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SEC. 4. The person referred to in the preceding sections must present a written statement to the deputation of miners in that district, or in case there should not be one in that district, to the nearest thereunto, specifying in it his name, those of his associates, (if he has any,) the place of his birth, his place of habitation, profession, and employment, together with the most particular and distinguishing features of the tract, mountain, or vein of which he claims the discovery; all which circumstances, as well as the hour in which the discoverer shall present himself, must be noted down in a register kept by the deputation and clerk, (if they have one ;) and after this the said written statement shall, for his due security, be restored to the discoverer, and notices of its object and contents shall be affixed to the doors of the church, the government houses, and other public buildings of the town for the sake of general notoriety,
And I ordain that within the term of ninety days the discoverer shall cause to be made in the vein or veins so registered a pit of a yard and a half in diameter or breadth and ten yards (varas) in depth, and that immediately on the existence of the vein being ascertained one of the deputies in person shall visit it, accompanied by the clerk, (if there is one,) or if there be no clerk, by two assisting witnesses and by the mining professor of that territory, in order to inspect the course and direction of the vein, its size, its inclination on the horizon, called its falling or declivity, its hardness or softness, the greater or less firmness of its bed, and the principal marks and species of the mineral ; taking exact account of all this in order to add the same to the entry in the register, together with the act of possession, which must immediately be given to the discoverer in my royal name, measuring him his portion, and making him enclose it hy poles at the limits as hereafter declared ; after which, an authentic copy of the proceedings shall be delivered to him for the security of his title.
Sec. 5. If during the above-named ninety days any one should appear asserting a right to the said discovery, a brief judicial hearing shall be granted, and judgment given in favor of him who best proves his claim; however, if this should happen after the stated time, he (the new claimant) shall not be heard.
Sec. 6. The restorers of ancient mines which have been abandoned and left to decay shall enjoy the same privileges as discoverers, of choosing and possessing three portions in the principal vein and one in each of the others, and both revivers and discoverers shall, as an especial reward, be on all occasions preferred to other persons under parity of circumstances,
Sec. 7. If there arises any question as to who has been the first discoverer of a vein, he shall be considered as such who first found metal therein, even though others may have made an opening previously; and in case of further doubt, he who first gets it registered shall be considered as the discoverer.
Sec. 8. Whoever shall denounce in the terms hereafter expressed any mine that has been deserted and abandoned shall have his denouncement received, if he therein sets forth the circumstances already declared in section four of this chapter, the actual existence of the mine in question, the name of its last possessor, if he is acquainted with the same, and those of the neighboring miners, all of whom shall be lawfully summoned, and if within ten days they do not appear, the denouncement shall be publicly declared on the three following Sundays; this meeting with no opposition, it shall be signified to the denouncer that within sixty.days he must have cleared and reinstated some work of considéral le depth, or at least of ten yards perpendicular and within the bed of the vein, in order that the mining professor may inspect its course and inclination and all its peculiar circumstances as is declared in the above-named section four. The said professor should, if it is possible, examine the pits and works of the mine and see if they are decayed, destroyed, or inundated; whether they contain a draft pit or adit or are capable of such; whether they have an outer court, a whim, machines, rooms for habitation, and stables; and an account and register of all these circumstances must be entered in the corresponding book of denouncements, which should be kept separately. And the said examination being made, the portions being measured and bounded by stakes in the ground, as shall hereafter be explained, possession of them shall be given to the denouncer, without regard to any opposition, which cannot be attended to unless made within the term before described; however, if during that time any opposition is brought forward, the parties shall have a brief judicial hearing and the cause be determined accordingly.
Sec. 9. If the former mine owner should appear in order to oppose the denouncement when the three public proclamations are over and when the denouncer has commenced the sixty days allowed for reinstating the pit of ten yards, he shall not be heard as to the possession, but only as to his right in the property; and if he succeeds in establishing this, he must make good the expenses incurred by the denouncer, unless the latter is proved to have acted fraudulently, in which case he must lose such expenses.
Sec. 10. If the denouncer does not make or complete the shaft as prescribed, nor take possession within the sixty days, he loses his right, and any other person has the power of denouncing the mine. If, however, from the ground being entirely broken up or otherwise difficult and impracticable, or for any other real and serious obstacle he has been unable to complete the same within the said sixty days, he must have recourse to the respective territorial deputation, when, his difficulties being examined and proved, the period may be prolonged for as long a time as the deputation may think necessary for the purpose, and no more; no opposition to his claim being admitted after the ordinary term of sixty days.
SEC. 17. I prohibit any one (not being the discoverer) from denouncing two contiguous mines upon one and the same vein; but I permit any person to acquire and possess one by denouncement, and another or more by purchase, gift, inheritance, or other just title. And I further declare that if any one desires to attempt the re-establishment of several inundated or decayed mines, or other considerable enterprise of this kind, and for this purpose claims the grant of several portions, although they be contiguous and upon the same vein, such claim must be laid before the royal tribunal general of Mexico, in order that, the circumstances and importance of the undertaking being ascertained, they may acquaint the viceroy there with, who, on finding therein nothing prejudicial to the body of the miners, the public, or my royal treasury, shall grant him this and other privileges, exemptions, and aids, on condition that my royal approbation is previously obtained to all such favors, which cannot be granted by the ordinary authority of the viceroy.
Sec. 18. Beds of ore and other depositories of gold and silver, on being discovered, shall be registered and denounced in the same manner as mines or veins, the same being understood of all species of metal.
SECTION 1. To all the subjects in my dominions, both in Spain and the Indies, of whatever rank and condition they may be, I grant the mines of every species of metal under the conditions already stated, or that shall be expressed hereafter, but I prohibit foreigners from acquiring or working mines as their own property, in these my dominions, unless they be naturalized or tolerated therein by my express royal license. (See decree of President Comonfort.)
Sec. 2. I also prohibit regulars of religious orders, of both sexes, from denouncing, or in any manner acquiring for themselves, their convents, or communities, any mines whatever; it being understood that the working of the mines shall not devolve upon the secular ecclesiastics, as being contrary to the laws, to the orders of the Mexican consul, and to the sanctity and exercise of their profession; and, therefore, in consequence of this prohibition, all such secular ecclesiastics shall be expressly obliged to sell or place in the hands of
lay subjects the mines or establishments for smelting ore, and reducing establishments which have devolved on them by inheritance or other cause, the same being completed within the term of six months, or within such time as may be considered necessary to insure a useful result, which is to be fixed by the viceroy, with a previous intimation to the royal tribunal general of the mines; provided, that if it is ascertained that by artifice or fraud the effects of this article are attempted to be eluded, to the prejudice of the working of such mines and establishments, in which the state is so much interested, they shall be denounced and disposed of in the same manner as mines in general.
Sec. 3. Neither shall mines be held by governors, intendents, mayors, chief judges, nor any other public officers whatever, of the mine towns and districts, nor their clerks; but I permit such persons to hold mines in any territory out of their own jurisdiction.
Sec. 4. Neither shall administrators, stewards, overseers, keepers of tallies, workers or watchers of mines, nor, in general, any person in the service of mine owners, whether of superior or subordinate class, be permitted to register, denounce,
other manner acquire mines within the space of a thousand yards round those of their masters, but I allow them to denounce any mine for their said masters, even though not authorized by them to do so, provided the aforesaid masters make good the denouncement in the terms prescribed by section eight of chapter six of these ordinances.
SECTION 1. Experience having shown that the equality of the mine meastres established on the surface cannot be maintained under ground, where in fact the mines are chiefly valuable, it being certain that the greater or less inclination of the vein upon the plane of the horizon must render the respective properties in the mines greater or smaller, so that the true and effective impartiality which it has been desired to show towards all subjects, of equal merit, has not been preserved; but, on the contrary, it has often happened that when a miner, after much expense and labor, begins at last to reach an abundant and rich ore, he is obliged to turn back, as having entered on the property of another, which latter may have denounced the neighboring mine, and thus stationed himself with more art than industry. This being one of the greatest and most frequent causes of litigation and dissension among the miners, and considering that the limits established in the mines of these kingdoms, and by which those of New Spain have been hitherto regulated, are very confined in proportion to the abundance, multitude, and richness of the metallic veins which it has pleased the Creator of his great bounty to bestow on these regions, I order and command that in the mines where new veins, or veins unconnected with each other, shall be discovered, the following measures shall in future be observed.
SEC. 2. On the course and direction of the vein, whether gold, silver, or other metal, I grant to every miner, without any distinction in favor of the discoverer, whose reward has been specified, two hundred yards, (Spanish yards or varas,) called measuring yards, taken on a level, as hitherto understood.
Sec. 3. To make it what they call a square, that is, making a right angle with the preceding measure, supposing the descent or inclination of the vein to be sufficiently shown by the opening or shaft of ten yards, the portion shall be measured by the following rule.
Sec. 4. Where the vein is perpendicular to the horizon, (a case which seldom occurs,) a hundred level yards shall be measured on either side of the vein, or divided on both sides, as the miner may prefer.
Sec. 5. But where the vein is in an inclined direction, which is the most usual case, its greater or less degree of inclination shall be attended to in the following manner.
Sec. 6. If to one yard perpendicular the inclination be from three fingers to
two palms, the same hundred yards shall be allowed for the square, (as in the
Two palms and three fingers, the square shall be of 1121 yards.
Four palms, the square shall be of 200 yards. So that if to one perpendicular yard there correspond an inclination of four palms, which are equal to a yard, the miner shall be allowed two hundred yards on the square on the declivity of the vein, and so on with the rest.
SEC. 8. And supposing that in the prescribed manner any miner should reach the perpendicular depth of two hundred yards, without exceeding the limits of his portion, by which he may commonly have much exhausted the vein, and that those veins which have greater inclination than yard for yard, that is to say, of forty-five degrees, are eith:r barren or of little extent, it is my sovereign will that although the declivity may be greater than the above-mentioned measures, no one shall exceed the square of two hundred level yards ; so that the same shall be always the breadth of the said veins extended over the length of the other two hundreds, as deelared above.
Sec. 9. However, if any mine owner, suspecting a vein to run in a contrary direction to his own, (which rarely happens,) should choose to have some part of his square in a direction opposite to that of his principal vein, it may be granted to him, provided there shall be no injury or prejudice to a third person thereby.
Sec. 10. With regard to the banks, beds, or any other accidental depositories of gold or silver, I ordain that the portions and measures shall be regulated by the respective territorial deputations of miners, attention being paid to the extent and richness of the place and to the number of applicants for the same, with distinction and preference only to the discoverers; but the said deputations inust render 'an'exact account thereof to the royal tribunal general of Mexico, who will resolve on the measures which they in their judgment may consider the most efficacious, in order to avoid all unfair dealing in these matters.
Sec. 11. The portions being regulated in the manner described above, the denouncer shall have his share measured at the time of taking possession of the mine, and he shall erect around his boundaries stakes or landmarks, such as shall be secure and easy to be distinguished, and enter into an obligation to keep and observe them forever without being able to change them; though he may allege that his vein varied in course or direction, (which is an unlikely circumstance;) but he must content himself with the lot which Providence has decreed him, and enjoy it without disturbing his neighbors ; if, however, he should have no neighbors, or if he can, without injury to his neighbors, make an improvement, by altering the stakes and boundaries, it may be permitted him in such case, with previous intervention, cognizance, and authority of the deputation of the district, who shall cite and hear the parties, and determine whether the causes for such encroachment are legitimate.
Sec. 6. If aný mine owner, in consequence of the great richness of the metallic substance in his vein, is desirous of substituting for the pillars, beams, or *sufficient and necessary supports, made of the metallic substance itself, others constructed of mason work of stone and mortar, he may be permitted to do so under the inspection of one of the deputies of the district, assisted by his clerk' and with the approbation of the mining professor.
Sec. 7. I strictly prohibit any one from taking away or in any degree weakening and diminishing the pillars, beams, and necessary supports of the mines, under pain of ten years' imprisonment, to be inflicted aecording to the form prescribed by chapter three of these ordinances, by the respective judge in each case, upon any workman, searcher, or investigator who shall have committed such offence, and the same upon the miner or mine watcher who has permitted it; and the master of the mine shall lose the same, together with half of his property, and be forever excluded from all mining employments.
SEC. 8. I ordain and command that the mines shall be kept clean and unobstructed, and that the works necessary or useful for the circulation of air, the carriage and extraction of the metal or other purposes, although they may contain no more metallic matter than such as may remain in the pillars and partitions, shall not be encumbered with rubbish and clods of earth, but that all these must be carried out and thrown by each person on the earth-mound of his own property, but on no account upon that of another person without his express leave and consent.
Sec. 9. In the mines there must be proper and safe steps or ladders, such and as many as are considered necessary by the mining, surveyor, for the purpose of ascending and descending to the farthermost work's, so that the lives of persons employed in the mines may never be endangered by their being weak, insecure, rotten, or much worn.
Sec. 10. In order to avoid the violation of the provisions of any of the sections contained in this chapter, it is my sovereign will that the deputies of the miners, accompanied by the mining professor of the district, and by the clerk, if there be one, or, in default of him, by two witnesses in aid, who shall once in every six months, or once in every year, in places where the former is impracticable, visit all the mines in their jurisdiction which are in a course of actual working; and if they find any failure in the points referred to in the above-mentioned sections, or in any others whatever, which regard the security, preservation, and better working of the mines, shall provide immediately a remedy for such defect, and take means to assure themselves that such remedy is carried into effect. And if the remedy be not applied, or if the same failure shall occur again, the proper penalties must be exacted, multiplying and aggravating them even to the extent of dispossessing the person so oftending of the mine, which shall then belong to the first person who may denounce it, provided the deputies proceed in the form prescribed by chapter third of these ordinances.
Sec. 11. I most rigorously prohibit all persons from piercing through adits, or cross levels, or other subterraneous passages, from works which are higher and full of water, or from leaving between them and others such slight supports as may allow the water to burst through; on the contrary, persons owning such works must have them drained by engines before they shall attempt to communicate with new ones, unless the mining professor should judge that such piercing through will not be attended with danger to the workmen engaged in it.
Sec. 12. Also I prohibit all persons from introducing workmen into any works containing noxious vapors, until they have been properly ventilated, according to the rules of art.
SEC. 13. Whereas the mines require incessant and continual working, in order to procure the metals, certain operations being indispensable, which cannot without much time be accomplished, and which, if interrupted, generally require as great expenses in their re-establishment as they did in their original undertaking; wherefore, to remedy such inconvenience, and also to prevent masters of mines, who either cannot or will not work them, from keeping them in a useess state for a length of time, by pretending to work them, and thus depriving