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In cases where the refusal shall be lawful and admitted, whether in causes in the first instance, or in those before the courts of appeal, the vacancy shall be filled up in the first instance according to the first Section of this present Chapter, and in the latter, by the appointment of the respective Judges of Appeal, according to Section xvii. of Chapter III. of these Ordinances.
OF THE ORIGINAL OWNERSHIP OF MINES; OF THE GRANTS TO INDIVIDUALS, AND THE DUTIES TO BE PAID BY THEM FOR THE SAME.
The mines are the property of my Royal Crown, as well by their nature and origin, as by their re union, declared by the fourth law of the thirteenth Title of the sixth Book of the new compilation (of Laws and Statutes.)
Without separating them from my Royal patrimony, I grant them to my subjects in property and possession, in such manner that they may sell, exchange, (pass by will, either in the way of inheritance or legacy), or in any other manner, dispose of all their property in them, upon the terms on which they themselves possess it, and to persons legally capable of acquiring it.
Be it understood that this grant is made upon two conditions: First, that they (my subjects) shall pay to my Royal Treasury the proportion of metal reserved thereto; and secondly, that they shall carry on their operations in the mines subject to the provisions of these Ordinances, on failure of which, at any time, the mines of persons so making default shall be considered as forfeited, and may be granted to any person who shall denounce them accordingly.
OF THE MANNER OF ACQUIRING MINES; OF NEW DISCOVERIES; REGISTERS OF VEINS, AND DENOUNCEMENTS OF MINES ABANDONED AND LOST.
As it is most just and proper to reward with particularity and distinction thoso persons who devote themselves to the discovery of new mineral places, and metallic veins found therein, in proportion to the importance and utility of such discovery, I order and command that the discoverers of one or more mineral mountains (Cerros Minerales)-, wherein no mine or shaft has been opened -before, acquire in the principal vein as much as three portions Qstrtenencias), together or separate, where it best pleases them, according to the measures hereafter signified; and that on having discovered more veins, they shall acquire a portion in each vein, fixing on and making the said portions within the term of ten days.
The discoverer of a new vein in a mountain known and worked in other parts, may hold in it two portions together, or separated by other mines, on condition that he specifies them within ten days, as mentioned in the preceding Section.
He who proposes for a new mine in a vein already known and worked in part, is not to be considered a discoverer.
The persons 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, mutt 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 (vara*) 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 (Perito Facultatioo) 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 by 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.
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 favour of him who best proves his claim; however, if this should happen after the stated time, he (the new claimant) shall not be heard.
The restorers of ancient mines which have been abandoned and left to de. cay, 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.
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.
Whoever shall denounce in the terras 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 iv. of tbis Chapter, the actual existence of the mine in question, the name of ita last possessor, if he is acquainted with the same, and those of the neighbouring 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 Sundavs; 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 considerable 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 iv. The said Professor should, if it be 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, (galera), a whim, (rnalacate), 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.
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 expences incurred by the denouncer, unless the latter is proved to have acted fraudulently, in which case he must lose such expences.
If the denouncer does not make, or complete, the shaft as prescribed, nor take possession within the sixty day?, 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 obstable, 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.
If any one denounce a mine as forfeited, on account of the non-observance of any of these Ordinances, which bear that penalty, such cliim shall be allowed to him, provided he can lawfully establish any such cause of forfeiture.
If the former possessor of the Mine, or any person claiming in right of him, shall declare the having left therein, any exterior or moveable works made at his expense, such as coverings of outer courts (galeras), machines, or other things of this class, and of which the denouncer may usefully avail himself, he shall be paid for them according to the valuation of surveyors.
If any one shall denounce any intermediate space (demasia), in the vicinity of mines already occupied, it can only be granted him in case the owners of the adjoining mines, or any one of them, should not desire it for themselves; however, if these persons have not occupied it, or shall not do so within the time which the Deputations of that territory, after considering the circumstances of the case, shall prescribe, it shall be adjudged to the denouncer.
Any one may discover and denounce a vein, not only on common land, but also on the property of any individual, provided he pays for the extent of surface above the same, and the damage which immediately ensues therefrom, according to the valuation of surveyors on both sides, and arbitration in case of disagreement; the same is to be understood with regard to denouncing convenient places for erecting establishments, and also waters for moving the machines employed for the reduction of ores, commonly called reducing establishments, (haciendas), provided in each case, that no more of the water be used, than is necessary for such purposes.
If, however, any one denounces a mine or establishment within a town or' village, whereby its principal edifices might be injured, or other similar inconvenience might arise, the denouncement shall not be admitted without previous application to the Royal Tribunal General of Mexico, in order that they, after consulting with the Supreme Government, may determine the case with all due prudence and circumspection.
Any one may denounce the ancient site of an establishment, without paying any thing for the same, although there may be found thereon, walls, drains, yard, washing-places, furnaces, chimneys, dwelling house, &c. provided they are totally deficient in roofs, machines, tools, and timber-work; if these latter exist, the former proprietor must have notice sent him to reestablish, sell, or let them, within the space of four months, and on his failing to do so, they shall be granted to the denouncer, on condition- of his paying the said proprietor for useful moveables, according to the appraisement and judgment of surveyors.
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 as