year shall be credited against the royalties as they accrue for that year. Leases shall be for indeterminate periods, upon
condition that at the end of each twenty-year period succeeding the date of any lease such readjustment of terms and conditions may be made as the Secretary of the Interior may determine, unless otherwise provided by law at the time of the expiration of such periods, and a patentee under this section may also be a lessee: Provided, That the potash deposits in the public lands in and adjacent to Searles Lake in what would be if surveyed townships twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six, and twenty-seven south of ranges forty-two, forty-three, and forty-four east, Mount Diablo meridian, California, may be operated by the United States or may be leased by the Secretary of the Interior under the terms and provisions of this Act : Provided further, That the Secretary of the Interior may issue leases under the provisions of this Act for deposits of potash in public lands in Sweetwater County, Wyoming, also containing deposits of coal, on condition that the coal be reserved to the United States.
SEC. 3. That in addition to areas of such mineral land to be included in prospecting permits or leases the Secretary of the Interior, in his discretion, may issue to a permittee or lessee under this Act the exclusive right to use, during the life of the permit or lease, a tract of unoccupied nonmineral public land not exceeding forty acres in area for camp sites, refining works, and other purposes connected with and necessary to the proper development and use of the deposits covered by the permit or lease.
SEC. 4. That the Secretary of the Interior shall reserve the authority and shall insert in any preliminary permit issued under section one hereof appropriate provisions for its cancellation by him upon failure by the permittee or licensee to exercise due diligence in the prosecution of the prospecting work in accordance with the terms and conditions stated in the permit.
SEC. 5. That no person shall take or hold any interest or interests as a member of an association or associations or as a stockholder of a corporation or corporations holding a lease under the provisions hereof, which, together with the area embraced in any direct holding of a lease under this Act, or which, together with any other interest or interests as a member of an association or associations or as a stockholder of a corporation or corporations holding a lease under the provisions hereof, or otherwise, exceeds in the aggregate in any area fifty miles square an amount equivalent to the maximum number of acres allowed to any one lessee under this Act; that no person, association, or corporation holding a lease under the provisions of this Act shall hold more than a tenth interest, direct or indirect, in any other agency, corporate or otherwise, engaged in the sale or resale of the products obtained from such lease, and any violation of the provisions of this section shall be ground for the forfeiture of the lease or interest so held; and the interests held in violation of this provision shall be forfeited to the United States by appropriate proceedings instituted by the Attorney General for that purpose in the United States district court for the district in which the property or some part thereof is located, except that any such ownership or interest hereby forbidden which may be acquired by descent, will, judgment, or decree may be held for two years, and not longer after its acquisition.
SEC. 6. That any permit, lease, occupation, or use permitted under this Act shall reserve to the Secretary of the Interior the right to permit for joint or several use such easements or rights of way upon, through, or in the lands leased, occupied, or used as may be necessary or appropriate to the working of the same, or of other lands containing the deposits described in this Act, and the treatment and shipment of the products thereof by or under authority of the Government, its lessees, or permittees, and for other public purposes : Provided, That said Secretary, in his discretion, in making any lease under this Act may reserve to the United States the right to dispose of the surface of the lands embraced within such lease under existing law or laws hereafter enacted, in so far as said surface is not necessary for use of the lessee in extracting and removing the deposits therein : Provided further, That if such reservation is made it shall be so determined before the offering of such lease; that the said Secretary, during the life of the lease, is authorized to issue such permits for easements herein provided to be reserved.
Sec. 7. That each lease shall contain provisions deemed necessary for the protection of the interests of the United States, and for the prevention of monopoly, and for the safeguarding of the public welfare.
SEC. 8. That any lease issued under the provisions of this Act may be forfeited and canceled by an appropriate proceeding in the United States district court for the district in which the property or some part thereof is located whenever the lessee fails to comply with any of the provisions of this Act, of the lease, or of the general regulations promulgated under this Act and in force at the date of the lease, and the lease may provide for resort to appropriate methods for the settlement of disputes or for remedies for breach of specified conditions thereof.
SEC. 9. That the provisions of this Act shall also apply to all deposits of potassium salts in the lands of the United States which may have been or may be disposed of under laws reserving to the United States the potassium deposits with the right to prospect for, drill, mine, and remove the same, subject to such conditions as to the use and occupancy of the surface as are or may hereafter be provided by law.
SEC. 10. That all moneys received from royalties and rentals under the provisions of this Act, excepting those from Alaska, shall be paid into, reserved, and appropriated as a part of the reclamation fund created by the Act of Congress approved June seventeenth, nineteen hundred and two, known as the reclamation Act, but after use thereof in the construction of reclamation works and upon return to the reclamation fund of any such moneys in the manner provided by the reclamation Act and Acts amendatory thereof and supplemental thereto, fifty per centum of the amounts derived from such royalties and rentals, so utilized in and returned to the reclamation fund shall be paid by the Secretary of the Treasury after the expiration of each fiscal year to the State within the boundaries of which the leased lands or deposits are or were located, said moneys to be used by such State or subdivisions thereof for the construction and maintenance of public roads or for the support of public schools.
SEC. 11. That the Secretary of the Interior is authorized to prescribe necessary and proper rules and regulations and to do any and all things necessary to carry out and accomplish the purposes of this Act.
SEC. 12. That the deposits herein referred to, in lands valuable for such minerals, shall be subject to disposition only in the form and manner provided in this Act, except as to valid claims existent at date of the passage of this Act and thereafter maintained in compliance with the laws under which initiated, which claims may be perfected under such laws: Provided, That nothing in this Act shall be construed or held to affect the rights of the States or other local authority to exercise any rights which they may have to levy and collect taxes upon improvements, output of mines, or other rights, property, or assets of any lessee.
SEC. 13. That the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized and directed to incorporate in every lease issued under the provisions of this Act a provision reserving to the President the right to regulate the price of all mineral extracted and sold from the leased premises, which stipulation shall specifically provide that the price or prices fixed shall be such as to yield a fair and reasonable return to the lessee upon his investment and to secure to the consumer any of such products at the lowest price reasonable and consistent with the foregoing : Provided, That such lease issued under this Act shall also stipulate that the President shall have authority to so regulate the disposal of the potassium products produced under such lease as to secure its distribution and use wholly within the limits of the United States or its possessions.