PROSPECTING ON RUNS.
Owing to (he fact jthat it wag represented m one or more of oar Oh'ristchuroh contemporaries on the occasion of the recent sale of leases of runs that it bad been stated hy the Commissioner who aqted as auctioneer, that no person other than the licensee could pass over the lands leased without inourring the penalties of trespass, an impression has got abroad among members that the whole of the country leased was shut up against prospecting. As this would mean that all the mountainous country ot Canterbury-^- that very country m which mineral wealth may be supposed to exist, nay is known already to exist to spme extent — was wholly withdrawn from mining operations, it is not to be . wondered that the possibility of such a \ state of things continuing for from ten to twenty years w.as viewed with dismay, It ? howe. very appears that the Commispio&er, Mr Biker, »«tm n;»<it tfetiftU'
tion attributed to him, except m the qualified form of a statement of opinion, guarding himself by adding that he wag not there to give legal opinions, and that the leases were being granted subject to the provisions of the law (of course including those relating to mining matters.) Major Steward has, we see, put a series of questions m the House which have resulted m very clear and definite information, showing that the danger apprehended is simply imaginary and that the prospecting can be carried on without difficulty over the lands now unde^ pastoral lease. Yesterday the Minister of Lands stated that prospecting licenses can be granted by the. Waste Lands Board over any Crown' lands, including the runs leased for definite terms of years at the last Canter* bury run sales ; that it is not necessary for the intending prospector first to prove the existence of payable mineral or of mineral at all m the area over which he wishes to prospect; that the area for which the license is asked must be specified, but that it may be of any extent ' whether over an entire run or an entire district or a limited area, and lastly that; the fee payable m respect of license 'is £1. The replies are sufficiently ample' and precise to remove all doubt on the matter and will we feel sure be Very stisfactory to all who ate interested m the development of our mineral resources,"
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