Mines And Mining
( Originally Published 1918 )
The Public Land Laws of the United States make provision for the location of claims on and the acquisition of the title to "mineral lands," "lands valuable for minerals," etc. The first in time is the first in right. He who takes possession for the purpose of making a location is entitled to a reasonable time to complete it, and the land is during that time withdrawn from the public domain, and is not capable of being lawfully entered by any other person.
Mine Leases.---In some of the states the mineral lands belonging to the states are leased to the mine operators, and the revenue derived therefrom is devoted to school purposes. The state of Minnesota derives an annual income of more than a million dollars from its mining leases. The money goes into a school fund, of which only the interest is available, but that all goes to help support the public educational institutions in the state, from the kindergartens to the university. The fund now amounts to $9,000,000, and in time the continuous accumulation will make it large enough to produce an income sufficient not only to furnish free university education to every child in the state, but to board and clothe them all as well.
Laws Governing.—The laws governing mines and mining vary in the different states, and a person intending to engage in the mining business should consult the statutes of the particular state in which he desires to operate.
How to Locate a Mine
Who May Locate.-All valuable mineral deposits in lands belonging to the United States, whether surveyed or unsurveyed, are "free and open to exploration and purchase by citizens of the United States, or those who have declared their intention to become such."
Requisites of Location.—To stake off a claim so as to entitle a prospector to a patent requires considerable care. Unless the boundaries are given correctly, and the claim located strictly in accordance with the statutory provisions, the application for a patent will be refused.
For existing regulations governing the acquisition of mineral lands, the title to which is in the government, see Revised Statutes of the United States, Sections 2318-2352, and Supplement of Revised Statutes, pp. 166-67; 276, 324, 948, 950: An examination of these regulations is absolutely essential to the successful location of a claim, for it is not priority of discovery, but priority of compliance with the various requirements of the statutes that gives the right to the mine. As laws and regulations for the location, development and working of mines may be made by the different states, as well as by the general government, the statutes of the particular state where the mine is to be located should also be consulted.
Mining is one of the oldest and most essential industries. Its development in this country since the eighteen-eighties has been so diversified by the discovery of new mineral requirements in the arts, especially in chemistry and certain lines of basic staples, that the rights and privileges involved have been carefully defined and protected by the Federal and state governments, and confirmed by the courts.
It is one of the cleanest of all industries. The man or the association taking mineral from the ground and turning it over to human uses does a deserving business. The money thus made has behind it no history of use, nor does it bear any taint. As it comes from the ground, it is pure.
But millions have been taken out of honest eastern pockets by fake "mining" promoters who never mined anything but those pockets, nor ever will—fakers whose talk is smooth enough to make you doubt Truth to be a liar.
No money is lost by intelligent mining. Money is sometimes lost in trying to find a mine.
And no end of money is lost by buying so called mining stocks. Outside the stocks of a few great mines that have daily quotations on the exchanges of San Francisco, Denver, Boston and New York, no mines are open to public sale. All other stocks purporting to represent mines are 99 per cent putrid. Keep your hands off them.