CHAPTER 107
MINING AND METAL RECOVERY
SUBCHAPTER I
GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
107.001   Definitions.
107.01   Rules governing mining rights.
107.02   Mining statement; penalty.
107.03   Conflicting claims.
107.04   Lessee's fraud; failure to work mine.
107.11   Account of nonferrous metallic minerals received.
107.12   Penalty.
107.15   Requirements for mineral exploration.
107.20   Maximum term for exploration mining leases.
107.25   Right to cancel exploration mining leases; recording.
SUBCHAPTER II
INJURIES TO PERSONS OR PROPERTY
107.30   Definitions.
107.31   Claims against mining damage appropriation.
107.32   Liability of mining companies.
107.33   Limitations on claims and actions for mining-related injuries.
107.34   Application to sites where activities have ceased.
107.35   Application to current mining operations.
Ch. 107 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also chs. 293 and 295 for provisions relating to metallic mining, nonmetallic mining reclamation, and oil and gas exploration and production.
subch. I of ch. 107 SUBCHAPTER I
GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
107.001 107.001 Definitions. In this subchapter:
107.001(1) (1)“Exploration mining lease" means any lease, option to lease, option to purchase or similar conveyance entered into for the purpose of determining the presence, location, quality or quantity of nonferrous metallic minerals or for the purpose of mining, developing or extracting nonferrous metallic minerals, or both under ch. 293. Any lease, option to lease, option to purchase or similar conveyance entered into by a mining company is rebuttably presumed to be an exploration mining lease.
107.001(3) (3)“Mining company" means any person or agent of a person who has a prospecting or mining permit under s. 293.45 or 293.49.
107.001 History History: 1977 c. 253; 1979 c. 353; 1995 a. 227; 2013 a. 1.
107.01 107.01 Rules governing mining rights. Where there is no contract between the parties or terms established by the landlord to the contrary the following rules and regulations shall be applied to mining contracts and leases for the digging of nonferrous metallic minerals:
107.01(1) (1)No license or lease, verbal or written, made to a miner shall be revocable by the maker thereof after a valuable discovery or prospect has been struck unless the miner shall forfeit the miner's right by negligence such as establishes a forfeiture according to mining usages.
107.01(2) (2)The discovery of a crevice or range containing nonferrous metallic minerals shall entitle the discoverer to the nonferrous metallic minerals pertaining thereto, subject to the rent due the discoverer's landlord, before as well as after the nonferrous metallic minerals are separated from the freehold; but such miner shall not be entitled to recover any nonferrous metallic minerals or the value thereof from the person digging on the miner's range in good faith and known to be mining thereon until the miner shall have given notice of the miner's claim; and the miner shall be entitled to the nonferrous metallic minerals dug after such notice.
107.01(3) (3)Usages and customs among miners may be proved in explanation of mining contracts to the same extent as usage may be proved in other branches of business.
107.01 History History: 1975 c. 41 s. 51; 1993 a. 492; 2013 a. 1.
107.02 107.02 Mining statement; penalty. When there is no agreement between the parties to any mining lease, license or permit, to mine or remove nonferrous metallic minerals from any lands in this state, regulating the method of reporting the amount of nonferrous metallic minerals taken, the person mining and removing the nonferrous metallic minerals shall keep proper and correct books, and therefrom to make and deliver by or before the fifteenth day of each month to the lessor, owner or person entitled thereto, a detailed statement covering the operations of the preceding month. The statement shall show the total amount of tons or pounds of each kind of nonferrous metallic minerals produced; if sold, then to whom sold, giving the date of sale, date of delivery to any railroad company, naming the company, and the station where delivered or billed for shipment; the name and address of the purchaser; the price per ton at which sold and the total value of each kind of nonferrous metallic minerals so sold. The books shall be always open to any owner, lessor, licensor or stockholder, if the owner, lessor or licensor is a corporation, and to any person or stockholder interested in any such mining operations, for the purpose of inspection and taking copies thereof or abstracts therefrom. Any person and every officer, agent or employee of any thereof, who violates this section, or who makes any false or incomplete entries on any such books or statements, shall be fined not less than $100 or imprisoned in the county jail for not more than 3 months or both.
107.02 History History: 1979 c. 89; 2013 a. 1.
107.03 107.03 Conflicting claims. In case of conflicting claims to a crevice or range bearing nonferrous metallic minerals the court may continue any action to enforce a claim or grant any necessary time for the purpose of allowing parties to prove up their mines or diggings if it satisfactorily appears necessary to the ends of justice. In such case the court or judge may appoint a receiver and provide that the mines or diggings be worked under the receiver's direction, subject to the order of the court, in such manner as best ascertains the respective rights of the parties. The nonferrous metallic minerals raised by either party pending the dispute shall be delivered to the receiver, who may, by order of the court or judge, pay any rent or other necessary expenses therefrom.
107.03 History History: 1977 c. 449; 2013 a. 1.
107.04 107.04 Lessee's fraud; failure to work mine. Any miner who conceals or disposes of any nonferrous metallic minerals or mines or diggings for the purpose of defrauding the lessor of rent or who neglects to pay any rent on nonferrous metallic minerals raised by the miner for 3 days after the notice thereof and claim of the rent, shall forfeit all right to his or her mines, diggings or range; and the landlord after the concealment or after 3 days have expired from the time of demanding rent, may proceed against the miner to recover possession of the mines or diggings in circuit court as in the case of a tenant holding over after the termination of the lease. If a miner neglects to work his or her mines or diggings according to the usages of miners, without reasonable excuse, he or she shall likewise forfeit the mines or diggings and the landlord may proceed against the miner in like manner to recover possession of the mines or diggings.
107.04 History History: 1977 c. 449; 2013 a. 1.
107.11 107.11 Account of nonferrous metallic minerals received. Every person operating a metal recovery system and every purchaser of nonferrous metallic minerals shall keep a substantially bound book, ruled into suitable columns, in which shall be entered from day to day, as nonferrous metallic minerals are received, the following items: the day, month and year when received; the name of the person from whom purchased; the name of the person by whom hauled and delivered; name of the owner of the land from which the nonferrous metallic minerals were obtained, or if not known, the name of the diggings or some distinct description of the land. The bound book shall be kept at the furnace or at the usual place of business of such person or purchaser or his or her agent in this state, and shall be open to authorized representatives of the department of revenue at reasonable times for inspection and taking extracts.
107.11 History History: 1977 c. 420; 2013 a. 1.
107.12 107.12 Penalty. If any person operating a metal recovery system or purchaser of nonferrous metallic minerals or the agent of any such person or purchaser doing business fails to keep such a book or to make such entries as required under s. 107.11 or unreasonably refuses to show the book for inspection or taking extracts or makes false entries in the book he or she shall forfeit $10 for each offense, one-half to the use of the prosecutor; and each day such failure or refusal continues shall be deemed a distinct and separate offense.
107.12 History History: 1977 c. 420; 2013 a. 1.
107.15 107.15 Requirements for mineral exploration.
107.15(1)(1)Legislative purpose. The purpose of this section is to further the public interest in informed decision-making by appropriate state agencies, including the office of the state geologist, which are responsible for mineral, geologic and other earth-related sciences by ensuring that those agencies have as much geological information as possible where such information is relevant to their functions and at the same time protecting proprietary rights in such information.
107.15(2) (2)Definitions. In this section:
107.15(2)(a) (a) “Exploration" has the meaning designated in s. 293.01 (5).
107.15(2)(b) (b) “Licensee" means any person licensed to conduct exploration activities by the department of natural resources under s. 293.21. If the person is a corporation or limited liability company, “licensee" includes the parent and any subsidiary or affiliates of the corporation or limited liability company engaged in mining or activities related to mining in this state.
107.15(2)(c) (c) “Metalliferous minerals" means naturally occurring minerals which contain metal.
107.15(2)(d) (d) “Mining" or “mining operation" has the meaning designated in s. 293.01 (9).
107.15(2)(e) (e) “Prospecting" has the meaning designated in s. 293.01 (18).
107.15(4) (4)Release of geologic data.
107.15(4)(a) (a) The licensee shall submit to the state geologist a report containing the following information on or before July 1 of the year following each year in which soil, rock, core or drill cutting samples are obtained by the licensee:
107.15(4)(a)1. 1. The name and address of the person conducting exploration and, if the person is a corporation or limited liability company, the names and addresses of the parent and any subsidiaries or domestic affiliates of the corporation or limited liability company engaged in exploration activities in this state;
107.15(4)(a)2. 2. The names and addresses of the owners of the lands in this state on which exploration activities have been conducted;
107.15(4)(a)3. 3. The specific location, inclination and the collar azimuth of completed drill holes;
107.15(4)(a)4. 4. The date core samples and drill cuttings which have been collected or prepared, were obtained;
107.15(4)(a)5. 5. The approximate elevation of the collars of drill holes;
107.15(4)(a)6. 6. The percent core recovery log; and
107.15(4)(a)7. 7. A noninterpretive lithologic description of all portions of core samples and, of all drill cuttings if any noninterpretive lithologic descriptions of drill cuttings are prepared, excluding mention of metalliferous minerals found in the samples and cuttings.
107.15(4)(b) (b) The state geologist may require that designated representative and reasonable quantities of soil, rock, core or drill cutting samples obtained by a licensee during exploration be retained by the licensee and released to the state geologist for purposes of geologic study. The state geologist shall designate the samples and the quantities to be retained by the licensee and shall notify the licensee by December 31 of the year in which a report under par. (a) is submitted. The licensee shall release the samples no later than July 1 of the year following the year in which an exploration lease for the site where the samples were obtained has expired, but release shall be no later than 10 years after the commencement of drilling at the site.
107.15(4)(c) (c) The state geologist or his or her designee may visually examine, at reasonable hours mutually agreed upon by the licensee and the state geologist, core samples or drill cuttings which are reported on under par. (a), except for those core samples or drill cuttings or portions of core samples or drill cuttings which the licensee deems proprietary or confidential.
107.15(4)(d) (d) No later than upon the termination of mining or the abandonment of a site subsequent to prospecting, or 10 years from the date core samples or drill cuttings were originally obtained, the licensee shall submit to the state geologist, if not previously submitted, the following noninterpretive geologic information and samples:
107.15(4)(d)1. 1. The name and address of the person conducting exploration and, if the person is a corporation or limited liability company, the names and addresses of the parent and any subsidiaries or domestic affiliates of the corporation or limited liability company engaged in exploration, prospecting or mining in this state;
107.15(4)(d)2. 2. The names and addresses of the owners of the lands in this state on which exploration activities have been conducted;
107.15(4)(d)3. 3. The specific location, inclination and the collar azimuth of completed drill holes;
107.15(4)(d)4. 4. A noninterpretive lithologic description of all portions of core samples and, of all drill cuttings if any noninterpretive lithologic descriptions of drill cuttings are prepared, excluding mention of the quantity of metalliferous minerals found in the samples and cuttings;
107.15(4)(d)5. 5. Geologic maps of a lithologic nature of a scale smaller than one inch equals 200 feet normally prepared as a permanent record of an exploration, prospecting or mining operation;
107.15(4)(d)6. 6. The date core samples and drill cuttings were obtained;
107.15(4)(d)7. 7. The approximate elevation of the collars of drill holes;
107.15(4)(d)8. 8. The percent core recovery log; and
107.15(4)(d)9. 9. Upon the request of the state geologist, a representative sample of any core samples or drill cuttings which have been collected.
107.15(4)(e) (e) The information submitted to the state geologist under par. (a) or (d) may not be used by any person as the basis for any claim of civil liability which is unrelated to metalliferous mineral mining. Any person submitting information in good faith and in compliance with this section shall not be held responsible for any consequences of the use of or reliance upon such information.
107.15(4)(f) (f) Exploration data and samples submitted under par. (a) or (b), or both, shall be kept confidential until December 31 of the 3rd year following the date of submission. The confidentiality of the data and samples obtained during prospecting or mining shall extend to the time of the abandonment of a site subsequent to prospecting, the termination of mining if mining occurs, or 10 years after the core samples or drill cuttings were obtained, whichever is earliest.
107.15(5) (5)Fees. The state geologist shall charge a reasonable fee to persons requesting copies of any written information collected or prepared under this section. A person employed by a state agency shall not be charged for such information if the information requested is necessary for the performance of the person's duties.
107.15(6) (6)Penalties.
107.15(6)(a) (a) Any person who knowingly or willfully fails to comply with the reporting requirements of this section shall be fined up to $50,000.
107.15(6)(b) (b) In addition to the penalty prescribed in par. (a), any person who fails to submit information which is required to be submitted under this section shall forfeit $10 for each day after the date on which the information should have been submitted until the information is provided.
107.15(6)(c) (c) Any person who knowingly or willfully violates the confidentiality requirements of this section shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $50,000, or be imprisoned for not less than one month nor more than 6 months, or both. This paragraph shall not prevent the use of the confidential information:
107.15(6)(c)1. 1. For assessment purposes under s. 36.25 (6); or
107.15(6)(c)2. 2. By the secretary of the department of natural resources for purposes of specific environmental analysis and permit application evaluation and by the secretary of the department of revenue provided that the confidential information shall not be released by either the department of revenue or the department of natural resources, that the departments of revenue and natural resources shall establish procedures to keep any confidential information confidential, and that the responsible person or persons in each department shall be subject to the penalty specified under this paragraph for the unauthorized release of confidential information.
107.15 Annotation The public disclosure of confidential mining exploration data and core samples is an unconstitutional taking of property without just compensation. Noranda Exploration, Inc. v. Ostrom, 113 Wis. 2d 612, 335 N.W.2d 596 (1983).
107.20 107.20 Maximum term for exploration mining leases.
107.20(1)(1)Any provision of an exploration mining lease entered into after April 25, 1978, granting an option or right to determine the presence, location, quality or quantity of nonferrous metallic minerals shall be limited to a term not exceeding 10 years from the date on which the exploration mining lease is recorded in the office of the register of deeds of the county where the property is located, except that any provision of an exploration mining lease entered into after April 25, 1978, granting an option or right to determine the quality and quantity of nonferrous metallic minerals under a prospecting permit shall be limited to a term not exceeding 10 years from the date that the lessee applies for a prospecting permit under s. 293.35, if the lessee applies for the prospecting permit within 10 years from the date on which the exploration mining lease is recorded in the office of the register of deeds of the county where the property is located.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 184 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on March 28, 2020. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after March 28, 2020, are designated by NOTES. (Published 3-28-20)