Mineral ownership and the law of support across ISM

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    Mineral ownership and the constraints placed upon developers of mineral resources vary from one country to another. Some have had ownership of mineral resources and compensation for their extraction enshrined in statute over many centuries while for others this is a relatively new concept. The majority of the world’s countries favour ownership of strategic minerals such as coal, oil, gas, gold etc being vested in the State; the right to extract then being allowed under licence or permit. Some countries also have rigorous legislation that controls mineral operations in order to prevent future environmental disasters, while others due to their own particular circumstances may have little if any controls. The requirement to pay compensation as a consequence of mineral exploitation will also vary according to the locality, the presence of protected sites and the proximity of habitation. Mineral ownership for sites subject to possible shale gas fracturing has also focussed the public’s attention on mineral ownership and the role of the State in extracting this resource in an environmentally acceptable way. The International Society for Mine Surveying (ISM) is an association of specialists in mine and mineral surveying from all across the world and its continents, with a considerable number of members providing clear guidance on mineral estate ownership.

    This paper will briefly outline the educational and scientific role of ISM and will then examine the legal constraints behind mineral ownership and surface support across several member states. The paper compares and contrasts the law of ownership for both surface and minerals estates across each of the selected countries with the overall objective of deriving conclusions and formulating suitable recommendations that are based on best practice. Where appropriate, statutory requirements placed on mineral operators regarding the payment for compensation to surface estate owners and other parties with vested interests will be discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages8
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2016
    EventInternational Congress for Mine Surveying - Conference Centre, Brisbane, Australia
    Duration: 12 Sept 201616 Sept 2016
    Conference number: XVI


    ConferenceInternational Congress for Mine Surveying
    Abbreviated titleISM


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