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.
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.
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:
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;
The names and addresses of the owners of the lands in this state on which exploration activities have been conducted;
The specific location, inclination and the collar azimuth of completed drill holes;
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;
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;
The date core samples and drill cuttings were obtained;
The approximate elevation of the collars of drill holes;
Upon the request of the state geologist, a representative sample of any core samples or drill cuttings which have been collected.
The information submitted to the state geologist under par. (a)
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.
Exploration data and samples submitted under par. (a)
, 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.
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.
Any person who knowingly or wilfully fails to comply with the reporting requirements of this section shall be fined up to $50,000.
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.
Any person who knowingly or wilfully 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:
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.
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
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 metalliferous 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 metalliferous 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.
Any provision of an exploration mining lease entered into after April 25, 1978 granting an option or right to develop or extract metalliferous minerals shall be limited to a term not exceeding 50 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.
Right to cancel exploration mining leases; recording. 107.25(1)(1)
Right to cancel.
An exploration mining lease entered into after April 25, 1978 may be canceled by the lessor as follows:
If the lessor is not a public body, the lessor may cancel an exploration mining lease by notifying the lessee within 10 calendar days after the lease is recorded.
If the lessor is a public body as defined in s. 66.1331 (3) (i)
, the lessor may cancel an exploration mining lease by notifying the lessee within 90 calendar days after the lease is recorded.
The lessor may cancel an exploration mining lease if 10 years have elapsed from the date on which the lease was recorded in the office of the register of deeds of the county where the property is located and the lessee has not formally applied, under s. 293.35
, for either a permit to prospect or a permit to mine. In the event that the lessee formally applies for a prospecting permit under s. 293.35
or a mining permit under s. 293.37
within the 10-year period, but does not receive a mining permit under s. 293.49
within the 10-year period following the date of application for the prospecting permit or mining permit, the lessor's right to cancel is revived.
The lessor's right to cancel an exploration mining lease provided in this subsection cannot be waived and any provision to the contrary in such a lease is void.
(e) Paragraphs (a)
do not apply to exploration mining leases of any lands which were the site of a metalliferous mineral mine which was in operation during all or part of the 5-year period prior to April 25, 1978.
(2) Notification of cancellation.
A lessor shall notify the lessee of cancellation by registered mail addressed to the lessee. Notice is considered to be given at the time the letter is mailed. The lessor shall also provide written notice of the cancellation to the register of deeds which shall be recorded. The recorded notice shall be in legible form, as determined by the register of deeds and must clearly identify the exploration mining lease document being canceled, the lessor and lessee, the property subject to the lease and the date the lease was originally recorded.
(3) Statement of right to cancel.
An exploration mining lease shall contain a printed statement in capital and lowercase letters of not less than 12-point boldface type of the lessor's right to cancel as provided in this section and the address to which the notice of cancellation should be mailed.
An exploration mining lease which is not recorded in the office of the register of deeds of the county in which the land is located, within 30 days after it is signed by the lessor, is void.
INJURIES TO PERSONS OR PROPERTY
Subch. II of ch. 107 Note
NOTE: Chapter 353, laws of 1979
, which created this subchapter, contains notes explaining the bill. See the 1979 session laws volume 2.
In this subchapter:
"Concentrates" means the mineral-rich, finished, primary products of a concentrator.
"Concentrator" means a plant where ore is separated into concentrates and tailings.
"Concentrator tailings" means waste material resulting from the washing, concentration or treatment of crushed ore.
"Department" means the department of commerce.
"Environmental pollution" means the physical, chemical or biological alteration of quality of any air, water or land resources of the state which makes the same injurious to public health, harmful to agriculture, commercial or recreational use or deleterious to fish, birds, animals or plant or human life.
"Materials in process" means those materials, other than salvageable by-products, which must be temporarily stored in a controlled manner. These materials include stockpiled development ore other than that in a mine or concentrator, mine backfill and reclaim water. The materials also include intermediate concentrates and intermediate refining and smelting products which require further processing, such as ore concentrates which must be agglomerated prior to marketing.
"Mine excavations" means either shaft or pit excavations from which minerals have been extracted in prospecting or mining.
"Mining company" means any person who, either directly or through subsidiaries, affiliates, contractors or other business arrangements, engages in prospecting, mining, refining or smelting.
"Mining site" means the surface or subsurface area disturbed by a mining operation, including the surface or subsurface area from which the minerals or refuse or both have been removed, the surface or subsurface area covered by the refuse, all lands disturbed by the construction or improvement of haulageways, and any surface or subsurface areas in which structures, equipment, materials and any other things used in the mining operation are situated.
"Mining waste" means wastes directly resulting from or displaced by prospecting or mining and from the cleaning, preparation, separation or purification of minerals or metals during prospecting, mining, concentrating, refining or smelting operations and includes but is not limited to concentrator tailings, refinery and smelter residue, refining and smelting process emissions, mining overburden and waste treatment sludges, materials in process and salvageable by-products.
"Mining-related injury" means death or injury to person or property caused by:
Environmental pollution from emissions, seepages, leakages or other discharges from mine excavations in this state or of or from mining waste in this state; or
Substantial surface subsidence from mine excavations in this state.
"Ore" means a mineral which may be mined and processed for sale.
"Refinery and smelter residue" means waste material resulting from the refining or smelting of concentrates.
"Refining" means the process by which metal or valuable mineral is extracted and purified from an ore or concentrate and includes but is not limited to hydrometallurgical operations such as leaching and pyrometallurgical operations such as fire refining, roasting and cindering.
"Salvageable by-products" includes but is not limited to coarse tailings and other materials, other than concentrates, resulting from the mining operation which are useful and for which a market or use exists or is anticipated to exist.
"Smelting" means any metallurgical operation in which metal is separated by fusion from those impurities with which it may be chemically combined or physically mixed such as in ores.
"Subsidence" means the sinking down of a part of the earth's crust, including the surface, due to underground excavations or workings.
Claims against mining damage appropriation. 107.31(1)(1)
The department shall establish by rule procedures for the submission, review, settlement and determination of claims against the mining damage appropriation under this section. The rules shall include procedures for the proration of awards made under this section when the awards exceed the balance in the mining damage appropriation.
Any person may make a claim against the mining damage appropriation to recover damages for mining-related injuries.
Within 10 days of receiving a claim submitted under par. (a)
, the department shall notify the mining company alleged to have caused the claimant's damages that the claim has been made. Any company alleged to have caused the claimant's damages may, at its sole discretion, become a party to the proceeding.
(3) Recovery of damages under strict liability. 107.31(3)(a)(a)
When a claim under this section is not settled, an adjudicatory hearing shall be held. If after the hearing the department finds that the claimant has demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that claimant incurred damages from mining-related injuries, it shall make an award from the mining damage appropriation in an amount equal to the damages incurred, except as provided in sub. (4)
. Payment of the award shall not be delayed or limited in anticipation of any other recovery the claimant may receive by pursuing other remedies.
Damages under this section shall be awarded without regard to fault, except as provided in par. (c)
Contributorily negligent causation shall not bar recovery for a claim filed under this section by any person or his or her legal representative if such negligent causation was not greater than the causation of the mining company, but any award shall be diminished in proportion to the amount of negligent causation attributable to the person recovering.
No award of nonpecuniary damages may be made for a claim under this section unless the claimant demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence that the claimant is entitled to nonpecuniary damages and that there is a causal relationship between the injury for which pecuniary damages have been awarded and the injury for which nonpecuniary damages are claimed.
Any amount otherwise recovered for the mining-related injury for which a claim is filed under this section shall reduce the amount awarded under this section by the amount otherwise recovered.
No award for a claim under this section may exceed $150,000 for all injuries less any amount subtracted under par. (a)
or sub. (3) (c)
No award for loss of society and companionship, pain and suffering or mental anguish may exceed a total of $20,000 and, in any event, no award for nonpecuniary damages may exceed 50% of the amount awarded for pecuniary damages.
No award may be made for punitive purposes.
No award for a claim under this section may exceed an amount equal to the balance in the mining damage reserve accumulation.
(5) Mining damage reserve accumulation. 107.31(5)(a)(a)
The mining damage reserve accumulation is calculated by subtracting the total amount of all mining damages awards paid from the appropriation under s. 20.445 (4) (a)
beginning on May 22, 1980 from the sum of:
If the balance of the mining damage reserve accumulation is less than $500,000 at the beginning of a fiscal year or falls below that amount at any time, the department shall delay the payment of all mining damage awards during that fiscal year until after the close of the fiscal year to determine the sufficiency of the mining damage reserve accumulation.
(6) State subrogated to claimant's rights.
The state is subrogated to the rights of a claimant who obtains an award under this section in an amount equal to the award and may bring an action under s. 107.32
against a mining company or join in an action brought by a claimant under s. 107.32
to recover the amount awarded the claimant. A claimant who receives an award under this section shall cooperate with the state in any action under this subsection. The department may withhold 5% of the total award to which a claimant is entitled under this section until the state decides whether to commence an action under this subsection or, if commenced, until the action is resolved.
(7) Admissibility of findings and conclusions.
The findings and conclusions under this section are not admissible in any civil action brought against a mining company.