Gold-field regulations [Slater’s Queensland Almanac, 1868]

[Editor: These regulations were published in Slater’s Queensland Almanac for 1868 (1868).]

Gold-field regulations

Intending diggers will probably peruse with interest the following regulations:—

Commissioner empowered to make temporary rules. — The Commissioner may at any time make such temporary rules or orders, not inconsistent with the Act 20Victoria, No. 29, or with these Regulations as he may consider necessary for regulating the mode of washing at any stream or waterhole, for the prevention of injury of a public nature by the deposit of tailings or refuse from any cradle, tom, sluice, or crushing-machine.

Commissioner empowered to decide disputes. — The Commissioner shall have power to decide upon and make any necessary order in any dispute that may arise in any matter connected with the gold fields management, and not herein provided for; but no such decision or order shall be inconsistent with these Regulations, or with the Act of Parliament 20 Victoria, No. 29.

Appointment of Assessors. — In any case of dispute or otherwise in which the Commissioner is called upon to act, it shall be competent for that officer, if requested by the parties concerned, previous to enquiring into the matter at issue, to obtain the assistance of two assessors, who shall be elected by the miners present at the time; and the miners so elected and the Commissioner shall proceed to determine the matter, and the decision of the majority shall be final: Provided that the sum of one pound sterling be paid to the Commissioner by each party, in the event of their demanding the appointment of assessors. Such fees to be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the 17th clause of the Act 20th Victoria, No. 29.

Prospecting. — As a reward for the discovery of gold in any new locality, the Commissioner may, in his discretion, allot to any miner or party of miners discovering the same, in addition to the claim which each individual would otherwise be entitled to, any number of claims not exceeding ten, if the discovery be within the limits of a gold-field, and not exceeding twenty, if at a distance of three miles or upwards from the limits of any known gold-field; such claims to be in conjunction, and, if practicable, to be measured in a rectangular block, as hereinafter provided. For the purpose of this regulation a new locality shall be taken up to mean ground previously unworked, and capable of affording employment to not less than fifty miners.

Six Claims within 440 yards from the nearest shaft bottomed. — Any miner or party of miners discovering payable gold, within not less than four hundred and forty yards distant from the nearest claim then bottomed and being worked, shall be entitled to an area of ground not exceeding two hundred feet square.

On lost lead. — The first miner or party of miners discovering payable gold on a lost lead or working shall be entitled to an area of ground not exceeding two hundred feet square.

Number of men in party. — In these Regulations a party shall be considered as consisting of any number of men not exceeding four, and no ordinary claim will be allowed in extent greater than for a party of four, except in cases of amalgamation by registry, or as hereinafter provided.

Title to prospecting claims. — All prospecting claims shall be marked off in the manner of ordinary claims; such making to be deemed good and sufficient title to such claim until the discovery of gold thereon, when the party holding the same will be required to report the discovery to the Commissioner, with a view of the claim being registered, as hereafter provided.

Transfer of claims. — Claims may be transferred; but such transfer shall not be recognised until it has been registered in the office of the Commissioner.

Registration of claims. — Any miner who shall, from illness, be unable to work, or who shall be in attendance at any court of justice, or whose absence from his claim is rendered necessary by some urgent business, shall, on proof being afforded to the Commissioner, be entitled to written registry to the effect that such claim is held in reserve for him, and a copy of such registry shall be posted on every claim so reserved.

Unworked claims. — Any claims remaining unworked and unregistered for three clear ordinary working days, shall be liable to be forfeited.

Claims to be properly pegged. — The holder of any claim on auriferous land of any description, except reefs or veins of quartz, shall, on pain of forfeiture, marks the boundaries of such claim by driving in at each corner a substantial peg to stand at least two feet above the ground, which shall be kept at all times clear of rubbish or soil during the occupation thereof; and no person shall remove, injure, destroy, or cover any such peg.

Marking of more ground than allowed. — Any miner marking off more ground than he is entitled to by these Regulations shall be liable to have the ground so marked off, pegged off at either end, at the option of the disputant, upon same being proved under provisions of clauses four and five preceding.

Claims to be worked within forty-eight hours. — All claims must be worked within forty-eight hours after boundaries have been marked out, with the requisite number of men as hereinafter provided; otherwise such claim or claims shall be deemed to be abandoned.

Mining allotment. — Each person holding a miner’s right will be permitted to occupy and enclose, for the purpose of residence, so much land as may be determined by the Commissioner, not exceeding eight hundred square yards.

Business allotment. — Each person holding a business license shall be permitted to occupy, for purposes other than gold-digging, land not exceeding in dimensions sixty feet by one hundred and twenty feet. The Commissioner may in his discretion further allot to the same party, on payment of an additional license fee, additional land to an equal extent; and when such land is situated in a position detached from any tents or buildings, and away from any main road or line of stores or shops, the Commissioner may permit the same person to occupy, under such license, an area not exceeding three times the abovenamed extent.

Transfer of business license. — A business license may be transferred, and shall be available on any gold-field to which the licensee may remove, providing it be endorsed by the Commissioner.

Inadmissable claims. — No claim shall be allowed in any position where, by its interference with the supply of water requisite for the public, by undermining or digging up the roads, or by obstructing public thoroughfares, the general interests will be injured.

No sludge hole to be cut to the damage of other miners. — No miner shall dig into, cut away, or undermine the bank of any excavation or hole containing sludge or water, in such a manner as to cause damage to any claim, water-hole, dam-bank,drain, roadway, engine, mill, machine, or any substance containing gold, the property of any other miner or miners.

Dams, reservoirs, or wells. — Persons desirous of constructing dams or reservoirs, for washing gold, may apply in writing to the Commissioner, who will, if the same be unobjectionable, grant the requisite permission. The water contained in such reservoirs or dams, or in any wells sunk for domestic purposes with the consent of the Commissioner, shall be reserved for the exclusive use of the holders. When, however, any dam or reservoir interferes with the working of the bed of a river or creek, or obstructs the supply of water for domestic purposes, such dam or reservoir, if the Commissioner shall so direct, shall be temporarily lowered by the holder.

River Claims, — Extent. — Thirty feet frontage for each miner will be allowed in the beds of rivers or main creeks running across the whole bed, unless the Commissioner deem the river or creek of such a breadth as to render a division desirable, in which case he will determine the division. When from a superabundance of water, or other cause, such claims cannot be worked, they may be registered, but will be liable to forfeiture if the occupation is not resumed as soon as practicable.

Frontage Claim. — Frontage Claim Definition. — Frontage claims shall be taken to mean alluvial claims not in the bed of a creek or river, the sinkings on which shall not be less than fifty feet.

Size of claims. — Under the frontage system a claim shall not exceed for four men, one hundred and twenty feet in length on the base line, to be formed by the Commissioner, by a width of twelve hundred feet, until gold in payable quantities is found in the claim, when the width shall be reduced to two hundred feet.

Alluvial Claims other than River Claims. — Extent of ground in dry alluvial sinking. — In dry alluvial sinking, the extent of ground shall be as follows, viz.:—
For one man … … … … … 40 feet by 40
,, two men … … … … … 40 ,, 80
,, three men … … … … … 50 ,, 80
,, four men … … … … … 60 ,, 80

Definition of wet alluvial claim. — The term “wet alluvial claim” shall mean where slabbing the shaft may be necessary on account of water: Provided that in no case, shall surface water cause any claim to be deemed wet ground.

Extent of ground in wet alluvial sinking. — In wet alluvial sinking, the extent of ground shall be as follows, viz.:—
For two men … … …. … 50 feet by 100 feet
,, three men … … … … 75 ,, 100 ,,
,, four men … … … … 100 ,, 100 ,,

Size of party. — In no case shall a party be considered to consist of more than four men, except in cases of amalgamation, notice of which must be posted on each claim, and duly registered with the Commissioner.

Slater’s Queensland Almanac for 1868, Brisbane: George Slater, [1868], pp. 58-60

[Editor: Changed “such clain is held” to “such claim is held”; “cause demage” to “cause damage”. Inserted a full stop after the sub-headings “Title to prospecting claims” and “Unworked claims”, in line with the other sub-headings.]

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