Appendix II: Outline of Laws Governing the Acquisition of Mineral Lands in Newfoundland from 1860 to 1951
Between 1860 and 1951, regulations regarding the acquisition of mineral lands in Newfoundland were briefly as follows:
An interested party first had to obtain a mining license for a mining location, secondly a mining lease and lastly a fee-simple grant for that area. The financial expenditure and time interval required between each successive stage varied as the Crown Lands Act was amended over the years. The size of a mining location began as one square mile in 1860, and was reduced to one-half square mile in 1903 and to one-quarter square mile in 1930.
A fee-simple grant provided a title to a mining location in fee simple - that is, in perpetuity and without rentals - once a specific amount of money had been expended upon the property. Originally, the required amount was $20,000 in the first eleven years of occupancy; this was changed in 1884 to $6000 in the first five years of occupancy.
The original 2.5 per cent royalty imposed in 1860 on the gross produce of a mine was eliminated in 1872 by Charles Fox Bennett's government. Certain companies - namely the Buchans Mining Company Limited and the two companies mining iron ore on Bell Island - later had to pay a designated royalty. In 1930, the government imposed a 5 per cent royalty on the net profits of all mining ventures in Newfoundland, except for the Bell Island iron mines, which came under separate legislation, and which were taxed according to the tonnage of ore shipped.
The foregoing system of land acquisition and taxation was altered substantially in 1951; fee-simple grants, for example, are no longer available. Details of the Crown Lands (Mines and Quarries) Act and its later amendments may be obtained from the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Mines and Energy.