Notes, Mineral Discovery - Requisite or Relic
Alan A. Matheson
Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
Utah Law Review, Vol. 6, p. 92, 1958
The statutory requirement of discovery of mineral in place to support a valid location under the federal mining law was recently described as "the most perplexing problem now facing the hard-metals mining industry in connection with locating unpatented mining claims." Difficulty has been encountered in accommodating the nineteenth century statute to present-day prospecting.
Development of the problem has paralleled the advance in scientific exploration equipment and techniques and the increased effort and expense attending the location of valuable ore deposits. The postwar uranium prospecting race emphasized particularly the practical necessity for reevaluating the legal standards of discovery. While conditions pointing to a new look at the statute have rapidly expanded, only recently have appellate courts assessed discovery under the impact of modern prospecting methods. Related to the discovery question is the prospector's need for security of possession during his explorations but prior to an actual physical exposure of mineral within the confines of his intended claim. The effect of modem developments and possible alternatives to the requirement of discovery will be discussed to examine the usefulness of the concept in the face of current demands and conditions.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Keywords: Discovery, mining, mineralAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 10, 2009
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