No. 2
22nd February 1864
I have the honor to transmit to you a copy of a letter from Mr. Thos. W. Mackean enquiring on behalf of the British Columbia Mining Company what concessions Her Majesty's Government will be prepared to grant to that or to any other Mining company whichmayManuscript image may be formed.
It is no doubt very desirable that Capital should be systematically applied in working the Mines, and therefore the formation of Companies should not be discouraged. But in British Columbia, as in Australia, the Mines have never been conveyed away with the lands. On the contrary they have been reservedtoManuscript image to the Crown to be leased on suitable terms; and to this principle I think it desirable to adhere.
I shall be glad to consider any suggestions which may occur to you on the terms on which companies might properly be encouraged to look for a lease of Mines. These terms should probably be the same whether in respect of Mines found upon landsofManuscript image of which the Company might have acquired the freehold, or upon lands which still belong to the Crown.
I enclose for you information an Act passed by the Legislature of Victoria in 1858 to facilitate the formation of Mining Associations.
I have the honor to be
Your obedient servant
Other documents included in the file
Manuscript image
Copy, Mackean to Elliot, 11 February 1864, asking if the Colonial Office can grant Crown land to companies for "mining and agricultural purposes."