SECTION XI. The portions being regulated in the manner described above, the Denouncer shall have his share measured at the time of taking possession of the mine, and he shall erect round his boundaries, stakes or landmarks, such as shall be secure, and easy to be distinguished, and enter into an obligation to keep and observe them forever without being able to change them; though he may allege that his vein varied in course or direction, (which is an unlikely circumstance) ; but he must content himself with the lot which Providence has decreed him, and enjoy it without disturbing his neighbours : if, however, he should have no neighbours, or if he can, without injury to his neighbours, make an improvement, by altering the stakes and boundaries, it may be permitted him in such case, with the previous intervention, cognizance, and authority, of the Deputation of the District, who shall cite and hear the parties, and determine whether the causes for such encroachment are legitimate.

SECTION XII. In the mines already opened and worked, the old measures of the portion shall be retained; but they may be extended to the limits prescribed in these Ordinances, whenever such change can take place without prejudice to third persons.

SECTION XIII. The immutability of the stakes or boundaries already defined in Section XI. of this Chapter, shall also be observed henceforward, in those mines which are in a course of working, or which shall be denounced as deserted or lost, the limits being ascertained in those cases where there are none at present, and each being attended to in their order, beginning with the oldest ; and as to any intermediate spaces, (demasias), they shall be regulated according to the provisions of Section XIII. of Chapter VI..


As it has been found that the licence or permission of following a vein by working lower down and within the vein, and having enjoyment thereof, until the owner himself has bored it, has been, and is the most fruitful cause of bitter dissensions, litigations, and disturbances among the mine-owners, and further considering that such intrusion is more generally the result of fraud or chance than of the merit and industry of the person so intruding, and that the consequences thereof occasion, for the most part, nothing but serious detriment to, or the total ruin of, the two mines and the two neighbouring Miners, to the great prejudice of the public, and of my Royal treasury, I order and command that no Mine-owner shall enter the property of another, even though merely by continuing his own vein at a greater depth, but that every one shall keep and observe his own boundaries, unless he makes an agreement and stipulation with his neighbour, to be permitted to work in his property.

SECTION XV. But if a Mine-owner, pursuing his operations fairly, comes to the property of another while in pursuit of a vein which he is working, or discovers it at that time without the master of the property being aware of its existence, he shall be obliged to give such proprietor immediate notice thereof; and the two neighbours shall thenceforward divide the cost and profits equally between them: one for the merit of the discovery, and the other as owner of the property; all which, until there shall be a communication effected between the mines, either by the principal vein, or a cross lode, or in any manner that may be most convenient; whereupon after erecting a mutual boundary (guarda-raya,) each proprietor shall remain within his own boundaries. But if any one so discovering and following a lode, into the property of his neighbour, fails to give immediate notice thereof to such neighbour, he shall not only lose his right to the half of all the metal, that may be extracted, but also shall pay double the value of what he has already extracted, it being understood, that before exacting this penalty, fraud and misconduct of persons so encroaching must be proved in the plainest and most satisfactory manner, according to the form prescribed in Chapter III.

SECTION XVI. And in case a Mine-owner shall have advanced so much in his subterranean operations as to have passed beyond the limits of his own property, whether in length or square measure, I declare that he shall not on this account be obliged to turn back or suspend his work, provided the ground he has en. tered be unclaimed (terreno virgen) or within the limits of a deserted mine ; he must however denounce this new property, which shall be granted him, observing always that such new portion must not exceed its former size, and that he must move his boundary marks to his new limits, in order that they may be generally known.

SECTION XVII. The Mine-owner shall not only possess a portion of the principal vein which he denounced, but likewise of all those, which, in any form or manner whatever, are to be found in his property; so that if a vein takes its rise in one property, and, passing on, terminates in another, each proprietor shall enjoy that part of it which passes through his particular limits, and no one shall be entitled to claim entire possession of a vein from having its source in his por: tion, or on any other pretence whatever.




It being of the greatest importance that the lives of workmen, and other persons obliged continually to enter and go out of the mines should be endangered, and that the mines should be kept in the state of security and convenience necessary to their being successfully worked, even although they may have been judged useless and impracticable by their first possessors, and abandoned accordingly; and it not being possible to establish any general and absolute rule on the subject on account of the variety of circumstances of each mine, the greater or less hardness, tenacity, and adherence of the sides, (respaldos,) and of the substance of the vein itself; its greater or less inclination, width, and depth, inducing much diversity in the size and number, of the pillars, arches, beams, (testeras), cross-beams (intermedios), and other props, which may be left or constructed to support the sides, and also in the distribution of the works necessary to proper ventilation, and the convenient removal of the substances extracted from the mine; all which cannot be effected without true practical skill and science in the working of mines; I ordain and command as follows.

SECTION II. It shall not be permitted to any one to work the mines without the assistance and direction of one of those able and intelligent surveyors, who are called in New Spain, Miners, (mineros) or mine-watchers, (gaurdaminas) who must have been examined, qualified, and approved by the Mining Professor (perito facuttativo) appointed to be in every Mine-town or district, of whom mention will be made hereafter, Chap. XVII. Sect. I. However, in the very poor and remote Mine-towns, where there may be neither Mining Professor, nor qualified and approved surveyor, they may be allowed to proceed under the direction of the most accredited and intelligent surveyors who can be found there, until these, or others, shall be examined and licensed : the same being understood in all cases which require the direction or intervention of a surveyor, in order that, in judicial proceedings, they may meet with the confidence and credit they deserve.

SECTION III. For the design and execution of shafts (tiros) levels, (contra-minas) or adits, (socabones) and other great and difficult works, which, if they do not turn out successfully, render useless the great expences which have been bestowed upon them, the direction of one or more of the Gaurdaminas, shall not be sufficient, but the inspection or intervention of one of the aforesaid Professors of Mining shall be necessary, with the obligation on his part of visiting the work once every month, or once in two months, as the progress of it may require, in order that, if he perceives any error in the execution, he may amend it in time, and before it occasions further expences.

SECTION IV. In mines opened on a vein, of which the sides and interior substance are soft, and have so little tenacity, or adhesive property, that on being exposed to the air they moulder away, and open into cracks and crevices, or which, from any other causes, are perceived to be insufficient by themselves to maintain the security and firmness of the mine, I ordain and command that the works shall be lined and secured with large solid timber of known durability, and such as is least liable to decay under ground, cut and prepared according to the rules of art; or with good mason work of stone and mortar, if the value and other circumstances of the mine permit or require it: for which purpose there must be in all the mining places, towns, and districts, a certain number of those artificers, carpenters, and masons, who are called liners, (ademadores), and these must have journeymen and apprentices, in order to preserve and continue the exercise of this important business, which ought to be well paid and encouraged.

SECTION V. In order to prevent the introduction of artificers who have not the requisite experience and intelligence in subterranean architecture, none shall be admitted (in any place), who have not been examined and approved by the Mining Prefessor of that place, or of some other.

SECTION VI. If any mine-owner, in censequence of the great richness of the metallic substance in his vein, is desirous of substituting for the pillars, beams, or sufficient and necessary supports, made of the metallic substance itself, others constructed with mason-work of stone and mortar, he may be permitted to do so, under the inspection of one of the deputies of the district, assisted by his clerk, and with the approbation of the Mining Professor.

SECTION VII. I strictly prohibit any one from taking away, or in any degree weakening and diminishing the pillars, beams, and necessary supports of the mines, under pain of ten years' imprisonment, to be inflicted according to the form prescribed by Chapter III. of these Ordinances, by the respective judge in each case, upon any workman, searcher (buscon), or investigator, (cateador) who shall have committed such offence, and the same upon the Miner or Mine-watcher who has permitted it; and the master of the mine shall lose the same, together with the half of his property, (bienes), and be for ever excluded from all mining employments.

SECTION VIII. I ordain and command that the mines shall be kept clean and unobstructed, and that the works necessary or useful for the circulation of air, the carriage and extraction of the metal, or other purposes, although they may contain no more metallic matter than such as may remain in the pillars and partitions (intermedios), shall not be encumbered with rubbish (atierres), and clods of earth (tepetates), but that all these must be carried out, and thrown by each person on the earthmound of his own property, but on no account upon that of another person, without his express leave and consent.

SECTION IX. In the mines there must be proper and safe steps or ladders, such and as many as are considered necessary by the Mining Surveyor, for the purpose of ascending and descending to the farthermost works, so that the lives of persons employed in the mines may never be endangered by their being weak, insecure, rotten, or much worn.

SECTION X. In order to avoid the violation of the provisions of any of the Sections contained in this Chapter, it is my sovereign will that the Deputies of the Miners, accompanied by the Mining Professor of the district, and by the clerk if there be one, or, in default of him, by two witnesses in aid, shall once in every six months, or once in every year, (in places where the former is impracticable) visit all the mines in their jurisdiction which are in a course of actual working; and if they find any failure in the points referred to in the above-mentioned Sections, or in any others whatever, which regard the security, preservation, and better working of the mines, shall provide immediately a remedy for such defect, and take means to assure themselves that such remedy is carried into effect. And if the remedy be not applied, or if the same failure shall occur again, the proper penalties must be exacted, multiplying and aggravating them even to the extent of dispossessing the person so offending of the mine, which shall then belong to the first person who may denounce it; provided the Deputies proceed in the form prescribed by Chapter III. of these Ordinances.

SECTION XI. I most rigorously prohibit all persons from piercing through adits or cross levels (cruceros), or other subterraneous passages, from works which are higher and full of water, or from leaving between them and others such slight supports as may allow the water to burst through; on the contrary, persons owning such works, must have them drained by engines before they shall attempt to communicate with new ones, unless the Mining Professor should judge that such piercing through will not be attended with danger to the workmen engaged in it.

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