MINERAL RIGHTS DUTY.—This duty, introduced by the Finance (1909-10) Act, 1910, is levied on the rental value of all rights to work minerals and of all mineral way-leaves. Itj is charged at the rate of 5 per cent., or Is. for every £1, of that rental value. It is payable for each financial year from and including the year ending the 31st May 1910.
Definitions.—For the purposes of this duty the following expressions have the meanings assigned to them respectively. " Total value" means the amount which the foe simple of the minerals, if sold in the open market by a willing seller in their then condition, might be expected to realise. " Capital value " means the total value, after allowing a deduction for any works executed or expenditure of a capital nature incurred bond fide by or on behalf of any person interested in the minerals for the purpose of bringing the minerals into working, or where the minerals have been partly worked, a reduction proportionate to the amount of minerals which have not been worked. " Proprietor " means the person for the time being entitled in possession to the minerals, or to the rents and profits thereof, or any part of those rents and profits, but does not include a person entitled as lessee other than a person entitled to the possession of land comprised in a lease for any long term of years to which sect. 65 of the Conveyancing Act, 1881, applies. "Rent " includes yearly or other rent, and any fine, premium, or foregift, and any payment, consideration, or benefit in the nature of a fine, premium, or foregift. "Mining lease" means a lease, tenancy, or licence, by deed, parol, or otherwise, for mining purposes, i.e. for searching for, winning, working, getting, making merchantable, carrying away, or disposing of, mines and minerals, or purposes connected therewith. So " lessor" and "lessee" inchides " licensor " and " licenseb" respectively. A " working lessee " is the one who actually works or would have the right to actually work if the minerals were worked, or tits person in actual enjoyment of a wayleave. " Working year " is the year ending 30th September, or such other day as may be approved by the Commissioners. " Last working year" is the working year completed immediately before the lat January in any financial year for vehich the duty is paid " Mineral way-leave " means any way-leave, air-leave, water-leave, or right to use a shaft granted to or enjoyed by a Working lessee, whether above or under ground, for the purpose of access to or the conveyance of the minerals, or the ventilation or drainage of his mine or otherwise in connection with the working of the minerals.
Minerals are "being worked" if they are being won to be immediately worked. They are comprised in a lease if the right to work them is the subject of a mining lease, or if they are being worked under the terms of such a lease although the lease has expired. Where any minerals are being worked by a colliery, quarry, or other working, all the minerals belonging to the same proprietor, if worked by him, and which would, in the ordinary course of events, be worked by the same colliery, quarry, or other working, are deemed to bo minerals which are being worked at that date. So with minerals which the lessee has power to work if they are being worked by a lessee. Where it is im practicable to fix a sum satisfactorily representing a rent customary in a district, the rent which would be paid under similar circumstances and ordinary conditions else where is substituted for the customary rent.
What are Minerals ?—The word "minerals" is not defined by the statute. It is provided, however, by sect. 20 (5) that the duty shall not be charged in respect of common clay, common brick clay, common brick earth, or sand, chalk, limestone or gravel.
Rental Value—It is upon the rental value of mineral rights that the duty is charged, and consequently it is important to note what is to bo taken as the rental value in particular cases. Where the right to work the minerals is the subject of a mining lease no difficulty can arise, as then the amount of rent paid by the working lessee in the last working year in respect of that right will be the rental value. So, too, in the case of a mineral way-leave. There the amount of rent paid by the working lessee in the last working year in respect of the way-leave is the measure of the rental value. But the minerals may bo worked by the proprietor. In this case the rental value is an amount determined by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue. This amount should be the sum which would have been received as rent by the proprietor in the last working year if the right to work the minerals had been leased to a working lessee for a term and at a rent on conditions customary in the district, and the minerals had been worked to the same extent and in the same manner as they have been worked by the proprietor in that year. Tho proprietor is entitled to a copy of the valuation made by the Commissioners.