File No. 812.63/451

Ambassador Fletcher to the Secretary of State

No. 63

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy and translation of a decree, issued by First Chief Carranza March 31, 1917, prescribing the method of obtaining title to mining properties for which the original concessions have been canceled. This decree has not yet been published in the Diario Oficial, and this translation was made from a copy that appeared in a local paper.

I have [etc.]

Henry P. Fletcher

decree covering the acquisition of mining properties whose concessions may have been canceled

Venustiano Carranza, First Chief of the Army, in charge of the Executive Power of the Nation, in use of the faculties with which I am invested, and considering

That the right to exploit minerals is primarily acquired from the Nation, by means of a concession to be issued by the Executive Power through the Ministry of Fomento;

That Article 13 of the Mining Law of the 16th of December 1909 provides that pertenencias on which the titles may have been annulled, shall not be considered as open to denouncement until after the expiration of a period of thirty days from the date the advice of such cancellation is placed upon the bulletin board of the agency, after which the same may be acquired by the first applicant;

That, in accordance with present laws, such acquisition calls for the expenditure by the party or parties securing the concession of only the expenses required by the Stamp Law together with the charges of the agencies of the Ministry of Fomento, even in the case of pertenencias which may have acquired a high value due to their exploitation and development; and

That, inasmuch as it would not be equitable nor just that concessions should be granted for the exploitation of the subsoil in such case, on the same conditions as in the first, and, as to the State corresponds the efficient administration of properties which come under the direct dominion of the Nation, I have considered proper the issuance of the following decree:

[Page 1054]

Article 1. The right to exploit minerals in virgin soil, or in pertenencias which may not have been developed, shall be granted on the conditions set forth by the present mining law and regulations.

Article 2. The pertenencias whose concessions may have been canceled owing to the nonpayment of the mining tax, or by reason of abandonment, in accordance with the decree of September 14, 1916, and which, in the judgment of the Ministry of Fomento, Colonization and Industry, represent a high value, due to the present state of development of the same, shall be granted for exploitation subject to a special contract, the conditions of which shall be established by the Ministry stated, and without being subject to substantiation as required by the present mining law and regulations.

Article 3. In case two or more petitions are submitted simultaneously, the right to the concession shall be granted at public auction, and shall be given to the highest bidder, after a study by the Ministry of Fomento of the conditions submitted by the petitioners.

transitory articles

  • Article 1. This law shall become effective on the date of its publication.
  • Article 2. All existing laws which are in contravention to the terms of this decree shall be without effect.

I, therefore, order this to be printed, published, circulated and duly complied with.

Constitution and Reforms

Given at the National Palace of Mexico, this 31st day of March, 1917.

Venustiano Carranza