Tailings considered Mineral Rights?

Hello MR Forum

I am working on a project in which we will take tailings from a mine that has been non operational for 25 years. My question is if these tailings are in piles or sitting on the surface, would this subject us to mineral rights laws?


This might be one for a judge to decide. Minerals, being anything below the surface, and tailings, primarily is a refuse composed of matter retreived below the surface, one could argue that if a value was placed on these tailings then mineral rights laws would apply. Maybe someone who has knowledge of past court cases regarding this situation can add some information that would answer your question.

You aren't very specific. Are you the surface owner trying to reclaim the surface around the mine? If so you could possibly serve notice to the mineral owner to move it or lose it. You could possibly put a lien against the mineral rights for the cost of clean up. There is probably a perfectly legal way To obtain what you want, and possibly more. I recommend you consult a lawyer with mine experience. If you have no right to the surface the tailings are sitting on, I'd say leave it be.