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(AP News)   Court rules previously living rocks are not minerals   (apnews.com) divider line
    More: Strange, Law, Appeal, United States, Dinosaur, ongoing court case, divided Montana Supreme Court, Supreme Court of the United States, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals  
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1145 clicks; posted to Geek » on 21 May 2020 at 9:16 PM (10 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



26 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2020-05-21 6:57:43 PM  
That's one way to work your multi-million dinosaur fossil down to six figures.
 
2020-05-21 7:37:22 PM  
Wow.  This is bar exam stuff.  I love it.
 
2020-05-21 9:25:16 PM  
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2020-05-21 9:35:40 PM  
So petroleum reserves aren't minerals. Good to know.
 
2020-05-21 9:35:41 PM  
So does anyone know what mineral rights are designed to protect specifically?
 
2020-05-21 9:37:51 PM  
No the court didn't, the legislature passed a law stating that.
 
2020-05-21 9:48:54 PM  

deadsanta: No the court didn't, the legislature passed a law stating that.


Yes, the Montana Supreme Court did.  The Montana legislature also passed a law stating the same thing.  Pretty sure that law wouldn't effect this case, and would only effect any new contracts going forward.
 
2020-05-21 10:05:38 PM  

Stibium: So petroleum reserves aren't minerals. Good to know.


Nor coal.
 
2020-05-21 10:34:10 PM  
This actually makes sense. Mineral rights are concerned with mining and commodities, but these are paleontological relics and to treat them as a mineral resource is pretty silly.
 
2020-05-21 10:35:07 PM  

Raoul Eaton: Stibium: So petroleum reserves aren't minerals. Good to know.

Nor coal.


That leaves the likes of gold, lead, plutonium and my favorite: arsenic
 
2020-05-21 10:36:40 PM  

gaspode: This actually makes sense. Mineral rights are concerned with mining and commodities, but these are paleontological relics and to treat them as a mineral resource is pretty silly.


The fact you have to mine fossils notwithstanding, amirite?
 
2020-05-21 10:39:16 PM  

gaspode: This actually makes sense. Mineral rights are concerned with mining and commodities, but these are paleontological relics and to treat them as a mineral resource is pretty silly.


Yeah, but the other Farkers make good, if joking points.  Stored energy sources like oil and coal have long been included in "mineral rights".  In these cases (the 9th and Montana Supreme courts and the Montana legislature) assumed or even explicitly stated (that last part could be important) a definition of "fossil" that excludes oil and coal.
 
2020-05-21 10:44:01 PM  

SansNeural: gaspode: This actually makes sense. Mineral rights are concerned with mining and commodities, but these are paleontological relics and to treat them as a mineral resource is pretty silly.

Yeah, but the other Farkers make good, if joking points.  Stored energy sources like oil and coal have long been included in "mineral rights".  In these cases (the 9th and Montana Supreme courts and the Montana legislature) assumed or even explicitly stated (that last part could be important) a definition of "fossil" that excludes oil and coal.


My point is pretty specific, it's fairly unusual for fossils to be buried under dirt. Typically you would have to mine out rocks in order to get and preserve them.

Even a kid that plays Minecraft can tell you that.

Legal definitions would including inorganic materials and hydrocarbons. Which, typically, there is little carbon left in a fossil, and thus should not be thought of as an organic substance. Calcium deposits don't have any such special classification.
 
2020-05-21 11:24:06 PM  

gaspode: This actually makes sense. Mineral rights are concerned with mining and commodities, but these are paleontological relics and to treat them as a mineral resource is pretty silly.


I think of it this way.  If I can see something on the ground or can dig it up easily with a spade, it belongs to the surface property owner and not the mineral rights owner.  Or at least that is the way it should be.   My driveway is certainly made up of rocks and mineral by the geologist's definition, but that does not mean that the mineral rights owner can dig up my driveway.  (Okay technically the mineral right's owner can dig up my driveway because of miracle of miracles, no prior owner of the land under my house sold the mineral rights thus I am the mineral rights owner.)
 
2020-05-21 11:31:48 PM  

SansNeural: gaspode: This actually makes sense. Mineral rights are concerned with mining and commodities, but these are paleontological relics and to treat them as a mineral resource is pretty silly.

Yeah, but the other Farkers make good, if joking points.  Stored energy sources like oil and coal have long been included in "mineral rights".  In these cases (the 9th and Montana Supreme courts and the Montana legislature) assumed or even explicitly stated (that last part could be important) a definition of "fossil" that excludes oil and coal.


yeah it IS an area ripe for confusion but it makes a lot of sense for paleontological and archeological relics not to be considered in rules designed for raw resources.
 
2020-05-21 11:54:44 PM  

Stibium: So petroleum reserves aren't minerals. Good to know.


You are committing the equivocation fallacy.

Minerals to a real estate lawyer and minerals to a geologist are two completely different concepts.  One, as someone has already explained, is for ownership of things subject to mining and drilling.  The other is a science term.

It not all that different from that legally you are not an animal.  But don't say that in biology class.
And physics has a definition of work. It has nothing to do with employment or making an effort.

The court ruled on the legal concept, not on the science concept.
 
2020-05-22 12:12:23 AM  

TheMysteriousStranger: Stibium: So petroleum reserves aren't minerals. Good to know.

You are committing the equivocation fallacy.

Minerals to a real estate lawyer and minerals to a geologist are two completely different concepts.  One, as someone has already explained, is for ownership of things subject to mining and drilling.  The other is a science term.

It not all that different from that legally you are not an animal.  But don't say that in biology class.
And physics has a definition of work. It has nothing to do with employment or making an effort.

The court ruled on the legal concept, not on the science concept.


I was going for dramatic effect and argument ad absurdum. There is room for theatrics in law.

My point does stand. As does yours. My point is that is it absurd to not include fossils as a classification of minerals, just as you are right to point out that the court declared they are not because of stupid and unscientific laws.
 
2020-05-22 12:56:01 AM  

Raoul Eaton: Stibium: So petroleum reserves aren't minerals. Good to know.

Nor coal.


Petroleum is not a fossil. I would argue neither is coal. Do you think coal is fossilized? I would say coal is an alternative process to fossilization.
 
2020-05-22 1:07:00 AM  

Stibium: gaspode: This actually makes sense. Mineral rights are concerned with mining and commodities, but these are paleontological relics and to treat them as a mineral resource is pretty silly.

The fact you have to mine fossils notwithstanding, amirite?


I've always wondered what fossils might be contained therein
 
2020-05-22 1:10:23 AM  

Bennie Crabtree: Raoul Eaton: Stibium: So petroleum reserves aren't minerals. Good to know.

Nor coal.

Petroleum is not a fossil. I would argue neither is coal. Do you think coal is fossilized? I would say coal is an alternative process to fossilization.


The word "mineral" comes from the Latin word for "ore." That is something you must mine, hence the classification of mineral.

It's true that not all fossils must be chipped out of a rock face, but it is a mineral deposit on its own, just like a vein of gold or coal. It has value, and typically must be mined. Therefore, colloquially, it is a mineral.
 
2020-05-22 1:12:43 AM  
Stibium:

Moreso, it's otherwise discriminative to fossils to consider hydrocarbon deposits, in an entropic form, to be protected against fossils, which are the constituents to the same and processes thereof, but in a less entropic and more ordered form.
 
2020-05-22 4:26:46 AM  

Stibium: Stibium:

Moreso, it's otherwise discriminative to fossils to consider hydrocarbon deposits, in an entropic form, to be protected against fossils, which are the constituents to the same and processes thereof, but in a less entropic and more ordered form.


Ha! Love it.

Gonna go think.
 
2020-05-22 8:59:50 AM  

Bennie Crabtree: Raoul Eaton: Stibium: So petroleum reserves aren't minerals. Good to know.

Nor coal.

Petroleum is not a fossil. I would argue neither is coal. Do you think coal is fossilized? I would say coal is an alternative process to fossilization.


Petroleum is the result of anaerobic processing of different organic stratum over the eons, so it's not a fossil nor a mineral, but compost.
 
2020-05-22 1:43:55 PM  
I think the semantic meanderings of this thread nicely illustrate the problem and why a definitive legal definition/ruling is necessary.
 
2020-05-22 1:54:06 PM  
This is a case of where a "legal definition" and a "scientific definition" are two different, yet equally valid, concepts.  Much like classifying tomatoes as vegetables instead of fruit:  the first is the "culinary definition", the second is the "botanical definition".  Both are valid depending on the context you're using them in.
 
2020-05-22 2:09:40 PM  

Mouser: This is a case of where a "legal definition" and a "scientific definition" are two different, yet equally valid, concepts.  Much like classifying tomatoes as vegetables instead of fruit:  the first is the "culinary definition", the second is the "botanical definition".  Both are valid depending on the context you're using them in.


So in the context of the legal issue covered in TFA, fossilized remains are valuable things in the ground, just like oil and coal.  How valuable depends on their condition (think oil sands and lignite coal) and how badly someone wants them.  To the mineral rights holder and seller, does it matter *who* wants the "minerals" as long as they're willing to pay a lot?

For the purposes of who gets paid for "minerals" do we decide based on some esoteric (to most people) classification of fossilization?  Or how deep in the ground it was?  Or by who wants it for what purpose?
 
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