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 Minerales), wherein no mine or shaft has been opened before, acquire in the principal vein as much as three portions (pertenencias), 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 II. 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.

SECTION III. He who proposes for a new mine in a vein already known and worked in part, is not to be considered a discoverer.


SECTION IV. 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 discov. erer shall present himself, must 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, thạt 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

declivity, ncipal marito add the

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.

SECTION V. 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.

SECTION VI. 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.

SECTION VII. 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 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 thís 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 babitation, 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.

SECTION IX. If the former Mine-owner should appear, in order to oppose the denounce. ment, 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 days, 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.

SECTION XI. If any one denounce a mine as forfeited, on account of the non-observance of any of these Ordinances, which bear that penalty, such claim shall be allowed to him, provided he can lawfully establish any such cause of forfeit


SECTION XII. 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 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.

SECTION XV. 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.

SECTION XVI. 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.

SECTION XVII. 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 de. sires 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 ascertained, they may acquaint the Viceroy therewith, who on finding therein nothing prejudicial to the body of the Miners, the Public, or my Royal Treasury, shall grant him this and other privileges, exemptions, and aids, on condition that my Royal approbation is previously obtained to all such favours, which cannot be granted by the ordinary authority of the Viceroy.

SECTION XVIII. Beds of ore (placeres) and all other depositories (criaderos) of gold and silver, on being discovered, shall be registered and denounced in the same manner as mines or veins, the same being understood of all species of metal.

SECTION XIX. Inasmuch as the waste ground (desechaderos), and earth heaps (terreros), of abandoned mines, are generally the support of the widows and orphans of the working miners, the old men and invalids, and all other distressed persons of that employment, and even of all the inhabitants of the district, when the mines are not in a course of working, I prohibit any individual from denouncing them, in order to appropriate them to himself, unless he at the same time denounces the mines to which they belong.

SECTION XX. The same prohibition is to be understood with regard to the dross, (escori. ales) rubbish, and refuse, (lameros), of those smelting houses and establishments of which nothing is left but the walls ; but I order that if they have an owner, notice shall be given to him, and a certain time allowed, in which if he does not avail himself of the vessels (resocas) and other remains, nor the community derive any benefit therefrom, they shall be granted to any person denouncing them.

SECTION XXI. Though in the regular veins, or in the banks, beds, or other mineral depositories, (rebosaderos) great natural masses of virgin gold and silver may be found, I declare that the owners of the mines are to acquire and possess them, on paying the just duties ; and I also declare that only ancient deposits of money or jewels, of ingots, or grains, and any other fragments, smelted by man, and buried by thieves, or in any other manner from time immemorial, 80 that the owner thereof is unknown, shall be retained as treasure.

SECTION XXII. I likewise grant, that in the prescribed form, may be discovered, claimed, registered and denounced, not only mines of gold and silver but also those of precious stones, copper, lead, tin, quicksilver, antimony, zinc, bismuth, rock salt, or other fossils, whether perfect or mixed metals, bitumen or other production of the earth, the denouncers thereof receiving grants of the same, accord

« ForrigeFortsett »