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Minerals (Vesting) Act

Published: 1949

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Minerals (Vesting) (CAP. 282 1



Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. All minerals vested in the Crown.
4. Prohibition of prospecting and mining except by licence.
5. Payment of royalties under mining licence.
6. Payment of compensation.
7. Payment of compensation where owner doubtful.
8. Regulations.
9. Saving.


(10th January, 1949.) 111949.


1. This Act may be cited as the Minerals (Vesting) Short title.

2. In this Act unless the context otherwise requires- Interpretation.

"minerals" does not include-

(i) pottery clay or rock salt;

(ii) any material, such as clay, sand, lime-
stone, sandstone, or other stones,
commonly used for the purpose of road
making or for building or for the


2 CAP. 282) Minerals (Vesting)

manufacture of any article used in the
construction of buildings where such
material does not contain any valuable
metal or precious stone in economically
workable quantities,

but includes the following-

(a) metalliferous minerals containing
aluminium, antimony, arsenic, barium,
bismuth, cadmium, cerium, chromium,
cobalt, columbium, copper, iron, lead, lithium,
magnesium, manganese, mercury,
molybdenum, nickel, potassium, sodium,
tantalum, tin, titanium, tungsten, vanadium,
zinc, zirconium and all other substances of a
similar nature to any of them, and all ores
containing them and combinations of any of
them with each other or with any other
substance, excepting only those that occur in
the form of precious minerals;

( b ) combustible carbonaceous minerals

(i) coal;

(ii) lignite, which includes brown coal and
any coal which the Cabinet may prescribe
to be lignite;

( 6 ) mineral oils, including bitumen,
asphalt and all other bituminous substances;

(6) other minerals, including those used
for their abrasive or refractory qualities and
asbestos, barytes, bauxite, china clay, fuller's
earth, graphite, laterite, marble, mica, nitrates,
pipeclay, potash, quartz crystals, slate, soda,
sulphur, talc and all other substances of a
similar nature to any of them; and

( e ) precious minerals, including-

(i) precious stones and semi-precious stones
including amber, amethyst, beryl, cat's
eye, chrysolite, garnet and all other semi-


Minerals (Vesting) (CAP. 282 3

precious stones, whether of the same kind
as those enumerated or not;

(ii) precious metals;

' ' precious metals" means gold, silver, or metal of the
platinoid group, in the unmanufactured state, and
all ores containing such metal, but not including
ores containing any such metal in combination with
another mineral where such metal cannot be worked
apart from such mineral and the value of such metal
is less than the cost of producing both the metal
and the mineral;

"precious stones"means diamonds, emeralds, opals,
rubies, sapphires, turquoises, and such other stones
as may be prescribed to be precious stones for the
purpose of this Act;

"to mine" with its grammatical variations and cognate
expressions means intentionally to search for,
extract or win minerals;

"to prospect" with its grammatical variations and
cognate expressions means to search for minerals
and includes such working as is reasonably
necessary to enable the prospector to test the
mineral-bearing qualities of the land.

3. It is hereby declared that all minerals being in, on ~ ~ ~ t ~ ~ a t l ; e
or under any land of whatsoever ownership or tenure are crown.
vested in and are subject to the control of the Crown.

In this section "minerals" includes all radio-active
minerals as defined in the Radio-Active Minerals Act. Cap. 362.

4. (1) No person shall prospect for or mine any ;;g::j:; ;fd
minerals except by authority of a licence granted by the mining except by
Cabinet and in accordance with the terms and conditions licence.
specified in such licence.

(2) Any person who contravenes the provisions of
subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable
on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten thousand


4 CAP. 282) Minerals (Vesting)

dollars and to a further fine not exceeding five hundred dollars
for each day during which the contravention continues.

(3) Nothing in this section shall be taken as authorizing
the prospecting for or mining of minerals in, on or upon
any land except with the consent of the owner or occupier
of the land.

Payment of
royalties under

5. Where a licence to mine is granted under section 4
mining licence. there shall be paid to the Government by the licensee in

respect of minerals mined by virtue of that licence such
royalties as may be prescribed, and different royalties may
be prescribed for different minerals.

Payment of

6 (1) Except as provided in this section, where
minerals are won in, on or under any land which is not
Crown land, there shall be paid to the owner of the land
such compensation as is in this section provided in respect
of the minerals so won:

Provided that, where there is a tenant for life of such
land, the compensation payable to the owner shall be paid
into the Public Treasury to the credit of the owner and (not-
withstanding anything to the contrary contained in .the

Cap. 395. Savings Bank Act, or in any Rules made thereunder with
respect to the limitation of the amount of a deposit and the
interest payable thereon) it shall be invested by the
Accountant-General in the Government Savings Bank
without limit as to amount, and the income arising therefrom
shall be paid to the tenant for life during his lifetime, and
upon his death the capital sum so invested shall be paid to
the owner of the land.

(2) The compensation to be paid under this section shall
be five per centum of the royalties paid to the Government
and it shall be paid at such times and subject to such
conditions as may be prescribed:

Provided that if any person proves to the satisfaction
of the Cabinet that he was at the commencement of this Act
in receipt of any income derived from mining operations
carried on on lands of which he is the owner, the compen-
sation to be paid to him shall be the full amount of the
royalties paid to the Government during the period for which
compensation is payable under this section, and in any case


Minerals (Vesting) (CAP. 282 5

the amount of such compensation shall not be less than the
income by way of royalties to which, but for the passing of
this Act, such person would have been entitled under any
subsisting agreement.

(3) No compensation shall be payable to the owner of
any land at any time after either-

(i) the fiftieth anniversary of the commencement
of this Act; or

(ii) the twenty-fifth anniversary of the day upon
which, after the commencement of this Act,
such minerals were first won in, on, or under
such land,

whichever first happens:
Provided that where mining operations are

suspended on the area of the mining lease the period
during which such operations are so suspended shall
not be taken into account in determining such
twenty-fifth anniversary.

(4) No compensation shall be payable in respect of any
precious metals or precious stones which are won in, on or
under any land.

7. (1) Where any doubt arises as to the person who Payment of
compensation is entitled as owner to the payment of any compensation ,here

which is payable under this Act, such compensation shall doubtful.
be paid into the High Court to the credit of the person who
may be entitled thereto and it may (subject to the provisions
of this section) on the subsequent application of any person
claiming to be entitled thereto, be paid out to such person
on the order of a Judge of the Court.

(2) All moneys paid into the High Court under the
provisions of this section which remain unclaimed for twelve
years after such payment shall be transferred and paid into
the general revenue of Antigua and Barbuda, and all claims
thereto shall be forever barred.

8. The Cabinet may make regulations with respect Regulations.
to any matter which may be prescribed under this Act,


6 CAP. 282) Minerals (Vesting)

including the forms of licence to prospect for minerals and
to mine minerals and the fee to be paid therefor.

Saving. 9. Save as regards the payment of royalties as provided
for in section 5, nothing in this Act shall affect the terms
and conditions of any mining lease entered into before the
coming into operation of this Act.