Free Miner: 0050.0210

FREE MINERS – Their Rights and Responsibilities Under the Mining Laws of British Columbia.

            Any person over 18 years of age, or any joint stock company, or foreign company, may become a free miner by paying $5 to any gold commissioner or mineral recorder and obtaining a certificate good for one year.

            A free miner may obtain a new certificate for one lost on paying $1.

            Any person or company working a mineral claim, held as real estate without license, may be fined $25.  Mines become real estate after crown grant has been issued.

            Should co-owner fail to pay up his free miner’s certificate his interest goes to his co-owners pro rata according to their former interests.

            A shareholder in a joint stock company need not be a free miner.

            A free miner may cut timber on crown lands.

            A free miner may kill game for his own use at all seasons.

            A free miner may obtain five acre mill site upon crown lands in the form of a square.

            A claim may be held from year to year by work being done to the value of one hundred dollars.

            Two claims on each mining division, not on the same vein or lode, may be held, and more than one on the same vein if held by purchaser.

            Lodes discovered in tunnels may be held if recorded in 15 days.

            A free miner may on payment of $500, in lieu of expenditure on claim, obtain a crown grant.

            Any miner may, at the discretion of the commissioner, obtain a water right for a term of 20 years.

            No transfer of any mineral claim or interest shall be enforceable unless in writing, signed and recorded.

            No miner shall suffer from any act of omission or commission, or delays on the part of the government officials.

            No claims shall be open to location during last illness of holder, nor within 12 months after his death, unless by permission of gold commissioner.

            A mineral claim must be recorded within 15 days after location, if within 10 miles of office of mining recorder.  One additional day is allowed for every additional 10 miles or fraction thereof.


            Work on each mining claim to the value of $100 must be done each year from date of record of mineral claim.  Affidavit made by the holder, or his agent, setting out a detailed statement of the work done must be filed with the gold commissioner or mining recorder, and a certificate of work obtained, and recorded before the expiration of each year from the date of record of said claim.  A free miner holding adjoining claims may, subject to filing notice of his intention with the gold commissioner or mining recorder perform on any one or more of such claims, all the work required to entitle him to a certificate of work for each claim.  The same provision applies to two or more free miners holding adjoining claims in partnership.  In lieu of above work the miner must pay $100 and get receipt and record the same.


            The mining laws of British Columbia are designed to afford the utmost protection to miners, and also to afford every encouragement to prospectors to open up and locate mineral properties.  The prospector who has found mineral in place must mark his claim by two legal posts, each four inches square and not less than four feet above the ground.  These posts are numbered 1 and 2.

            A legal post marked “discovery post” must also be placed on the lode where it was discovered.

            On No. 1 post must be written:

            1    Initial post.

            2    Name of claim.

            3    Name of locator.

            4    Date of the location.

            5    Approximate bearing of No. 2 post.

            6    Length and breadth of claim.

            7    Number of feet to the right and number of feet to the left of location line.

            On No. 2 post must be written:

            1    Name of claim.

            2    Name of locator.

            3    Date of location.

            The line from No. 1 to No. 2 must be distinctly marked by blazing trees or planting posts.

            Locations made on Sunday or public holidays are not for that reason invalid

0050.0210: Free Miner

Rights and regulations of Free Miners under the mining laws of British Columbia.

Medium:  Newspaper - Text
Date:  April 12, 1898
Pages:  2
Publisher:  Cranbrook Herald
Collection:  Columbia Basin Institute (0050)


free miners rights responsibilities mining laws gold commissioner mineral recorder certificate claim lodes tunnels legal posts discovery post


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