Legal Areas
Mining Districts

Mining Districts

            Prior to the first federal mining law, the Lode Law of 1866, territorial, state and federal courts recognized the validity of the rules, regulations and customs of the mining districts. A mining district is a section of country usually designated by name, and described or understood as being confined within certain natural boundaries, in which gold or silver, or both are found in paying quantities, and which is worked and the rules and regulations are prescribed by miners operating within the district.

            An excellent history of the State of Arizona's mining district rules and regulations can be found in Chapter 1 of History of Mining in Arizona, Mining Club of the Southwest Foundation, 1987.  The rule of the mining districts was temporarily interrupted on November 3, 1864 when the Arizona Territory's first legislative assembly passed a code including a mining code. The Lode Law then asserted federal supremacy and reestablished the influence of the mining districts. The districts' records were either lost or preserved by the forming county governments.

            This webpage is an attempt to preserve and share those Arizona mining district rules and regulations the author has been able to find.