Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


There's gold in them thar hills
June 15, 2006 10:05 AM   Subscribe

In BC, Canada, you can buy the mining rights to your neighbors' land for a $25 permit and 17 cents an acre, and you can do it all from the comfort of your office chair.
posted by mr_crash_davis (20 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
The meek shall inherit the Earth, but not its mineral rights.
posted by matthewr at 10:08 AM on June 15, 2006


It's refreshing to see embarrassing eminent domain laws in a country that isn't the US.
posted by justkevin at 10:14 AM on June 15, 2006


It's true. In fact, I own the mining rights to the land my employer's office sits on. One of these days, BAM!
posted by antifreez_ at 10:26 AM on June 15, 2006


That could be a useful device in future salary negotiations antifreez. Well done.
posted by R. Mutt at 10:36 AM on June 15, 2006


seems like the environmental groups ought to be buying up mining rights like crazy right now -- i'd donate 17 cents to protect an acre. shoot, make it a hundred acres. i just need some help figuring out which acres need it most...
posted by cubby at 10:39 AM on June 15, 2006


Though right now the gov't seems to be having "difficulties" :
[Please note:The government network services are presently experiencing some difficulties. Support Services are working to restore the service. We apologize for the inconvenience.]
posted by R. Mutt at 10:39 AM on June 15, 2006


I love it. FFF if you are listening, I never got to kick Campbell in the shins for you, but maybe these guys can go one better and strip mine his front lawn.
posted by caddis at 10:46 AM on June 15, 2006


Excellent use of the "batshitinsane" tag. If you buy the subsurface rights, you can explore without permission of the surface owners? And if you decide to start mining, you don't need their permission either, you just have to pay compensation? That's completely crazy. I live in BC, and I'd never heard of this before.
posted by russilwvong at 11:02 AM on June 15, 2006


too bad for the paparazzi that not many big celebrities live in BC. they could buy or lease mining rights and "survey the claim"
posted by Megafly at 11:27 AM on June 15, 2006


You guys have spent too much time watching Paint Your Wagon. Lee Marvin is not scheduled to show up digging under buildings in BC until next decade.
posted by honk at 11:30 AM on June 15, 2006


Are there similar laws in other provinces? I thought I'd heard a story of a company mining below a family home (with several acres) in a rural area on the CBC a while back. The mining company didn't even need to provide warning before they started, just showed up one day. Did a quick search on the Ontario gov's site but couldn't find any specifics.
posted by dripdripdrop at 11:39 AM on June 15, 2006


How much did the U.S. pay (per acre) in the Louisiana Purchase? Because you Canadians might want to make sure the U.S. isn't buying up your country at 17 cents/acre. I'm predicting an announcement soon declaring we've finally found a subterranean location suitable to store our nuclear waste.
posted by wabashbdw at 11:43 AM on June 15, 2006


The U.S. went through this with the Broad Form Deed, that allowed total strip mining without any real compensation to get to the minerals: "well, you sold us the coal, and its under a mountain. How'd you expect us to get that coal if'n we couldn't move that mountain?"
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:52 AM on June 15, 2006


Psh. Good luck going back in time to BC Canada. That's like, three or four thousand years ago.
posted by Eideteker at 12:38 PM on June 15, 2006


seems like the environmental groups ought to be buying up mining rights like crazy right now -- i'd donate 17 cents to protect an acre. shoot, make it a hundred acres. i just need some help figuring out which acres need it most...
posted by cubby at 10:39 AM PST on June 15 [+fave] [!]


cubby: historically the way to get a law like this changed is to do just what you describe: try to use it for good. Environmental groups used to buy grazing permits for public lands at auction, and then not graze anything on them, in order to give the land an opportunity to recover. (See Tragedy of the Commons, The.) Cattle companies went predictably berserk and got the law changed to say that you can't lease public land unless you intend to ruin it, more or less.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:20 PM on June 15, 2006


I'd hire the Montgomery Burns Slant Drilling company.
posted by Gungho at 1:51 PM on June 15, 2006


How much did the U.S. pay (per acre) in the Louisiana Purchase? Because you Canadians might want to make sure the U.S. isn't buying up your country at 17 cents/acre.

It should be noted, of course, that the laws and regulations discussed in the article(s) only apply to the province of B.C., but you've got a valid point, nonetheless.

Tomorrow's payday, so I'm going to go out and buy me the mining rights for half of Vancouver Island.
posted by antifreez_ at 2:00 PM on June 15, 2006


Psh. Good luck going back in time to BC Canada. That's like, three or four thousand years ago

I thought this was a mistake, until I remembered that time passes more slowly in Canada on account of inclemency.
posted by Sparx at 3:03 PM on June 15, 2006


Okay, to totally derail, sort of:

Both legislation and programming are the art and science of defining a rigorous, well-defined process and rules, in order to achieve a goal.

When programmers release software, they try to make sure it does what it's supposed to -- often, it even does -- but it will very probably have bugs in it. Bugs being exploitable ambiguities or accidental side-effects in the code.

When legislators create laws, the same applies.

People who write viruses, or hack into websites, or whatever it is hacker-types do these days, are exploiting these holes for their own benefit. We now, as a society, generally condemn this sort of thing, at least when it screws people over. We have laws against various forms of 'cyber-crime', although the definitions are kind of hard to pin down.

Can people exploit badly-written laws and get away with it? What are they going to do to turn this idiotic subsurface rights sale around?

And, probably more importantly: when are we going to start treating legislation (and for that matter, programming) like engineering? Why isn't there a bureau of the government specifically trying to exploit and find loopholes in laws? Software development sucks, but at least some of us do QA (Quality Assurance) testing. Philosophy and math have logicians that try to come up with rigorous rulesets that stand up to the test of time and reality—we really ought to be able to apply some of the things we've learned about that to modern-day legislation.

My point: not only is this stupid and embarassing, it's totally avoidable.
posted by blacklite at 3:23 PM on June 15, 2006


Shit! Don't tell the Mole Men!
posted by Skwirl at 5:05 PM on June 15, 2006


« Older Samuel R. Delany...   |   In the name of God - Humanoid ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments