Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Measure favors mineral rights over surface rights

Kennecott soon could strengthen its mining claims in the Oquirrh Mountains under a bill that bestows broader power on the company to grow its mine and places the interests of prospectors above those of homeowners, hikers and horeseback riders. The copper giant insists the measure -- sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Killpack, R-Syracuse -- simply puts the mine's existing rights into writing and ensures its long-term success. "We want to feel confident that the money we are investing in operations will allow us to continue mining into the future," spokesman Kyle Bennett said. But Salt Lake County leaders warn that SB68 would diminish government regulation, shrink private-property rights and weaken the county's power to police nuisance complaints. So what, exactly, would the legislation do? It would make mineral rights dominant over surface rights. That means landowners would have to let a mining company such as Kennecott search beneath their soil for ore, allowing them access to the property and "reasonable use" of the surface if the mine chooses to extract those minerals. The bill isn't breaking new ground on this point, according to mining-law attorney Daniel Jensen. Mineral rights already rule in the courts. But the provision comes months after a turf battle in which the state's most-populous county fought unsuccessfully to keep Kennecott from prospecting on an open-space preserve in the Oquirrh Mountains. County officials fear SB68 would chip away at surface owners' remaining rights. Among their concerns: The bill includes no provision for compensating landowners for damage to their property...Salt Lake Tribune


Mineral Rights said...

It is very important to ensure your money first before investing in such mining company to be able also to secure your own right and the investment you put in to that company. Make sure all the investments are being put into writing for future purposes.

Queenie Regner said...

Well, SB68 surely has pros and cons and weighing it based on the more necessary aspects between business and people is a must. With this, a program like this definitely takes time to be successfully accomplished.