One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounSouth African Law
A mining lease granted (in terms of mining laws) to the owner or lessee of the mining rights on land proclaimed a public gold field, entitling this person to claim a certain percentage of the land prior to any other claims being registered; the area held under such a lease.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Times. From South African Dutch mijnpacht (Afrikaans mynpag) from Dutch mijn + South African Dutch pacht lease, agreement from Dutch pacht, † pagt pact, leasehold (Middle Dutch pacht; from classical Latin pactum).
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