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Offline WaulespanTopic starter
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« on: December 10, 2016, 05:24:48 pm »
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In the Brexit case the Supreme Court is to rule on whether the UK government can rely on the Royal Prerogative or if Parliament (and the Welsh, Scottish and N Ireland governments) must pass an act of Parliament to authorise the process of leaving Europe (article 50).

If the court rules for the latter this could scupper the Crown Estate's Royal Prerogative claim (upheld in the 1567 Case of Mines) to ownership of native gold (and silver) found in ores in private mines or land, in England and Wales at least. In Northern Ireland the prerogative was backed up by an Act of Parliament, requiring the additional consent of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment for any gold mining. The Crown Estate conspired to apply the 1567 Case of Mines to Northern Ireland, but that is a different story.

However, the Mines Royal Acts of the late 17th century, passed during the early reign of William III and Mary, (that regulated the 1667 ruling) were so substantially revoked, that there is no legal mechanism for the Crown Estate to cart away the gold (and silver) ores from private lands. All that the Crown Estate can do now, on behalf of Her Majesty but without her express permission, is to threaten private legal action against any landowner in England and Wales (but not Scotland) who dares to assert his or her right to mine on their own private lands.

So, will the Crown Estate ask the government to pass a new act of Parliament to re-impose the ancient prerogative to gold and silver? I doubt it, because the Crown Estate has always acted in breach of the law, not for the good of the Crown, King or Queen, but for lazy-minded governments, which would rather stifle gold prospecting entirely, for fear of admitting to the common man or woman a stake in these precious metals. Asking for a new Act would be tantamount to admitting illegal behaviour in the past.

The Crown Estate has simplistically claimed wider powers than the Case of Mines authorised, to own all native gold (and silver) in the entire UK, even though the law is different in Scotland, where any landowner can mine on his or her lands, paying 10% to the Crown. They simply don't care about what the law actually states, they only want to claw in maximum revenue for the Treasury from licences, even if there is no guarantee of successful mining.

It is not economical to continue with the current system of licencing, on the basis of threat of prosecution under Royal Prerogative. This discourages private enterprise and encourages criminal activity and infighting between panning clubs. Currently the Crown Estate is using the environmental authorities, and in some cases police to intimidate gold prospectors in Scotland, where gold panning rivers are more widely resorted to than in Wales and England. These are mostly in open access areas.

For the time being it is perhaps prudent to stay within privately owned areas, and I do have a few beautiful spots where I cannot be disturbed by spoilsports. The spoils aren't huge, and much of this year I have been repairing my camper, or having to earn a living. But the old bus is in better shape than ever, so I hope to be breaking ice soon.

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« Last Edit: December 10, 2016, 05:33:14 pm by Waulespan »
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Offline Homefire
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2016, 05:44:28 pm »
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WoW and I thought they had our stuff all Shietted up.   A Up hill battle with the Dust and Winds in your face for you guys.  Good Luck.

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