U.S. Supreme Court
Mining Company v. Tarbet, 98 U.S. 463 (1878)
Mining Company v. Tarbet
98 U.S. 463
1. Under an act entitled "An Act granting the right of way to ditch and canal companies over the public lands, and for other purposes," approved July 28, 1866, 14 Stat. 251, as well as under that entitled "An Act to promote the development of the mining resources of the United States," approved May 10, 1872, 17 id. 91, the location of a mining claim upon a lode or vein of ore, should be made along the same lengthwise of the course of its apex at or near the surface. If otherwise laid, it will only secure so much of the lode or vein as it actually covers.
2. Each locator is entitled to follow the dip of the lode or vein to an indefinite depth, though it carries him beyond the side lines of the location, but this right is based on the hypothesis that they substantially correspond with the course of the lode or vein at the surface, and it is bounded at each end by the end lines of the location, crossing the lode or vein and extended perpendicularly downwards and indefinitely in their own direction.
3. A location laid crosswise of a lode or vein, so that its greatest length crosses the same instead of following the course thereof, will secure only so much of the vein as it actually crosses at the surface, and its side lines will become its end lines, for the purpose of defining the rights of the owners.
4. A locator working subterraneously into the dip of the vein belonging to another, who is in possession of his location, is a trespasser, and liable to an action for taking ore therefrom.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.