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(1)The Minister or any person authorised by him in that behalf may, subject to the provisions of this section, do on, over or below the surface of the land such work as the Minister considers necessary for the purpose of discovering whether there is present in or on the land, either in a natural state or in a deposit of waste material obtained from any underground or surface working, any minerals from which in his opinion any of the prescribed substances can be obtained, and the extent to which any such mineral is so present.
(2)Before any powers are exercised under the last foregoing subsection in relation to any land, the Minister shall serve on every owner, lessee and occupier of the land a notice in writing specifying the nature of the work proposed to be done and the extent of the land affected, and the time, not being less than twenty-eight days, within which and the manner in which objections can be made thereto, and no such power shall be exercised otherwise than in pursuance of the notice or before the expiration of the time specified therein for making objections.
(3)If any objection is duly made and not withdrawn, the Minister shall, before exercising any such powers, afford an opportunity to the person making the objection of appearing before and being heard by a person appointed by the Minister for the purpose and, if the person making the objection avails himself of that opportunity, the Minister may afford to any other persons to whom it appears to him expedient to afford it, an opportunity of being heard on the same occasion.
(4)The Minister may, after considering any such objection and the report of the person appointed as aforesaid, serve on the persons on whom the original notice was served a further notice in writing withdrawing the original notice or modifying the terms thereof, but not so as to increase the extent of the land affected, and, in the case of modification, no powers shall be exercised under subsection (1) of this section otherwise than in pursuance of the original notice as so modified.
(5)The powers conferred by subsection (1) of this section shall be construed as including a power to remove any work constructed or other thing placed on, over or below the surface of the land in the course of the exercise of those powers, and to do such work on the land as the Minister or person authorised by him in that behalf thinks fit for the purpose of restoring the land wholly or partly to the condition in which it would have been but for the exercise of those powers.
(6)For the purpose of exercising the powers conferred by the foregoing provisions of this section, any person authorised by the Minister in that behalf may pass, with or without animals or vehicles, over any land.
(7)If any person wilfully obstructs or interferes with the exercise of powers under this section, he shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.
(8)Compensation shall be determined and paid in accordance with the First Schedule to this Act in respect of any diminution in the value of any land resulting from the exercise of powers under this section.
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