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Analysis of Existing Systems For Leasing or Other Disposal

Casey W. Vlautin, Federal Mineral Leasing (1971)

The primary legislative authority for leasing of federal mineral lands is the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, 1 which applies to public lands of the United States, excluding lands acquired subsequent to February 25, 1920, lands acquired under the Appalachian Forest Act, and those lands in incorporated cities, towns and villages and in national parks and monuments. Authority for leasing acquired lands is found in the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands of 1947, 2 which applies to all lands acquired by the United States to which the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 had not been extended, excluding lands which have been acquired by the United States for development of mineral deposits, by foreclosure or otherwise, for resale, or reported as surplus pursuant to the provisions of the Surplus Property Act of 1944, and excluding submerged or tidal lands.
The practical operation of the two acts differs principally in that mineral leases of acquired lands may be granted by the Secretary of the Interior only with the consent of the head of the executive department having authority over the lands.

Under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 and the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands of 1947, prospecting permits are authorized to be issued granting the exclusive right to the permittee to prospect a prescribed area. If the permittee is successful in discovering valuable deposits of