43 U.S.C. § 299 Reservation of Coal and Mineral Rights

LibraryUnited States Statutes
CurrencyCurrent through P.L. 118-19 (published on www.congress.gov on 10/06/2023)
Citation43 U.S.C. § 299

(a) General provisions

All entries made and patents issued under the provisions of this subchapter shall be subject to and contain a reservation to the United States of all the coal and other minerals in the lands so entered and patented, together with the right to prospect for, mine, and remove the same. The coal and other mineral deposits in such lands shall be subject to disposal by the United States in accordance with the provisions of the coal and mineral land laws in force at the time of such disposal. Any person qualified to locate and enter the coal or other mineral deposits, or having the right to mine and remove the same under the laws of the United States, shall have the right at all times to enter upon the lands entered or patented, as provided by this subchapter, for the purpose of prospecting for coal or other mineral therein, provided he shall not injure, damage, or destroy the permanent improvements of the entryman or patentee, and shall be liable to and shall compensate the entryman or patentee for all damages to the crops on such lands by reason of such prospecting. Any person who has acquired from the United States the coal or other mineral deposits in any such land, or the right to mine and remove the same, may reenter and occupy so much of the surface thereof as may be required for all purposes reasonably incident to the mining or removal of the coal or other minerals, first, upon securing the written consent or waiver of the homestead entryman or patentee; second, upon payment of the damages to crops or other tangible improvements to the owner thereof, where agreement may be had as to the amount thereof; or, third, in lieu of either of the foregoing provisions, upon the execution of a good and sufficient bond or undertaking to the United States for the use and benefit of the entryman or owner of the land, to secure the payment of such damages to the crops or tangible improvements of the entryman or owner, as may be determined and fixed in an action brought upon the bond or undertaking in a court of competent jurisdiction against the principal and sureties thereon, such bond or undertaking to be in form and in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior and to be filed with and approved by the officer designated by the Secretary of the Interior of the local land office of the district wherein the land is situate, subject to appeal to the Secretary of the Interior or such officer as he may designate: Provided, That all patents issued for the coal or other mineral deposits herein reserved shall contain appropriate notations declaring them to be subject to the provisions of this subchapter with reference to the disposition, occupancy, and use of the land as permitted to an entryman under this subchapter.

(b) Exploration; location of mining claims; notices

(1) In general

(A) Notwithstanding subsection (a) and any other provision of law to the contrary, after the effective date of this subsection no person other than the surface owner may enter lands subject to this subchapter to explore for, or to locate, a mining claim on such lands without-

(i) filing a notice of intention to locate a mining claim pursuant to paragraph (2); and

(ii) providing notice to the surface owner pursuant to paragraph (3).

(B) Any person who has complied with the requirements referred to in subparagraph (A) may, during the authorized exploration period, in order to locate a mining claim, enter lands subject to this subchapter to undertake mineral activities related to exploration that cause no more than a minimal disturbance of surface resources and do not involve the use of mechanized earthmoving equipment, explosives, the construction of roads, drill pads, or the use of toxic or hazardous materials.

(C) The authorized exploration period referred to in subparagraph (B) shall begin 30 days after notice is provided under paragraph (3) with respect to lands subject to such notice and shall end with the expiration of the 90-day period referred to in paragraph (2)(A) or any extension provided under paragraph (2).

(2) Notice of intention to locate a mining claim

Any person seeking to locate a mining claim on lands subject to this subchapter in order to engage in the mineral activities relating to exploration referred to under paragraph (1)(B) shall file with the Secretary of the Interior a notice of intention to locate a claim on the lands concerned. The notice shall be in such form as the Secretary shall prescribe. The notice shall contain the name and mailing address of the person filing the notice and a legal description of the lands to which the notice applies. The legal description shall be based on the public land survey or on such other description as is sufficient to permit the Secretary to record the notice on the land status records of the Secretary. Whenever any person has filed a notice under this paragraph with respect to any lands, during the 90-day period following the date of such filing, or any extension thereof pursuant to this paragraph, no other person (including the surface owner) may-

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