IN a paper entitled “ Observations upon Mining Law in the Empire,” read before the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy on April 21, Mr. Gilbert Stone introduced a subject of vital importance to the mineral industry. Laws and regulations frequently contain provisions that tend to hinder the industry they seek to assist; this may be due to the operation of changed local conditions; it is obvious that regulations suited to a new and undeveloped territory become unsuitable when the region has been occupied by a rapidly growing agricultural community or by large industrial centres. On the other hand, the law may be radically wrong: China, with its great resources, has little mineral development because the law and customary rules-which permit the pursuit of minerals across any body's land, without compensation or regulation, but only by a special caste, whose members must be bought out-operate to prevent modern methods of development; capital cannot be attracted in such circumstances. That is an extreme case, but cases could be cited from parts of the British Empire of laws that have prevented or seriously hampered either prospecting or development.
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[News and Views]. Nature 119, 646–650 (1927). https://doi.org/10.1038/119646a0