Mining Law & Mining Rights Learning Center
  (Note: All documents are in PDF format and may be downloaded to your computer)


The early miner has never been truly painted 

"The early miner has never been truly painted. I protest against the flippant style ... of those writers who have made him a terror, or who, seizing upon a sporadic case of extreme oddity, have given a caricature to the world. In all my personal experience in mining camps from 1849 to 1854, there was not a case of bloodshed, robbery, theft, or actual violence. I doubt if a more orderly society was ever known. How could it be otherwise?  The miner was ambitious, energetic and enterprising. No undertaking was too great to daunt him. His generosity was profuse and his sympathy active.  His sentiment that justice is sacred was never dulled. His services were at command to settle differences peacefully, or with pistol in hand to right a grievous wrong to a stranger. His capacity for self-government never has been surpassed."
                                                             ~ E. G. Waite, Jacksonville, Oregon; May 8, 1891.  

Where's the Grant?
In Belk v. Meagher, the supreme court says of the Mining Act of 1866: 

"(T)he locator of a mining claim has a possessory title thereto, and the right to the exclusive possession thereof. The words imply property. The right to the exclusive possession and enjoyment of a mining claim includes the right to work it, to extract the mineral therefrom, to the exclusive property in such mineral, and the right to defend such possession. The right to the exclusive possession and enjoyment of property, accompanied with the right to acquire the absolute title thereto, presupposes a grant, and the instrument of this grant, as applied to mining claims upon the public lands, is the act of congress above referred to. This act being of general application to all the mineral lands belonging to the government, and conferring a title or easement therein upon the locator thereof, and vesting the right in him to become the absolute owner to the exclusion of all others, is a legislative grant, and being given by act of congress, is equivalent to a patent from the United States to the same."Do you still believe the agencies, environmentalists and even other miners who say that a grant does not exist and that your mining claim is not a unique type of private property, when their misinformed idealogy is contrary to that of the Supreme Court of the United States?


The Mining Acts of the United States

Local Mining Customs in Southern Oregon


Oregon Law and Mining, Right of Ways and Water Rights


Mining Case Law


"The Court holds that both agency actions were unlawful" . . . 

"Further, the Court holds that defendants improperly failed to submit the OEM to the rulemaking procedures of the APA. . . "
". . . the Court holds unlawful under the O&C Act defendant Salazar's failure to sell or to offer for sale the annual sustained yield capacity of the Medford and Roseburg districts in several years since 2004. As such, the Court orders defendant Salazar and/or his successors to sell or offer for sale the declared annual sustained yield capacity of timber for the Medford and Roseburg districts for each future year, in accordance with the O&C Act."
"In so doing, the Court GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART plaintiffs motion, GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN
PART defendant's cross-motion, and DENIES defendant-intervenors' cross-motion."


Mining and National Security


From The Congressional Record

            (Reaffirms the Grant of 1866 and its relevance to Rights of Way) - 2000

Texts on Mining Law

The Mining Reports
(Between 1883 and 1906, R.S.Morrison, published "The Mining Reports", which he described as "A Series Containing The Cases of the Law of Mines found in
American and English Reports, arranged alphabetically by subjects, with notes and references". This twenty two volume series, consisting of nearly seventeen thousand pages, is the greatest source of mining case law available.)


Mining District Regulations (State by State)

Utah -


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