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Section xxxvn. The Royal Tribunal General in Mexico shall also immediately lay before the Viceroy, an exact estimate of the salaries to be allowed to the principal individuals filling offices ia the Tribunal, and of the inferior officers appointed, or to be appointed, in pursuance of these Ordinances; in order that the same may be referred to me by the Viceroy, with his remarks thereon, for my Royal Approbation, which is necessary to the secure establishment of the said Tribunal.
OF THE ORDER OF PROCEEDING IN THE SUBSTANTIATION AND DETERMINATION OF LAW-SUITS, IN CASES OF A VACANCY OR NECESSARY ABSENCE OF ANY OF THE JUDGES OF THE MINERS, OR OF THEIR REFUSALS (RECUSACIONES~) IN THE 1ST, 2ND, AND 3RD INSTANCES.
The Royal Tribunal General of the mines shall not enter upon any business which is in litigation, without the assembling of three of its Members; and if at any time on account of illness, necessary absence, or any other just and lawful impediment whatsoever, as by the judge being interested in the question, or by his being related to any jf the litigating parties, that number of Judges cannot be assembled, such of die Advisers residing in the capital of Mexico as are properly eligible to the same office, by the rules already laid down; and the proper number shall be thus completed; and the same thing shall be done with regard to the number of the Judges of Appeal, which is never to be less than three, according to what has already been laid down in these Ordinances; and whenever in consequence of any of the before-mentioned impediments, any one of the Territorial Deputies cannot, or ought not, to be Judge in any such litigated cause, his place shall be supplied by the proper substitute accordingly.
I prohibit the absolute refusal (recusation), of all the Judges of the Royal Tribunal General, and of those of Appeals; but one or two particular members may refuse, assigning reasons, and giving security; it being understood that those refusing shall not be heard, or any refusal admitted, after a determination has been made concerning them.
SECTION III. In the same manner the two Territorial Deputies, acting as Judges of the mines, shall not refuse, though either of them may.
SECTION IV. 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 TAID 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 MIKES ABANDONED AND LOST.
As it is most just and proper to reward with particularity and distinction those 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 MineraJes'), wherein no mine or shaft has been opened before, acquire in the principal vein as much as three portions (pirtenencias), 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.
Section n. 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, id 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, mus,t 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 (varas) 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 mado 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 terms 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 this Chapter, the actual existence of the mine in question, the name of its 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 Sundays; 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, (malacate), 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; end 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 docs 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 cl im 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.
SECTION XIII. 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