Under Stuyvesant Town and the surrounding area, in lower east Manhattan, lies a substantial deposit of the rare mineral platinum, and related metals: ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, and iridium.
The General Mining and Excavation Corp. of Bozeman, Montana owns the mineral rites to the entire area based on the General Mining Act of 1872 and Federal Regulation changes since then. Prior to the 1943 construction of Stuyvesant Town there was an 18 square block area of homes, schools, churches, and businesses.
Between the years of 1934 and 1938 General Mining Company (predecessor to the Corporation) quietly identified the mineral deposits and then garnered the legal rights to the mineral deposits for a nominal fee for most of the hundreds of homes and properties in and extending east and south of Stuyvesant Town. The remaining properties signed over their mineral rights by 1940.
Due to the war General Mining was busy with defense contracts and lost key people who were in the military. In the meantime the Stuyvesant Town property title cases were shoved through to approval ignoring the mineral rites issue. Stuyvesant Town was constructed at the height of the war -- 1943 and 1945.
Today a huge legal battle is brewing. Will General Mining be able to raze a big chunk of Manhattan to mine for platinum or have Federal Laws been updated to avoid that fate for Stuyvesant Town and neighbors.