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Mines and Metals Act 1592 (Scotland)

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892580.  Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:11 am Reply with quote

I have recently discovered that this Act of 1592 is still in force which gives Scottish landowners freedom to mine, subject to paying a 10% duty to the Crown.

There have been no gold mines in Scotland for over 500 years, apart from a few on lands where the Act did not originally apply, such as the Duke of Sutherland's estates. Therefore, the Act would remain dormant, until a new Scottish gold mine is discovered.

Charles Kennedy asked a question about the enforceability of this Act in the house in 1995.

The response was that Acts which have been unused for long periods can be nullified by the 'doctrine of desuetude'.
However, the 'official line' today is that this doctrine can no longer be applied in Scotland to statutes in force.

I will add links to the relevant pages on Hansard and other websites if other members here would like to follow up my research.

The Crown Estate has recently admitted that it does not have royal prerogative powers over gold mines in Scotland, but relies upon statute instead, namely the 1424 Royal Mines Act (Scotland). However, the 1424 Act, which deemed only high grade silver/lead mines to be the King's property, was repealed by the 1592 Act.

The first gold mine in Scotland for over five hundred years has been officially approved at Cononish, in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. If the official policy against applying the doctrine of desuetude remains in place, there is no alternative, formal means for the Crown to claim any duties on the gold produced at the Cononish mine.

892996.  Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:15 pm Reply with quote

So... you have shares, then?

Welcome to QI :-)

893031.  Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:21 pm Reply with quote

Good Evening Jenny

Good question. I am a successful, small scale gold prospector in the UK. I wouldn't advise buying shares in a commercial UK gold company. It is very risky and only now when gold is so high is it possible to envisage any profits. There are so many environmental hurdles to overcome, especially in the National Parks. And the law of gold mines in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is misunderstood even by the Crown Estate, which used to claim ownership of all naturally occurring gold and silver in all of part of the UK.
I am trying to restore a cordial relationship between the Queen and her subjects, whereby it is understood that the laws actually encourage a free spirit of mining for the good of the country. The government departments which have been trying to impose unreformed medieval laws are not only breaking the reformed laws, they are preventing mining initiatives, and harming the Queen's reputation, as people naturally associate bad practices under the banner of so called 'Mines Royal' with the Queen.
So, I am putting pressure by every means on these government departments to stop misinterpreting the law, and I am succeeding, step by step, with support from academics and other prospectors.
Having a good cause to follow, which should benefit the country and our Queen in the long run, is much better than owning shares in any gold mine. However, I have prospecting agreements, mainly in Wales, with several friendly farmers, who until I turned up didn't realise they had gold in their rivers. Now I am looking for assistants to train to help me find the motherlode in the Welsh mountains, and in some English valleys, where no-one thought to look before.
Is that QI?
If you want to discuss the background to this story I can provide you with links to BBC news, newspapers, etc.
All the best.
GoldRivers (Brian)

893032.  Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:22 pm Reply with quote

Double click?
GoldRivers (Brian)

Last edited by GoldRivers on Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:03 pm; edited 1 time in total

893036.  Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:32 pm Reply with quote

Hi GoldRivers a doubly interesting fact.


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