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Amendment V. Relocation

George E. Reeves, Proceedings of 14th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (1968)

Courts, legislators, attorneys and mining people often exert caution in choosing between the words relocation and amendment; but the confusion as to the meaning of these terms is so rampant that one cannot rely with safety on any real distinction in meaning.a1


The title of this paper suggests that it is important to distinguish between amendment and relocation. The passage just quoted from the American Law of Mining suggests that such a distinction is illusory. But if there is no difference in the meaning of the terms amendment and relocation, why is it that mining lawyers are often asked, Should I amend or should I relocate? And more to the point, why are mining lawyers sometimes at a loss for a ready answer to the question?

Mining men are traditionally practical men, bent on achieving practical results in a practical way. They are not in the habit of questioning their lawyers on matters of abstract interest only. When a mining man asks, Should I amend or should I relocate? he is usually seeking the solution to some underlying problem which, to him, is of far more immediate practical importance than the technical distinction between the two terms.

The mining lawyer, in answering the question, must [208] be thoroughly familiar, not only with the various procedures usually referred to as amendment or relocation, but also with the