Mines (Working Facilities and Support) Act 1923

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1923 c. 20


Mines (Working Facilities and Support) Act, 1923

(13 & 14 Geo. 5.) CHAPTER 20.

An Act to make provisions for facilitating the working of minerals and for imposing restrictions on the working of minerals required for the support of railways, buildings, and works.

[18th July 1923]

Be it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Rights of working Minerals and rights ancillary thereto and of Support.

Part I.

thereto and of Support.Rights of working Minerals and rights ancillary

Rights of working and rights ancillary to the working of Minerals.

Rights of working and rights ancillary to the working of Minerals.

S-1 Power to grant right to work minerals which would otherwise be unworkable.

1 Power to grant right to work minerals which would otherwise be unworkable.

(1) Where there is danger of minerals being left permanently unworked—

(a ) by reason of the minerals being comprised in or lying under land which is or has been copyhold land, or land subject to a lease exception reservation restriction covenant or condition, or otherwise not being capable of being worked without the concurrence of two or more persons;

(b ) by reason of the minerals being owned in such small parcels that they cannot be properly or conveniently worked by themselves;

a right to work the minerals may be conferred in the manner and subject to the provisions hereinafter appearing on any person having an interest in them, or, in the case of minerals owned in small parcels, in minerals adjacent to them, who is desirous of working them either by himself or through his lessees.

(2) For the purposes of this Part of this Act, references to working minerals shall include references to working, carrying away, treating, and converting minerals.

S-2 Power to grant right to work minerals where adjustment of boundaries between two mines agreed.

2 Power to grant right to work minerals where adjustment of boundaries between two mines agreed.

2. Where the persons working two adjoining mines have agreed on an adjustment of boundaries between the mines with a view to reducing the amount of minerals to be left unworked between the mines, or to enabling the minerals to be worked more efficiently or more economically, and effect cannot be given to the agreement by reason of the failure or refusal of the lessors of the mines or the owners of the surface, or any of them, to concur, a right to work the minerals in accordance with such adjusted boundaries may be conferred in the manner and subject to the provisions hereinafter appearing on the persons working the mines respectively.

S-3 Power to grant ancillary rights for facilitating the working of minerals.

3 Power to grant ancillary rights for facilitating the working of minerals.

(1) Where any facility, right, or privilege is required in order that minerals may be properly and conveniently worked by the person entitled to work the same, and the proper and efficient working of the minerals is unduly hampered by the inability or failure of that person to obtain such right, facility, or privilege (hereinafter referred to as an ancillary right), such ancillary right may be conferred in the manner and subject to the provisions hereinafter appearing on the person having the right to work the minerals who is working or desirous of working them either by himself or through his lessees.

(2) In particular, but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provision, such ancillary rights shall include—

(a ) A right to let down the surface;

(b ) A right of air-way, shaft-way, or surface or underground wayleave, or other right for the purpose of access to or conveyance of minerals or the ventilation or drainage of the mines;

(c ) A right to use and occupy the surface for the erection of washeries, coke ovens, railways, by-product works, or brick making or other works, or of dwellings for persons employed in connection with the working of the minerals or with any such works as aforesaid;

(d ) A right to obtain a supply of water or other substances in connection with the working of minerals;

(e ) A right to dispose of water or other liquid matter obtained from mines or any by-product works.

(3) An ancillary right may be granted to a person to whom a right of working minerals is granted in pursuance of section one of this Act at the time when such last-mentioned right is granted or at any subsequent time.

S-4 Limitation on power of granting rights.

4 Limitation on power of granting rights.

(1) Neither the right to work minerals nor an ancillary right shall be granted under this Act unless it is shown that it is not reasonably practicable to obtain the right in question by private arrangement for any of the following reasons:

(a ) that the persons with power to grant the right are numerous or have conflicting interests;

(b ) that the persons with power to grant the right, or any of them, cannot be ascertained or cannot be found;

(c ) that the persons from whom the right must be obtained, or any of them, have not the necessary powers of disposition, whether by reason of defect in title, legal disability or otherwise;

(d ) that the person with power to grant the right unreasonably refuses to grant it or demands terms which, having regard to the circumstances, are unreasonable.

(2) For the purposes of this Part of this Act, a person whose concurrence is necessary for the exercise of a right to work minerals shall be deemed to be a person having power to grant the right, or a person from whom the right must be obtained, as the case may be.

S-5 Applications for rights.

5 Applications for rights.

(1) Any person having an interest in any minerals who is desirous of working, either by himself or through a lessee, those minerals, or any adjacent minerals, and who considers that the circumstances are such that a right to work the minerals can be granted under this Part of this Act, may send to the Board of Trade an application for the grant of such a right.

(2) Any person having a right to work any minerals or applying for such a right who, for the purpose of or in connection with working those minerals either by himself or through a lessee, is desirous of obtaining an ancillary right, and who considers that the circumstances are such that such an ancillary right can be granted under this Part of this Act, may send to the Board of Trade an application for the grant of such a right.

(3) An application under this section shall set forth the circumstances alleged to justify the grant of the right, and shall be in such form, and accompanied by such information verified in such manner, as the Board may direct.

(4) The Board shall consider the application, and shall, unless after communication with such other parties interested (if any) as they may this fit they are of opinion that a prim facie case is not made out, refer the matter to the Railway and Canal Commission:

Provided that, where it is alleged that the right in question cannot be obtained by reason of any person not having the necessary powers of disposition, or having unreasonably refused to grant it, or having demanded terms which are unreasonable, the Board shall not so refer the application to the Commission without first having communicated with that person.

(5) When the application relates to a right to obtain a supply of water, or a right to dispose of water or other liquid matter, or any other right which appears to the Board of Trade to affect any local authority, the Board before referring the application to the Commission shall send a copy thereof to the local authority in order to enable them to take such steps as they think fit for placing their views before the Commission.

S-6 References to Railway and Canal Commission.

6 References to Railway and Canal Commission.

(1) Where a matter is so referred to the Commission, the Commission, if satisfied that the requirements of this Part of this Act are complied with in the case of the applicant, and that it is expedient in the national interest that the right applied for should be granted to him, may, by order, grant the right on such terms and subject to such conditions, and for such period, as the Commission may think fit, and upon such an order being made, the right specified in the order shall, subject to the provisions hereinafter contained, vest in the applicant.

(2) Where such a right is granted, such compensation or consideration as in default of agreement may be determined by the Commission shall be paid or given by the applicant in respect of the acquisition of the right to such persons as the Commission may determine to be entitled thereto.

(3) In determining the duration of any right to be granted the Commission shall have regard to the time reasonably necessary to enable the minerals to be fully worked, and where the applicant's interest in any minerals in virtue of which he is entitled to make the application is an interest as lessee, shall have regard to the duration of such interest.

(4) Where the right applied for is a right to let down the surface, the Commission in determining whether the right should be granted—

(a ) shall have regard to the value of the minerals required for the support of any works or buildings or intended works or buildings on or below the surface as compared with the value of the buildings or works, and as to whether the support of the buildings or works or intended works or buildings is in the national interest more important than the working of those minerals; or

(b ) if there are no such buildings or works, shall have regard to the extent to which the use of the surface for the purposes for which it is used or is...

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