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Acquisition of Non-Mineral Land For Mine Related Purposes

Clayton J. Parr, Dale A. Kimball, Proceedings of 23rd Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (1977)

Once the basic plan of a mining operation is formulated, it becomes apparent that many sites will be required for various related activities that do not involve minerals extraction. At this point, it is often realized that the mineral and other property rights that have been so diligently acquired fall short of providing the property rights necessary for the conduct of such activities (which we sometimes refer to herein as auxiliary operations). The large expenditure that is required in opening a mine necessitates that the greatest possible security of tenure be obtained in lands utilized for auxiliary purposes, as well as for mining purposes, so it is important that an enlightened land acquisition program be undertaken to secure the necessary rights. Anyone who has ever participated in such a program in connection with a mine of substantial size, particularly a hard-rock mine, knows that he enters one of the most complex, demanding, expensive, and time-consuming experiences that a lawyer or landman will ever face. Successful completion of such a program requires a thorough knowledge of the law and regulations, wits sufficient to enable one to dance through the inevitable procedural mazes, and ample resources to sustain the effort.

It is the purpose of this paper to describe the uses for which such lands may be needed; to discuss some of the [596] various means by whi