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An Overview of Mineral Title Examination Practice

Gregory P. Williams, Mineral Title Examination (1977)

The purposes of this paper are to discuss some of the special characteristics of mineral titles, including the requirements of mineral land use, and to discuss some of the practical aspects of and approaches to the examination of mineral titles. Certain problems relating to the role of the attorney in a mineral title examination practice are also considered.

Many of the examples used in the paper relate to unpatented mining claims. The attorney involved in examining title to such claims must work with a number of different kinds of land records and, no matter how meticulous the title search and knowledgeable the title attorney, the title report he produces may tell very little about whether any property rights have in fact been created. Unpatented claims serve, therefore, as a rather extreme example of some of the problems and concerns confronting the mineral title examiner.

This paper will not tell the reader what records to examine in the preparation of a mineral title report, nor will it tell the reader how those records are organized, or what they contain. Those subjects have been treated elsewhere1 and will be dealt with further in other portions of the Mineral Title Examination Institute.

The paper is written from the point of view of the private practitioner working in the natural resources area. Hopefully, however, much of what is said will al