Mines (Working Facilities and Support) Act 1966

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1966 c. 4


Mines (Working Facilitiesand Support) Act 1966

1966 CHAPTER 4

An Act to consolidate Part I of the Mines (Working Facilities and Support) Act 1923 and certain enactments amending the said Part I.

[10th March 1966]

B e it enacted by the Queen'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:—

Working facilities

Working facilities

S-1 Grant of working facilities.

1 Grant of working facilities.

The court may, subject to and in accordance with this Act, confer any rights described in the Table below.

Table

Metallic ores, etc.

Metallic ores, etc.

Paragraph 1 of Table.

(1)This paragraph applies to—

Iron ore and ironstone.

Copper ore.

Tungsten ore.

Tin ore.

Fluorspar.

Lead ore.

Barytes.

Zinc ore.

Oil shale.

and also, where any other mineral is being, or is to be, worked with a mineral specified above, that other mineral.

(2) A right to search for or work any minerals to which this paragraph applies (but not including coal) may be conferred on any person (exercisable either by himself or through a lessee).

(3)Where the working of any minerals to which this paragraph applies, or the working of any such minerals in the most efficient and economical manner, is impeded by any restrictions, terms or conditions contained in a mining lease, or otherwise binding on the person entitled to work the minerals, a right may be conferred to work the minerals freed wholly or partially from the restrictions or conditions, or to work the minerals on other terms and conditions.

All minerals other than coal

Paragraph 2 of Table.

(1) This paragraph applies to any minerals other than coal.

(2)Where there is danger of any such minerals being left permanently unworked—
a ) by reason of the minerals being comprised in or lying under land which 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, or
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 on a person having an interest in the minerals or, in the case of minerals owned in small parcels, in minerals adjacent to them (exercisable either by himself or through a lessee).

Coal

Paragraph 3 of Table.

(1) A right to search and bore for coal may be conferred on the National Coal Board.

(2)Subject to section 4(5) of this Act, where the working of any coal, or the working of any coal in the most efficient and economical manner, is impeded by any restrictions, terms or conditions contained in a mining lease, or otherwise binding on the person entitled to work the coal, a right may be conferred to work the coal freed wholly or partially from such restrictions or conditions, or to work the coal on other terms and conditions.

In this sub-paragraph ‘coal’ shall not include lignite or brown coal but, subject to that, includes, together with coal as defined in this Act, all other minerals worked or to be worked therewith.

All minerals

Paragraph 4 of Table.

(1)Subject to sub-paragraph (2) below, 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 may be conferred on the persons working the mines respectively to work the minerals in accordance with such adjusted boundaries.

(2) No order shall be made under this paragraph on the ground of any failure or refusal on the part of the National Coal Board.

All minerals: ancillary rights

Paragraph 5 of Table.

(1) An ancillary right may be conferred on a person having the right to work minerals, who is working or desirous of working the minerals either by himself or through his lessees, if the right is required in order that the minerals may be properly and conveniently worked by him, and the proper and efficient working of the minerals is unduly hampered by his inability or failure to obtain that right.

(2) An ancillary right may be conferred on a person on whom a right to work minerals is conferred under this Act at the same time or at any subsequent time.

S-2 Ancillary rights.

2 Ancillary rights.

(1) In this Act ‘ancillary right’ means, in relation to minerals, any facility, right or privilege and, in particular, but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions of this subsection, that expression 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 (otherwise than by means of a pipe) 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.

(2) The court in determining whether a right under subsection (1)( a ) above should be granted—

( a ) shall have regard to the value of 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 works or buildings 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 intended to be used will be prejudicially affected by subsidence, and as to whether the support of the surface is in the national interest more important than the working of the minerals required for its support.

(3) So far as required in order that coal may be properly and conveniently worked, and where the surface has been used for the erection—

( a ) of any works for a coal-mining purpose, or

( b ) of dwellings for persons employed in connection with the working of coal, or in connection with any works within paragraph ( a ) above or subsection (1)( c ) above,

the expression ‘ancillary right’ shall also include a right to use and occupy the works or dwellings for the purposes for which they were erected.

(4) Where a right within subsection (3) above is to be granted on the termination of a lease, and a right to erect or use the works or dwellings was comprised in that lease, the court, in determining whether any compensation or consideration is to be paid or given in respect of the right to be granted by the court and the amount thereof, if any, shall have regard to the fact that the right comprised in the lease was therein comprised and to the amount of any rent reserved by the lease in respect thereof.

S-3 Limitations on grant of rights.

3 Limitations on grant of rights.

(1) No right shall be granted under section 1 of this Act unless the court is satisfied that the grant is expedient in the national interest.

(2) No right shall be granted under section 1 of this Act unless it is shown that it is not reasonably practicable to obtain the right 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.

S-4 Applications for rights.

4 Applications for rights.

(1) An application for the grant of a right under section 1 of this Act shall be sent to the Minister, and the applicant for an ancillary right for the purpose of or in connection with working any minerals may be a person either having or applying for the right to work those minerals.

(2) The application shall set out 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 Minister may direct.

(3) The Minister shall consider the application, and shall, unless after communication with such other parties interested (if any) as he may think fit, he is of opinion that a prima facie case is not made out, refer the matter to the court:

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...

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