Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 45.2. Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Chapter 13. Mineral Mining Retaining Dams; Adjacent Owners

Article 2. Rights of Owners of Land Adjacent to Mineral Mines.

§ 45.2-1303. Consent required before working mine near land of another.

No owner or tenant of any land within the Commonwealth containing minerals shall open or sink, dig, excavate, or work in any mine on such land within five feet of the line dividing such land from that of another person without the written consent of every person interested in or having title to such adjoining lands or mineral rights in possession, reversion, or remainder, or of the guardian of any such person that may be under a disability. Any person violating this section shall forfeit $500 to each person injured by such violation and to each person whose consent was required but not obtained.

1997, c. 390, § 45.1-161.311:1; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.

§ 45.2-1304. Adjacent owner to be permitted to survey mine; proceedings to compel entry for survey.

A. If a person who is interested in or has title to any land or mineral rights coterminal with the land or mineral rights on or in which a mine is located has reason to believe his property is being trespassed upon, then the owner, tenant, or occupant of the land or minerals on or in which such mine is opened and worked, or his agent, shall permit such interested person to have ingress and egress with surveyors and assistants to explore and survey such mine for the purpose of ascertaining whether a violation of § 45.2-1203 has occurred. Such exploration and survey shall occur at the expense of the interested person, and such person shall not be entitled to enter the mine property more often than once each month.

B. If such interested person is refused entry to such mine, he may file a complaint before the judge of the general district court of the county or city in which such mine is located. Such judge may issue a summons to such mine owner, tenant, occupant, or agent to answer the complaint. Upon the return of the executed summons and the submission of proof that the complainant has right of entry and that such right of entry has been refused without sufficient cause, the judge shall designate a prompt and convenient time for such entry to be made and issue a warrant commanding the sheriff of the county or city to attend and prevent obstructions or impediments to such entry, exploration, and survey.

C. Any owner, tenant, occupant, or agent who refuses permission, exploration, or survey pursuant to subsection A shall forfeit $20 for each refusal to the person so refused. The costs of such summons and a fee of $3 to the sheriff executing the warrant shall be paid by the person whose refusal caused the complaint. If the court dismisses the complaint, the costs of such summons and execution shall be paid by the party making the complaint.

1997, c. 390, § 45.1-161.311:2; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 387.