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Comparative Analysis of American and Canadian Hard Mineral Laws

Harry Macdonell, Proceedings of 10th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (1965)

Initially, I thought that in discussing this topic my principal function would be simply to provide you with a better understanding of Canadian laws, but after reading a number of articles1 I felt I might serve you better if I discussed those aspects of the mining laws of Canada that could assist you in considering proposed revisions to United States mineral laws. Had it not been suggested in an editorial in the Engineering and Mining Journal,2 I would have hesitated to propose that the laws of my country are superior and should in some respects be adopted by you. This was before I fully appreciated that the United States Mining Law of 1872 was merely a codification of the customs developed by original California miners, that the law has not been substantially changed since, [424] that discovery is still prerequisite to a valid location, that the apex law still applies, and that no provision has been made in the federal law for recording. With this knowledge I have little hesitation in suggesting that there are many features of the law in my country to which you might give careful consideration.

Like the United States, Canada is a federation of self-governing colonies, which by their terms of union3 have retained jurisdiction in certain legislative fields and in others conferred jurisdiction on the federal government. Unlike the states of the United States, however, t