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Law 3d.— Concerning what is promised to the discover of a mine—that two parts shall be paid by tlie royal treasury and the other by those interested.
Whenever it may so happen that money or other reward be promised to the miners who may discover mines of gold, silver, quicksilver, or other metals, there shall be paid by the royal treasury only two thirds of the amoun promised, and the other part shall be paid by those persons who extract the metal.
Law 4th.— To secure the discovery of Quicksilver mines.
We charge and command the viceroys, chancellors, and governors that they shall use all diligence in procuring the discovery and working of the mines of quicksilver, concerning which information has been received from some parts of the Indies, and bestow upon those who shall discover and work them such advantages as may seem to them and may be just—announcing to them they will not have any allotment of Indians for their work.
Law 5th.— That the mining ordinances be observed, and that which provides that servants shall register in tlie names of their masters tlvise mines which they discover.
Don Philip 4th, 7th June, 1630.
Wc order and command that tho ordinances and particular laws in relation to mines be obeyed, observed and executed, and in the execution of them that that law be observed which ordains that servants shall register as their masters, the mines which they discover and not in their own names.
Law 6th.— That the ordinances in relation to the denouncing of mines be observed and the time limited not be extended.
The decline in some of the mining districts results from the non-observance of our royal ordinances ;—especially in relation to those mines which have been deserted and abandoned; thence it results that after a period of four months without their being worked, any person may denounce them before the ordinary tribunals as abandoned, and that the requisite proceedings for a new grant of the mines being had, a decree is made in favor of the person denouncing, allowing him to work them as their real owner under the conditions which are prescrib. ed, that the mines shall not remain unworked and that he should discover new veins: and because orders having been given by some of our royal tribunals that the mining ordinances made for this purpose shall be observed and executed, the miners and those interested in tho mines which have been abandoned have recourse to tho viceroys or presidents, asking an order in their favor that for a certain period of time mines shall not be denounced as abandoned and consequently they continue deserted, and the ordinances cease to be executed. We command the viceroys, presidents and judges of our tribunals, that they observe and comply precisely and in every particular with the ordinances aforesaid which is fit and proper and our will, and that they shall not extend the prescribed period of time.
Law 7th.— That there shall not be wasted at [the mines, the slag-heap, the rock removed from the sides and roof of the vein, the earthy matter taken. from the vats in the amalgamation works, and the washings and sweepings.
Don Philip 3d. at S. Lorenio, Nov. 14th. 1603.
The rock removed from the sides and roof of the vein, the slag which remains after the assay and melting of the metals, the earthy matter taken from the vats in the amalgamation works, and the washings and sweepings which remain after the results to the proprietors arising from the mode of working in common use, shall be preserved and collected—so that they may be at hand for the public good, the advantage of the proprietors and the increased supply of our royal treasury.
Law 8th.— That the mining districts be furnished witJi provision, and that no
monopoly be allowed.
Don Philip 2d at Madrid, 5th March. 1571—Toledo, 11th August, 1596.
We command the viceroys and judges that they make abundant provision of the necessary supplies for the towns and mining districts, and that the native Indians transport and furnish them in their districts at fair and moderate prices and that they shall require and oblige the muleteers to transport them, paying the freight, and that they do not consent to any monopoly of provisions.
Law 9th.— That the mines and working of them receive careful attention. Don Philip 3d at Aranda, 14th August, 1610.—See Law 1. Tit. 11. Lib. 8.
Inasmuch as the discovery, occupation, and working of the mines adds so much to the prosperity and increase of these kingdoms, and those of the Indies; We charge and command the Viceroys, Presidents, Governors and Alcaldes Mayores, that they bestow very particular attention in observing and having observed the orders which have been given and may be given in relation to the personal services of the Indians in those cases where by the laws of this book, it is permitted.
Law 10th.— TJiat the Viceroys and Presidents shall have cognizance in their executive capacity when it is expedient that execution slumld be issued against the machines for working metals.—And the royal officers s/urfl have judicial cognizance with an ajypeal to the audiencies.
Idem, at Pardo, 22U Nov. 1609.
Having experienced many inconveniences from the renting of the mills for working the metals, from the practice introduced by which miners became indebted to our royal treasury, and officers of the crown, in coercing the payment, are under the necessity of seizing the mills to secure the collection of the debt: we declare, that when the day of payment arrives on which our treasury, shall collect debs due, it belongs to the Governor and the officers of justice to determine as to the expediency or inexpediency of issuing an execution against the mills belonging to the miners. And we order that the royal officers before making their attachments, and making contracts for lease, communicate with the viceroy or presiding governor of the audiency of the district, and proceed in no other manner, and that the viceroy or president declare what course shall be pursued as an administrative matter, and in case the result shall be that execution shall issue and seizure and coercion of payment against the mills, if petition is presented or defence made, which is plainly of a judicial character, no recourse can be had by appeal either to the viceroy or president, for being a judicial matter, it pertains to the audiency.
Law 11th.— That Copper in the mines in Cuba be worked and remitted in conformity with the law.
Philip 3d, Madrid, 22d December, 1608.—Philip 4th, 12th February, 1622.
We command that the persons who have the charge by commission from us, agency, contract or in any other mnnner, of the copper mines of the Island of Cuba, that they cause them to be worked with much care, in such manner that the minerals may become ductile and maleable by roasting and proper refining, and not in so hard and dry a state as that in which it has been heretofore sent, in order that the foundries of Artillery may be more fitly supplied, and that it be sent to Havana consigned to our royal officers, in order that it may be sent to these kingdoms in the galleons, flag ships and ships of the line belonging to the navy, registered and directed to the " Casa de contratacion," all to be duly accounted for to us by the council of war of the Indies.
Law 12th.— Tliat no one except the owner of mines can sell the metals.
shall sell any kinds of metals under penalty of forfeiting for the first offence one hundred dollars to be paid into our treasury; for the second, two hundred dollars, and for a third offence that he be banished forever from the mines and from a space of ten leagues around them, and the person buying the metals shall incur the same penalty.
Law 13th.— That Spaniards, Mestizos, free negroes and Mulattocs be persuaded
to work in the mines.
We order and command, that in order to secure the occupation and working of the mines, idle Spaniards who arc able to work, Mestizos, free negroes, and mulattocs shall be required to hire themselves out and work in them and that the audiences and corregidors give special attention to this matter and that no idle people be permitted in the land.
Law 14th.— That Indians equally with Spaniards, may hold and work mines
of gold and silver.
Emperor Charles and Princess G., at Madrid, 17th Dec. 1151.—Philip 2d., 15th April 1563
16th March 1575.
We command that, in relation to the Indians, no restriction be imposed on their discovering, holding and occupying mines of gold and silver or other metals, or working them in the same manner as is done by Spaniards, in conformity with the ordinances of each province, and may extract these metals for their own profit and for the payment of their personal tax. And no Spaniard or Cacique shall have part or control in tho mines which the Indians shall have discovered, held and worked.
Law 15th.— That to Indians who shall discover mines, there shall be secured the privileges which are specified, and that Spaniards and Mestizos shall be rewarded.
Philip 4th., at Madrid, S8th March, 1633.—Don Carlos 2d., Regina G.
We ordain and recommend to the Viceroys, Presidents and Governors, that they exercise particular care and diligence in inquiring and ascertaining if in their districts, there are any mines of gold and silver and other metals to be found of which the Indians have or can obtain knowledge, and with sagacity and good counsel they compel to appear the most intelligent Indians, in order that these may communicate what they know by themselves or others of greater skill and understanding, as to the places and positions where it is supposed that there exist hidden mines which the Indians conceal, fearing to be employed in an industry really resulting in their benefit, being naturally inclined to idleness: and in our name assure them that for their care and trouble, if successful there shall be granted to them and henceforth is granted, many rewards and exemptions, and especially that they shall not be bound out to work in any mines, and that neither they nor their descendants forever be obliged to pay any personal tax: and if Spaniards or Mestizos they shall receive an appropriate reward.
Law 16th.— Tliat as to the marl ing out by stales of the mines, the same course to be taken, in relation to the Indians, as Spaniards.
In some provinces of the Indies the practice has been introduced that if a number of Indians discover a vein, one only is selected who may apply for the staking out of the part which he selects to himself as the owner: wherefore and because we desire that the Indians shall have and enjoy all the benefit and profit to which they may be entitled on account of their diligence and industry: we command that in relation to the. staking out of the mines which they may have discovered, they shall be treated in the same manner as Spaniards, with no difference whatever.
JB®"- That the viceroy shall cause to be observed in the Indies, the laws of these kingdoms of Castile touching mines which are appropriate, and shall forward a statement of such as are necessary.—Law 3, Tit. 1, book 1.
Jigf* That free negroes and mulattoes shall work in the mines, and maybe condemned to such labour as a punishment for crimes committed by them.— Law 4, Tit. 5, book 7.
Concerning Miners and workers in Quicksilver, and their privileges.
Law 1 st.— That Miners shall be favoured, and that the articles employed in mining s/iall be exempt from execution.
We order the Viceroys, Presidents, Governors, Alcaldes, Mayores,Jof the mines, Judges in our Indies, to favour the miners and workers in Quicksilver, and that they observe and cause to be observed the grants of privileges made by the kings our predecessors, and by ourselves as having the force of law, and especially that for no debts of whatever nature they may be, except debts due to us, may or shall be any execution issued against the slaves, tools, and necessaries of life and other things which may be required for the supplies, labour and provision of the mines, and the persons who may work in them, and we order that the executions which in conformity to law may be issued, shall be for the gold or silver which may be extracted and received from the mines from which creditors shall be paid in